Summer Hits: City Girls - Twerkulator (with Kyra Gaunt)


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One of the songs we anticipate playing on repeat this summer is “Twerkulator” by Miami rap duo City Girls. It’s a track with enough sonic energy to power a small town, but that’s not all we dig. The song’s music includes a chain of samples that stretch back through pop music history—from 1990s house, to 1980s electro, to 1970s German krautrock—and poses an implicit challenge to some of hip hop’s most problematic figures. Meanwhile, the lyrics celebrate a tradition of movement that’s as culturally important as its controversial

To break down the manifold cultural dimensions of twerking we welcome a very special guest: Kyra Gaunt, ethnomusicolgist and author of the forthcoming book “Twerking at the Intersection of Music, Sexual Violence, and Patriarchy on YouTube,” who explains why twerking is not what you think it is (and why the Oxford English Dictionary got it wrong).

Songs Discussed

City Girls - Twerkulator, Twerk (featuring Cardi B)

Cajmere - Percolator

Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force - Planet Rock

Kraftwerk - Numbers, Trans-Europe Express

Juicy J featuring A$AP Rocky - Scholarship


Dr. Kyra Gaunt's TED Talk and her brilliant book, The Games Black Girls Play

Estelle Caswell's Video, "The Sound that Connects Stravinsky to Bruno Mars"

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