The geography gap in hip-hop

I was reading an interview yesterday with Monie Love about her recent radio flap with Young Jeezy, and she had some interesting things to say about the generation gap within hip-hop.

I thought it was particularly telling, though, that neither her nor her interviewer raised the issue of nationality. For those that didn’t hear the clip, during the argument with Jeezy, he asked Monie: “Where you from, anyway? London? OK, so we not even going to get into that.” The notion that Monie—who is twenty years deep in the game, a member of Native Tongues, Grammy-nominated, a protégé of Queen Latifah, and a respected radio host—should be discounted because she was born in another country is a baffling one.

This perspective is prevalent in America, despite the fact that hip-hop is listened to and loved all over the planet now. Hip-hop music made in other countries is pretty much roundly ignored in the mainstream—save a very boring book and a few token media stories. (Always the same tired angle: hip-hop in the States has sold out to crass consumerism, but in other countries, it’s all about political struggle.) Few hip-hop writers from other countries have had any success in New York media—which is the hub for the global hip-hop press. Even the Internet hasn’t done much to upturn this dynamic. Most of the influential hip-hop bloggers are from the U.S.

Some of you know that I was awarded a grant to write a book on global hip-hop last year and I traveled to Africa, Asia and Latin America to check out what hip-hop looks like around the world. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life, but it’s been difficult to capture it all in a book that people will actually want to read. (It started out as a nonfiction book, then it became a memoir. Right now, it’s a novel. Talk to me next month, it might be a cookbook. Ha!) See, the thing is, people in North America don’t seem all that interested in what’s going on with hip-hop in other parts of the world. 

And nobody is talking about this geography gap. So let me put it to you c-boys. Do you need to be American to really get hip-hop? Do you need to be black? Or, at least, not white? Do you need to be young? Do you need to be male? Do you need to be poor? What if you are some of the above, but not all? Are you still missing vital pieces of the culture—pieces that you will never fully understand and appreciate? Is a universal, global vision for hip-hop naïve?

  • layon

    first

  • cghosts

    First!

  • http://dronkmunk.blogpsot.com dronkmunk

    You need to be….FIRST!

  • S. iam

    Hip hop shouldn’t be judged by what color you are, where you’re from or even who you are. it should be about life in general, be it stories about how you grew up, wat you do with your money, the love or your life, politics, etc. its about your persepective of the world you know and that is wat a lot of ppl have lost sight of. i am looking forward to readin your book tara. keep us informed.

  • thatdukeSuave

    I am a white male, and I fell head over for Hip-Hop and never looked back. I have felt the pain, paranoia, comradarie, ambition, loyalty, despair, love, and fear that only hip hop can speak to. Whether its crack rap or backpack, rap is the only music that has been able to move me and portray the full human emotional range, and the art of formin lyrics, of creating ambiance with drums and hi-hats is something that I have embraced and relied upon to keep my head on straight sometimes. I know that I could never truly experience the struggles and horrors that black people have endured for ages, but I can identify with most of the contexts that rap articulates. I understand because I listen to that culture’s voice, and it enables me to better comprehend the problems that our society is faced with. So, I don’t know if ‘white people’ are accepted into the rap community, but because this white man accepts and loves rap, I’m a stronger and more compassionate person than I would be if I had never listened to H.E.R.

  • S. iam

    When’s the book coming out?

  • Moe Real

    I’m surprised you dis that Where You At book…It’s true it’s so boring, but usually you’re on the moralistic, everything positive is positive tip. Good to see some nuance, if only a little.

  • S. iam

    Hip hop shouldn’t be about where you’re from, the color of your skin, who you are, or who yoo are affliated with. it should be about the stories you tell about the world you know. be it how you grew up, the things you’ve seen, what you do with your money (or the money you wish you had), the love of your life,politics, etc., it’s all about your perspective on things

  • Were Read 2 Def

    Americans don’t give a fuck about international hip hop because most of them don’t speak english and they’re not on our level. Can everyone compare to (blueprint era) Jigga? BIG? 2Pac? etc.

  • The DJ Formerly Known as N-CREDIBLE

    See, the thing is, people in North America don’t seem all that interested in what’s going on with hip-hop in other parts of the world.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    they dont seem interested in anything going on outside the US borders

    Hip hop is for the people by the people…and in order for there to be a universal gel…there must be a common denominator…i dont see it…im sure the artist addressing political issues would have a bigger market overseas than here in the US…

  • Danja29

    where you from? Canada? OK so we ain’t even gonna get into that.

