She is symptomatic of a moment where the dominant cultural affect is one of depression, with the mandate to perform said depression at a high enough intensity to function as a productive, accelerated capitalism subject.
There was this depiction of black Americans as excessive, extreme, and wasteful, and fickle, and not sort of focused enough on being responsible. And then it coincided with all of these narratives of black moral failure that were coming out in federal policy. Black young people were very aware that they were under attack in this era—a pretty strong backlash against the style of MCs, rappers, the jewelry, the fashion, the sense of ostentatiousness.
Look, Slick Rick and Elizabeth Taylor … were doing the same thing with just slightly different aesthetics to it.
The American dream is essentially … ownership of things … and when you can't own things you have to appear like you own things.
Because of slavery and Jim Crow and redlining and the over-criminalization of black people, black people have not been able to build the same type of generational wealth as white people in this country. But if you live in America you have to participate in capitalism.