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March 17, 2006

I am HipHop

Well at least I think so. The culture has been very good to me. While in undergrad, I used the trade and business element to push mixtapes on the yard of FAMU. I really enjoyed sharing my culture in the dirty south. The locals and the various students really loved hearing Premo, Kid Kapri, Evil Dee and Mister Cee. Although, most of the people who copped these tapes on campus were not from the city, they appreciated the art to the highest degree. I often wonder how my life would be without it. Yes, I do have a have a huge sense of pride and disdain for what has become of the culture. That is I take pride in knowing that it was my generation and city which birthed/created all the nine elements of Hip-Hop culture. I still remember the SL-202 with pennies taped to the cartridges so that the needle wouldn't jump. Hanging out with the homeboys drinking Moet and making our own tapes. Yeah, if you're not +30, you might not understand, it's all good tho.

I'm also very saddened by what has occured in the last ten years.. The commercialization, buffoonery, and the resurgence of rap. Make no mistake, there is a big difference between HipHop and rap. One is a culture the other is financial vessel. One is diverse and dynamic, the other monolithic and static. I realize that everyone has to eat, I'm not knockin the hustle. However, creativity is of essence. There was a time that I could drive up I-95 and judging by what was being played on the radio, I could discern exactly what region of the country I was in. If I heard bass music, I was somewhere near FL. If I heard Go-Go, it must be DC. If I heard house music, it was either Chi-town or NYC. If it was HipHop or Reggae, it had to be NYC. Now, if you listen to the radio (which I don't), you really can't tell where you are in the states.. Everyone plays the same shyt. If you want to hear something unique you're better off staying up late to find a college station. Even that may not be a viable option anymore, as many of them have also gone mainstream too. There simply aren't anymore independent radio station or record labels.

Now back to 'I am HipHop'. It seems that statement can easily be misunderstood, in fact my brother KRS1 had to defend himself at a panel discussion in Stanford recently. Apparently, some intellectual types wanted to call him to task and debate him for his beliefs. I wonder why those same people don't debate some of the knuckleheads who aren't really saying a whole lot of anything (ie Eminem, 50, etc.)? Why not go after some of those commercial acts?

In my mind, Kris is the epitome of HipHop. His voice has been the most consistent over the years. I've always respected his teachings since day zero and would hope that others would choose to emulate his good works. Yes, he can be controversial as the audio reveals, but the streets are real. Ain't nothing changed.

Well, figured I'd share some of that good music for ya. Compliments of the Underground Railroad.

3D Set Pt.I
3D Set Pt.II
BeatMinerz
Lord Finesse

Enjoy

Posted by AG at March 17, 2006 2:14 AM