  • http://www.myspace.com/writeonpointmagazine Janice

    That’s right, most North American’s aren’t interested in anything that’s happening outside of their own borders. You just have to watch their news reports is as if the rest of the world doesn’t even exist.

    Jeezy’s comment made me laugh, it just showed his ignorance and a lack of education. I pity him really. Up until signing to a major label he probably never heard of Monie and probably thought that no other countries existed… apart from the US. People like him need to travel more…..

  • whatev

    I don’t see why you’d need to be any of those things to get hip hop. Especially since a lot of the race consciousness is gone from the music. Although, I guess, even then it wasn’t a problem.

  • jacquez
  • Ace

    Hip-hop is local yet universal. The form is there to be accepted and added upon by everyone. It’s always going to talk about struggle and rising up. French hip-hop does this. Japanese hip-hop does this. Cats in Brazil are doing this. But, in every situation, they are speaking about what they see, which is what hip-hop is at its core: a reflection of what is around oneself. So, I don’t think that it’s ignorant to write someone off because they don’t listen to international hip-hop, but, on the same note, it’s wrong to suggest, like Jeezy, that because someone is not from the American hip-hop scene that their point is not as valid. They have just as much right to hip-hop as anyone else does.

  • MC Spectakular

    I always felt i related to hip hop because I was poor, even though I’m white, hip hop certification comes down to the two S’s, struggle or skill

  • NoMamesBuey

    Americans IN GENERAL don’t care about the rest of the world. American rap fans, regardless of race, mostly follow this trend.

    Tara, when you’re in the US, check the newspaper or cable news. Any mentions on Canada if it’s not hockey? Any mention of Mexico if it’s not illegal immigration?

  • Atl’s own

    Yes, a universal, global vision for hip-hop is not only naïve, but totally unrealistic.

    u can no more expect people around the world to like the same kind of rap, than you’d expect them to like the same food.

    hell people in different parts of dis country don’t like the same kind of rap.

    maybe even the same city!

  • thoreauly77

    tara-

    - no you do not need to be american to get hiphop. many americans dont even get hiphop including a lot of struggle rappers who wear their ignorance as a badge of honer.
    - no you do not need to be black; you need to have respect for the architects of the culture and those who constantly make it progress, and yes, they are predominately black. the white issue is tired. a head is a head is a head.
    - nope, don’t need to be male, as is evident with your inclusion of monie love in the post.
    - nope, don’t need to be poor, though a proper understanding of the birth of the culture is necessary to understand it contextually. in addition, if you came from the fucking burbs, don’t rap about your tek on the dresser.
    - a global vision for hiphop has already been achieved, so no, it’s not naive: each individual scene, globally, is a microcosm of the movement, as any well-traveled artist will tell you.

    sorry about the long post everyone.

  • Combat Jack

    Slick Rick is English. Hence his current issues.

  • Combat Jack

    Your book should be a coffee table jernt. That’s what would prolly sell.

  • EReal

    I dont think you have to be from America to “get” HipHop at all. I totally agree with the two S’s comment. IMO, its the language barrier that holds americans back from exploring other types of hiphop in non-english speaking countries. I speak enough spanish to understand what is being said, but not to communicate if you know what I mean, and I used that to check out Spanish Speaking HipHop (NO NOT REGGAETON), like Maestro, and Warriors 5 and shit like that, and they were DOPE! Exspecially Maestro, who raps in spanish and english, but has killer ass flow (check em out). Ive also been getting more into UK rap, the west end gully shite tho.
    Beyond that, I dont think americans really get into music they cant understand.
    Being an audio engineering student, I listen to tons of music, including alot from over seas, HipHop, Rock, Pop, that kinda stuff, norweigen, german (they have dope hiphop too), finnish, that kinda shite. I mean if you wanna get really technical Germany has the BEST Graffiti artists in the WORLD (DAIM- google it bitches). Its amazing how the world has embraced hiphop and made it their own, they’ve transcended america’s selfish stuck up views on hiphip i.e. “we’ve created this” “its ours, that shits wack” and created an IDEAL, and molded it to speak on whats going on in their lives, in their countries, and alot of these people have it alot fuckin worse than we do. HipHop dosent belong to us anymore, it belongs to everyone, and if people just took a minute to GET OVER THEMSELVES, they’d realize.
    You wanna say hiphop is dead? How is it dead if its alive in 30+ countries across the world?
    If americans spoke more languages, it would be eaisier for us to accept foreign hiphop, because I would love to hear some Iraqi gangsta shit, or some Bosnian gansta shit, where the sitcho is REALLY HOOD.
    This type of fracture in the community of hiphop is what we dont need, we have to many in america already (sadly). HipHop to me has always been about that feeling, that feeling that someone knows whatsup, someone feels the same way you do, that you identify with not just this Artist or that Artist, but with every fan of that artist, and when you feel that way and an artist sells 10+ Million records, well, thats powerful.
    I have nothing against worldwide hiphop, but im also a music lover, not a wannabe rapper.

