I have people come up and request hip hop all the time. Im usually busy playing not hip hop and don’t have the time to explain my “NO”. So this is for all the people that want me to play hip hop. First of all I love hip hop. The soul of hip hop captured my attention and put me on the turntables in the first place. I have run poetry slams and learned to dance listening to hip hop. That led to digging for the sounds that made it what it is. The art of hip hop is fucking amazing. The relationships with history through sampling are unprecedented. Sampling is a great way of passing forward the myths of the past and carrying a heritage that is so critical that it shouldn’t be legislated. The production in the studio has been illuminating for all areas of recorded music. Hip hop production has put us where we are in the grand evolution of listening and dancing to music. 2008 is a unique time that we will look back on in the future and be amazed at the sounds that were created largely thanks to hip hop.
Being literate I can appreciate the verbal virtuosity of the MC. Poetry is poetry. Good poetry is one of the most powerful uses of language. Oral storytelling is a fundamental element that predates writing. We need this. We will always need this. The voices in hip hop are beautifully diverse and at most times form the spine of the music. Sharing experiences is what is going to move us forward in knowing that we are unified in our wants and needs. Hip hop can lead us into a deeper unification of humanity. I am so thankful for hip hop. So why would I deny people their request?
Hip hop and I have broken up. We are no longer in a healthy relationship. It became abusive and boring. It has trouble innovating ie contributing. Its like an addict who only cares about its selfish fix, the thrill. Mostly to blame are all of us for letting it devolve into rap. Can I throw an antecedent in here? At one time it was funny (disarming) to appropriate the symbols of power of the oppressors, it stopped being funny when they started selling us their symbols and we started to believe in their power and again became repressed though less aware of it. Im thinking of Cadillacs specifically. Never pick up the tools of the oppressors not even as a joke!!!! Violence and materialism are not paths to liberation. The fun times Hip Hop and I had were over as soon as it was consumed by the confusion inherent in the tools of “resistance” offered by the state (violence and anger and separation). The state being rich white fucks in the tops of buildings dictating to the world through hip hop what hip hop is. Hip Hop has become a zombie. A dead soulless corpse with someones hand in its ass making its mouth move and saying stupid shit that the masses follow. Kinda like a politician. Why the fuck would I ever pander to you, my dear Hip Hop?
So who are you that asks for zombie music?………Confused. Mistaken, you want the sounds of rebellion without the work. You want blowjobs from zombies with no teeth. I know your life is boring at your bank job or pizza job or whatever and you want to feel like you are really pushing the envelope by identifying with frustration and the thrill of saying “Fuck you ho”. I can appreciate that desire for breaking the mold. But you are being lied to. You are being tricked in the same way by the same people who sold you the Cadillac. Your efforts will be fruitless because they are the efforts given to you by the oppressors in a very safe to them, nonthreatening way. I know you want to escape. I feel the same way. Something is wrong around here. The imagination and story form of hip hop helps pretend we are something else. There was a time when Hip Hop pointed the way out. Now is not then. Until hip hop comes to its senses its just as confused.
So No I will not play hip hop. I believe that thoughts are things. I believe that the word created the world and that means sound creates reality. The sound of gunshots will bring gunshots. The sound of violence and frustration brings violence and frustration. I will not contribute to a sound that encourages separation. Especially not amplified through a soundsystem. No one on this planet has the time to indulge in small egoic outbursts that encourage conflict. We’re beyond all of that. Now its time for hip hop to catch up.
PS If you read this and you know this critique doesn’t apply to you, you’re right! keep doing what you do and know that the world is waiting for someone to resurrect Hip Hop from the dead. Do it. D
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