This is my rant, my thoughts, my ideas on HipHop,popmatters, poltics, relationships, life, and everything in between. You may get some fictonal short stories, true short stories, poetry, articles etc... Therefore, enjoy the gumbo.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

HipHop just died this Morning.......

Ladies & Gentlemen,

We got MC Nas in the house tonight and he is gonna tell you a little story about where he comes from...... and how he feels about Hiphop right now.
Peace Fam...I found this over at real talk NY ( This could be Nas's cd cover. I guess time will tell.
In the meanwhile Nas has been doing his promotional thing lately. He has been out and about..doing interviews etc. He is one of my favorite lyricist. You can say what you want, love him or hate him. He flips verbals supremely.

Something I noticed about him, is that the title of his records always grab you. From "Illmatic, to Hiphop is Dead,"it causes talk amongst the people. The comments can vary. (On a side note: I have even read some people bugging out on his previous release cd's artwork.) Anyway we all know that an album's title is very important to an artist. I mean it is suppose to make a statement to the cd and as a whole. It can be a very personal thing between the artist, and their craft..unless the "man" aka big business comes in, and makes the decision for the artist. However in Nas's case I think it is safe to say he had a lot of input in naming his current cd. I mean he has been in the game for a minute now. That is a big statement to make that Hiphop is dead...culturally speaking. A lot of you all will agree with him, and a lot of you won't. Now once we get past the statement let us look a little deeper beyond the face value of the statement.
"Why would one of the "biggest" rappers proclaim Hiphop is dead?" As I read different little interviews( in between the lines) by Nas it had begun to become clearer, and clearer. There are a number of reasons that all add to the total. One a core group (not just purists or backpackers either....LOL) of Hiphop heads have been mumbling this for quite some time. The game is so unbalanced right now that it's sickening. It seems real mic skills & creativity are no longer respected. Political rap is look on as being corny. Female emcees can only be seen& heard on "click" cuts (help a girl if she tries to do a solo joint now a days and get shine), or either she has to expose an azz cheek or nipple or something. Now everybody has to go 7:30 in a situation or "create" a situation to feed the press engine, because maybe just maybe that will boost cd sales. And because of this unalignment it causes heads to feel frustrated. Where statements like "Hiphop is dead, f*%ck rap, ni99as is wack etc."
One of the main reasons I think Nas feels like he feels is because of the era from which he came, and the era from which most of the "top" rappers(30 & over) & lyricists were born out of. I decided it is that "cut from a different cloth" that Busta spoke on when he won BET's "Best Performance." It is certain statements made by members of the Wu, Jada, Stylez P, Scarface, IceCube, The Clipse, OutKast, DMX etc. There is a vibe of frustration, and I know because I feel it too. Sometimes at more times than others. The youth are not getting the whole spectrum of the culture. Their not even getting the diversity of the styles, and they don't respect it. Could you imagine a person who claims they are into jazz or a jazz musician, and that person never listened to Bird, Coltrane, Ella, Billie or Louie? Or if the person stated they suck, this "old head" etc... How could a person who is contining a culture or tradition be so wreckless (especially if you claim you have love for it)? How could you not respect the person who elevated the culture, and gave birth to your foundation of expression. That shyt would be, and IS FOOLISH. Straight like that.
To reflect on the "era" theory. It goes a little something like this. I say from 1985-1996. Hiphop had a "golden era" a peak era. It was in this era where the music, the culture and mic skill level flourished. You had a balance that has not since been duplicated, and I am not sure it ever maybe it is dead. You could listen, and had a variety of selection of hardcore, party/club, storytelling, comedy, horror, lyrical skills, gangsta, and concscious. Now don't get me wrong..there were certain styles that had their peaks (eg: gangsta) where there was some saturation. However I could still hear a vary of styles on the radio, or at shows. So I guess heads that listened to the music in this era knew how dope it was, (and can"still" be, if we get our stuff together.) There were shows where MCs learned to tighten up their performance skills, because the audience was critical (they were not just expose to your videos or music via the internet), an expected, no they demanded a fire performance or you were getting booed off the stage. Or the crowd was leaving..something was going to give. You had to move the crowd.
So the essence of this era lingers in our souls like when Malcolm first heard Billie Holiday sing live. It is like a persistant itch that alot of my people from that "era" have either by a real love for the culture or bearing witness to the love of the culture from then to now. This love is carried by some industry insiders, writers, activists, mcs/rappers, b-boys, b-girls, djs, graffti/aersol artists..all the true school carry this itch like a virus. It reminds us to never let it go, and that it will be no relief until.....
So we have to keep speaking on it, and building. Because maybe this love we have for Hiphop will be passed on to the next generation. The masses won't get it, but there are a lot of young people who will and who do. It is our burden..each one teach one. So maybe just maybe it isn't dead.
I say it depends on YOU.
The rare breed

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