    Nice blog Tara, and congrats on your book. Doin it real big Girla!!

    1hunned.

  • s.iam

    i heard the interview, and i don’t think jeezy was writin her off because she was from london. he was sayin that of course she would think hip hop is dead because she wasn’t into southern hip hop. and most hip hop fans that arent into southern hip hop think it is dead.

  • crimson

    That Foreign Exchange album was dope, the producer on there is from Europe.

    I think the original culture of hip hop never really spread very far outside the east coast, even if the music did.

  • Fabo

    The thing that you failed to mention is that monie love was trying to tell jeezy that hip hop is dead. Hip Hop is an American tradition, its worldwide now, but its still has its heart in america. So how can you sit there in london and say its dead? What the hell do you know?

  • let the game begin

    a way of life…… a culture, it has history it’s going towards the future it’s considered black cuz it was started by them for them but it embraces every other culture so it’s dynamic it’s larger than life cuz every one wants to be a part of it, it tells the truth cuz everyone is against it. it has many forms it has given hope to many of it’s people and followers but many abuse it and many misuse it, it exploits people takes advantage of people but gives knowledge while at the same time shows ignorance it is international….

    ask yourself where would you be if it wasn’t for hiphop

  • Belize

    Belize is Hip-Hop

    >Some of you know that I was awarded a grant to write a book on global hip-hop last year and I traveled to Africa, Asia and Latin America to check out what hip-hop looks like around the world.

    ^Werd? Did you go to Belize, my country is one of the most different/original country…check it out sumtime!

    Great Post!

  • E AKA THE REAL NORIEAGA

    If your intrested in “foreign” hip hop that isn’t bling, crack, emo, or old man rap. Check out Orishas, Tego Calderon, Calle 13

  • Flip

    You don’t NEED to be anything, but you do NEED to understand where YOU fit in. That said, someone who grew up in Manchester, England simply cannot have the same understanding as someone who grew up in the Bronx. No matter how deep their love for the music is.

  • uvf_4_life

    heres 10 u.k albums betta than 90% of last years us albums
    1.klashnekoff – saga’s of
    2.sway-this is my demo
    3.kano-home sweet home
    4.the streets-original pirate material
    5.the streets-a grand dont come for free
    6.skinnyman-council estate of mind
    7.dizzee rascal-boy in da corner
    8.taz-analyse this
    9.akala-its not a rumour
    10.black twang-kik off

    there are plenty more great u.k albums.i like both sides of the pond but with uk u dont get rappers selling gimmicks,rappers trying to convince u they are al capone or laffy taffy.listen to any of these albums and u will c every culture can drop hot music

  • Incilin

    “Do you need to be American to really get hip-hop? Do you need to be black? Or, at least, not white? Do you need to be young? Do you need to be male? Do you need to be poor? What if you are some of the above, but not all?” – All these are questions way too deep to answer. In fact you could make your post on each question alone.

    But as far as hip hop fans not being interested in the outside world, I say this; it’s not a hip hop thing. it’s a American thing. Americans are so full of themselves and so post modern when it comes to thier own characters that they don’t give a shit about anything that isn’t American. Its the result of the cultural imperialism that helped hip hop become global. I mean, look at Jay-Z. He took his tour all over the world and sold out concerts as far as Japan. Can you think of any act from any form of music from Japan that’s popular in the US?

    When something happens in America the whole world takes interest, when something happens in other places Americans don’t ever give a shit (There is a great scene in the Sopranos with that Russian lady for what I’m talking about, damn if I can locate it).

    This is a deep topic and although I’m glad you posted about, it needs much discussion. We will only reach superficial conclusions here.

  • Fernando

    Music is an expressive art form. Since it is so deeply tied to what is real, and what is on the street, it has a direct correlation to our culture and our country. Thus, we dont have much interest in what other countries or cultures bring to the table. Its a matter of authenticity.

