Hip Hop

Hip Hop

One by one we’re watching them fall like flies. I guess it all began in the Puff Daddy days, P diddy, Diddy-O, whatever the f*ckers name is these days. As much as I absolutely LOVE Hype Williams, it makes me sad to say that his combo attack with The Daddy of Puff began the death of real Hip Hop. Bright vibrant colours, close-up in ya face shots of cool rappers and hip hop honey hoochie mama butts filmed through fish eye lenses was the essence of cool. Remember those crazy Missy Elliot videos? Hype Williams. Hype being the key word.

Then there was Mobb Deep who (still find it hard to say) signed onto G UNIT (cringe cringe cringe cringe), Nas became Jay Z’s bitch (after ending their ongoing battle, completely destroying him with the song ‘Ether’).

The true principles of Hip Hop are based around creativity, expression, knowledge of self, community, culture, which was born out of positivity within the beautiful struggle. It’s a way of life, a state of mind. It’s a cultural movement, one of which the bboy, graffiti, and turntablism was born.

What it has now become is a T-Pain whiny Akon autotune cocktail nightmare of rappers wearing shades in clubs drinking out of a pimp cup with a loada cheap half naked bints rubbing their diseased loose crotches all over them talkin some absolute fraff that makes me want to give them a backhander.

Hip Hop has become the complete OPPOSITE of what it was all about. I remember seeing Mos Def at the Shepherds Bush empire and the entire crowd was just a chorus crowd. As soon as Ms Fat Booty & Umi Says came on, they’d all tilt their new era caps down and start singing along trying to crip walk or whatever it is they do these days with their latest nike trainers thinking to themselves “Oh I’m so deep, this is underground hip hop, I’m so Urban”. Bitch Please. Mos then went into a freestyle, spitting hard lyrics about new world order (the mans been arrested on stage before because of his strong words about the corruption of the government). THATS hip hop. STAND UUUP! Lyrically handsome, still representing, Brooklyns finest on stage, spitting REAL hip hop in front of their hyped up eyes and noone made a noise. Moral of the story, people don’t even listen to the lyrics anymore.

REAL HIP HOP:

Listen to the lyrics, and if you’re still baffeled I guess you’re just beyond hope and a perfect example of why real music is doomed.

And this is what its become. Makes me queasy.

Aaaaaaaaaand thats enough, I think you catch my point. Once again, big up Mos Def for not having a bar of it and confronting Kanye West, perfect example of the point I’m making.

I shall finish this article with a song which I once blew both my speakers to.

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2 Responses to “Hip Hop”

  1. Brook Khalsa says:

    Thanks for a great post and interesting comments. I found this post while looking for some song lyrics. Thanks for sharing this story.

  2. RDW says:

    I hear ya message, but I think there are a few issues that need to be aired. Hip Hop has never just had one purpose. There may have been one major reason for its beginning, but really that’s as debatable as any part of history – some people say emceeing came from caribbean “toasting”: just pleasing the crowd and keeping the party going rather than conveying any ‘conscious’ message. And the music itself was the result of an experiment with two turntables, right?

    The argument you are representing is one that I humbly agree with, though more intuitively than justifiably. For instance, the lovers of soul music used to say exactly what you’re saying now, but they said it about how hip hop has no soul as if hip hop was the new soul (i.e. hip hop = bad soul). This is like how you’re saying bad hip hop (or hip pop/shit hop – whateva is most suitable) is the new hip hop. Music changes with the generations.

    Back to “purpose”. Some hip hop is about showing off, standard. That’s always been part of it, hip hop and bravado go hand in hand. So on one level that’s just what is happening nowadays. Sunglasses, champagne, grey goose, naked women etc. That’s the bravado, I’m better than you cos I live like this and you don’t – but you want to. I don’t understand why you’ve used Mass Appeal to convey the point that people should listen to the lyrics. That song has a ‘conscious’ message in it’s chorus/hook/refrain arguably, but the lyrics of each verse aren’t great, they’re just saying i’m better than you are – if an emcee’s goal should not be mass appeal at any cost (according to the refrain), Guru’s verses are not conveying this message at all. To make matters worse, the bars/lines of each verse are not even well constructed or rhythmic or melodious. My point, this song is a great example of hip hop beats and maybe a hip hop message, but it lacks all the other elements of good hip hop: the verses don’t follow the message of the chorus, as battle lyrics they’re not great, as poetry/wordplay they’re not great, and the delivery is not great either.

    Maybe I’m confusing hip hop with the art of emceeing? But if they are distinct, hip hop only describes the music, so why complain about fifty cents lyrics? The only way to do this would be to claim that the subject matter of hip hop must be the same thing: positive, didactic, political etc etc. But that’s not true either. Listen to the earliest forms of hip hop. The only thing that has ever been the same in hip hop’s subject matter is that the emcee’s should be describing their lives, their situation (“keeping it real”). So isn’t that what the new generation are doing as they get richer? But even this is a slightly debatable point, because some emcees would claim that they are adopting alter egos, e.g. Nasir Jones transforms into Nasty Nas. As an alter ego he can adopt his alter ego’s life and talk about anything his alter ego might go through, including guns and stupidness. Why can’t I rap about guns, if no-one would complain if I rapped about BA Business Class tickets – both of which I’ve never personally held in my hands.

    At the end of the day as far as message is concerned. The problem with modern hip hop is simply that it’s boring (to me and judging from your blog, boring to you too). But that doesn’t mean hip hop is dead. If the world miraculously became perfect, it might be boring or unreal to discuss historic political issues. But even though the world is imperfect, hip hip need not just discuss these issues. Hip hop has always been about “party music”, “battling” and ” real life”. “real life” in the 70′s and 80′s USA resonated with struggle. But hip hoppers nowadays do not relate with that struggle or more simply perhaps, they just live different real lives now.

    Sorry to rant. Almost done. For me, what makes good hip hop is somewhat confused (clearly) with what makes good emcees (delivery, rhythm, melody, word play, lyrics, poetry, swagger – i.e. coolness or presence). In terms of message, I like something sincere or original – this need not be about struggle or politics. Yes some of the beats these days are not clearly hip hop, but if that’s the complaint then it’s easily remedied: call the new stuff something different, e.g. grime, garage, or ask for a B side of each release where the song is transposed over a traditional hip hop beat. There is something to be said though for originality in beats too though, is there not?

    Candy Shop is probably really really bad (to put it mildly), but it can also just be a laugh. What I mean is, I don’t mind if comes on during a stupid night out, but it will never ever ever get onto my ipod and I won’t buy it or rate it as a good song or request for it to be played. But this is most likely because it’s been done a million times already, and perhaps my personal preference for certain examples of hip hop, rather than anything fundamentally not hip hop about it.


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