    I dont think I would be comfortable bumping reggae music from japan. I dont want to hear BlueGrass from Germany. Or rock & roll from Mongolia. Every country / culture has its own style of music that it does better and more aunthentically (word?) than the rest. We in America just happen to have our stamp on hip hop. This is not to say that other countries cant do it, but they better bring some real sh*t to the table (hot beats, good rhymes) or quit trying. Anyhoo, nice try Tara, but you have to be a superb artist to break the mold of the streotypical hip-hop artist (young black male) because so much of the art form is tied to authenticity and the streets where rap came from.

  • http://www.myspace.com/writeonpointmagazine janice

    That’s right, most North American’s aren’t interested in anything that’s happening outside of their own borders. You just have to watch their news reports is as if the rest of the world doesn’t even exist.

    Jeezy’s comment made me laugh, it just showed his ignorance and a lack of education. I pity him really. Up until signing to a major label he probably never heard of Monie and probably thought that no other countries existed… apart from the US. People like him need to travel more…..

  • EReal

    ” (There is a great scene in the Sopranos with that Russian lady for what I’m talking about, damn if I can locate it).”
    Inci, I think I know which one youre talkin about.
    The one where she says that americans are the only people in the world where people expect things to be good and people expect to be happy, and that we’re self centered because of it. The rest of the world faces the harshness of reality, while americans sit in their little bubble in the middle of 2 oceans, being depressed and going to shrinks because we’re weak because of having it so good.
    Kind of a sum up, not word for word or anything..
    at least I think thats the one you were goin for, feel free to correct.

    1 hunned.

  • rec

    Last Time I checked Afrika Bambaataa talked of the Universal Zulu who’s goal was to spread hip hop around the world…the Rocksteady Crew is now a world wide movement. I find certain americans like to engage in a form of cultural elitism, that i think comes from just a lack of exposure to things not american. Our context may be different but the struggles are all the same

  • Edwin

    Echoing Crimson and Fernando, I think it depends on the strength of the link between the culture and the music, as with other forms and genres. Hip hop’s musical style is all over the place–in fact, worldwide. Different demographics in different countries can add their own cultural twists to it, which won’t be the same as the “authentic” East Coast stuff, but will reflect their ways of life, which is sort of one of hip hop’s purposes anyway, right?

    I think it remains to be said. The “vital pieces” are neither criteria nor a guarantee. How many American-born, minority, young, poor males “get” hip hop, anyway?

  • http://www.myspace.com/writeonpointmagazine janice

    Fabo Says:

    January 19th, 2007 at 1:46 pm
    The thing that you failed to mention is that monie love was trying to tell jeezy that hip hop is dead. Hip Hop is an American tradition, its worldwide now, but its still has its heart in america. So how can you sit there in london and say its dead? What the hell do you know?

    Monie isn’t sitting in London. She’s lived in the US for close to 20 years. Have you listened to Hip Hop lately? You could be living in the deepest darkest part of Africa. Even they can tell that Hip Hop isn’t at it’s best, and practically limping to its grave!
    ….Again yet another individual who needs to apply for a passport and travel!

  • TheJuiceManne

    their music sucks, thats why we dont give a shit

  • MP

    My point of view is… When i listen to something i would like to understand what he/she has to say, BTW Im from Macedonia (Yeah try to find me on a map )i most listen to US HIP HOP since i understand what they are saying, i once listened to French rap (IAM, NTM) i have to say the production was great same for the German rap (Massive Tunne…) But since i could not understand jack what they were saying, i could not connect with them on the same level as i would with 2pac. The thing is i can feel 2pac`s pain since there are many things that he says that iv been through, and the reason i listen to him is because i like the way he delivers the message the way he tells the story, the story that i can connect with. While on the other hand when i listened to French rap i felt like i was listening opera, the music was great he sounded like he was skiled lyrically, but for all i know he could have been saying everything that i stand against. Simply hip hop does not make any sence with out understanding what he/she is saying. Finaly the main problem for US not listening hip hop from the rest of the world is the language barriere.

  • http://www.xanga.com/vivache hoosteen

    It seems there’s a direct correlation between the intelligence displayed in a blog post and the intelligence displayed in the comments section.

    Good on ya, T-Dog.

    I’ve actually spent a lot of time over the last couple months trying to figure out what role (if any) my white maleness plays in my appreciation of hip-hop. I haven’t come up with any answers, just lots of questions. But these are great and important discussions, and I’m glad to see you continuing to provoke them.

    I like the memoir idea. If you don’t use it I might have to go after it!Does the book have a title? Want to make sure to add it to my wish list.

  • Bang

    if you need to ask, you’re an outsider

    if you’re an outsider, then you need to come in with an open mind and listen. that’s what it is. doesn’t make foreigners any less Hip Hop, we all gotta start somewhere. but you need to understand the culture first and come in speaking our language to feel it. that’s it, fuck that other shit

  • west west

    jeezy is a dumbass. monie love knows more about hip hop than some ‘full-time hustler, part-time rapper’

    jyeeeeea

  • thoreauly77

    wow bang. thats amazing.

  • http://www.myspace.com/poisonousdarthfc Poisonous Dart

    Some of my favorites all time songs/albums came from Canada, UK, France, Australia, Italy, Germany, Korea or Japan (which all happen to be the countries that hip hop is biggest in). The problem is language and accent, which most people can’t get past…plus how can you KNOW hip hop if I LIVE it and I’m from where it’s from? (America)…

    Little do most Americans know, but in Europe they still rep all 4 elements and throw ACTUAL jams! Kids in Italy and Croatia are reppin’ hip hop NOW like I did back in 1984! Watch any B-Boy competition or DMC event overseas and tell me I’m lying! Heads need to wake up and realize that Hip Hop IS universal. Nice blog, Tara.

    One.

  • blaQ

    Jeezy was just ignorant of hip hop culture thus proving Monie’s point. London was waay more hip hop before ATL ever was. i know South-stans wont like that, but its a fact. U.K has been hip hop for the longest.

  • Devil Down Under

    Fuck Jeezy.
    Fuck the U.S.
    Hip Hop didn’t die. It smartened up and left you punks. Come down here and visit H.E.R. sometime.

  • hannah smith

    “Few hip-hop writers from other countries have had any success in New York media—which is the hub for the global hip-hop press”

    Or maybe hip-hop writers from other countries have managed to make a more than decent living writing about hip-hop while based in their own country without having to operate under the obvious constraints that come with writing for an NY-based title.

    I mean writing for XXL – you’re basically just penning press releases – who’d want to do that when you could write BS-free?

    Truly, if you speak to people overseas you’ll soon realise what a heaving pile of compromised shite XXL is.

  • mista23

    To really feel what a dude is spitting I think u have to be all of what was mentioned at the end of the article (Black, poor, male, and relatively young, altough I do thinks its possible to grow with the culture). Not to say that others can’t feel it, it’s just that if your from the same struggle u can feel them on another lever. Real talk.

  • sam

    Of course most Americans don’t listen to foreign rap. It’s in another language. I’m saying this as a dude that does listen to Orishas, a Cuban rap group, pretty frequently.
    Hear me out here:
    Rap is, no matter how much people hate on modern lyrics, an art form based on language, right? It’s about communicating your hustle, your struggle, your love, etc. How the fuck is a U.S. listener going to understand a Brazilian rapper’s hustle if he doesn’t speak Portuguese? Kids that can speak French are capable of listening to MC Solaar or whatever because they know what he’s saying (sort of). I can listen to Orishas and Pitbull because I speak Spanish (sort of). Considering the miserable state of foreign language education in America, we shouldn’t be expected to care about foreign hip-hop, with the exception of Canada and the UK.

    Here’s another question: do you think French hip-hop fans are listening to Japanese flows?

  • GuNNz

    nothing to do with this, but i laugh inside when i hear all this gangsta talk in american hip hop. cause i was raised part of my life in a third world country and traveled all of asia and parts of the middle east(military). every thing we think is gangsta here is pussy shit to the rest of the world..

  • KMay

    THATDUKESUAVE hit it right on the point.

  • BirdsFlySouth

    Tara you’re a hippy! With all this peace love and understanding crap

  • P-Matik

    I honestly don’t think that Jeezy knew anything about Monie except she “that girl that did “Monie In the Middle” and “she sounds funny…is she british?”

    I just don’t think Jeezy is really THAT bright plus he doesn’t know anything about hiphop culture or it’s scope. A lot of rappers don’t though.

  • R2daS

    So-called ‘reality’ rappers have been rapping “Fuck rap/I wanna have cream and that’s that” for years. So why is Jeezy suddenly catching the flak? How can the music be dead when it’s paying dude more than the trap game ever did? From Jeezy’s point of view, the music is alive and well. What we have here is a generational thing – to most 30+s, the hip-hop they grew up on is not covered in the media any more or even commercially viable for large corporations the way it was in the old days. Fact is, Talib Kweli, Little Brother, KRS-One (still around), just doesn’t sell like 50 Cent, Young Jeezy, T.I., Jay-Z, etc. And let’s not forget who helped make hip-hop ‘dead’ in the first place – Jay-Z and Nas.

  • NOR CAL KING

    Jeezy is a effin idiot. If he really knew anything about hip hop or even really cared anything about the culture beside the pay checks he gets he wouldnt have said such an ignorant comment. Most of these big rappers that are coming up have no intelligence or class or any common sense for that matter. They are all full ofthe same ignorant comments and thoughts. Any interview with a new artist is so hard for me to read becasue of they way they speak is ridiculous. I realize they are from the streets or whatever u call it but damn, someone teach these motherfuckers some proper english so they can have a normal conversation. And im not talking about slang im referring to the way they form sentances and simple grammar these guys dont know. Read an interview with Jeezy then one from Murs. Tell me who has the bigger brain.

    FUCK THE WORD WE WANT FURL
    RIP MAC DRE

  • cool boy2343

    HipHop-Thinktank.blogspot

  • cool boy23

    HipHop-Thinktank.blogspot

  • cool boy232345432546545452

    HipHop-Thinktank.blogspot

  • cool boy23234543256545452

    HipHop-Thinktank.blogspot

  • cool boy2323454325545452

    HipHop-Thinktank.blogspot

  • J S-O-T

    uvf for lyf, all dem u.k albums are sik but u missed the best one!!

    Plan B – “Who Needs Actions When You Got Words” is by far the best british album of last year, the lyricism an pure realness of that album is astonishing, yeah America started hip-hop but it’s our fuckin language they shouldn’t be so ignorant of other cultures (the majority)

  • NickeNitro

    Hip-hop started out in the park, so there’s always been a real community aspect to it. Still, the answer to all your questions is “no” — hip-hop is whatever it is to you, just like any abstract label.

    But at the same time, to “get” someone else’s hip-hop, you have to be able to understand and/or to empathize with their perspective. And since a lot of US hip-hop is from the perspective of the poor, young, black male, if you can’t understand or appreciate living in that reality, then you won’t get a lot of hip-hop, and clearly that music is going to resonate more for someone who has actually lived it.

    For instance, Janice wrote:
    “That’s right, most North American’s aren’t interested in anything that’s happening outside of their own borders…
    “Jeezy’s comment made me laugh, it just showed his ignorance and a lack of education. I pity him really. Up until signing to a major label he probably never heard of Monie and probably thought that no other countries existed… apart from the US. People like him need to travel more…”

    Janice is someone who wouldn’t get a lot of US hip-hop. She probably travels a lot, but it sounds like she spends her holidays doing what the travel books say is “chic” and “recommended.” So she gets her “worldly” vision by interacting with other people doing the “chic” and “recommended” things. She obviously hasn’t traveled to where Jeezy grew up in Georgia. If she had, she probably would have realized it’s a little unfair to lambaste him for his lack of education. I wonder how all the poverty-stricken people in Macon would respond if Janice visited and told them she pities them and they all need to travel more…

    Certainly, we do live in a bubble here in the US, but as Janice made apparent, were not the only ones — it’s kind of a white western world thing.

    As to why the US doesn’t listen to a lot of foreign hip-hop — hip-hop’s real lyrical, so the language barrier plays a role, but I don’t think it’s that as much as we’re just not really presented with any options. The industry basically decides what we get to hear, which is what they’re selling, and that’s mostly US hood rap.

    Over the years, there’s been a lot of really good funk music coming from other countries, so it seems likely there’s some good non-US hip-hop being made, and it’d be nice to hear it. But outside of acts from Canada, which is pretty much the 51st state anyway, all I’ve really seen much from is from DJs (and the, uh, Teriyaki Boyz).

    Tara, from what sounds like was an amazing experience, is there anything you’d recommend that you heard on your travels, if it’s even available?

  • http://myspace.com/desertheatinc Illmiyah

    A/Alaakum,
    Hip hop is a global phenom and soon enough USA will loose a grip on it. Thanks to us artists going out of the usa and realising that the world is bigger then beef between E>W>S thats why Akon is making it and soon Jin will too and now you got arabain rappers. once it on a level playing field it’ll be more fair. Hip Hop state is like the world basketball state.USA is not dominating case everybody is in on it

  • MandingoJonesy419

    e

  • Billy X. Sunday

    It ain’t where your from it’s where your at.

  • roc

    uk guna b biigggg so jeezy shud shut up be4 he realises that uk rappers spit fire, check kano , klashnekoff, sway. tighta flow than im.

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