I thank Eskay and everybody at XXL Mag Dot Com that lobbied for me to get a column on this site. It was the opportunity that I always wanted. XXL magazine was the brand that had my comprehensive sensibility about the artistic movement called Hip-Hop. There were thinkers over here that understood the genesis of the movement. This was the place that I knew could express Hip-Hop with the minimum of distortion from corporate America.
In the mid nineties is when big time money came into the movement. Artists were being contracted to describe a lifestyle. Seagram’s family of distillers and rumrunners got their claws into another type of bootlegging. The record business. Because Hip-Hop was so attractive to young people it became the darling for capitalists who know that young people (and African Americans) spend the majority of their incomes on shit that only depreciates in value. If you had some shit to sell then you would be wise to hire a record company and have them put your item in their best rapper’s hands. Don’t think for a minute that the mainstream music videos you have been watching for the last decade are anything greater than musical commercials.
So when we get down to it the artistic movement of Hip-Hop has been waylaid by rap music. In the sense that the emcee who was once a subordinate of the deejay has relegated the deejay to has been status, literally and figuratively. Look at the DJ Drama situation as a microcosm of this. Drama is criminalized and run from out of the business by a rapper who says that he “doesn’t play the game fair.” Today’s rap fan rarelys cares that without the deejay taking a 15 second breakbeat and extending it to play for 15 minutes there would be no rappers. When record labels realized what it was that the deejay was doing to allow the emcee to become the rapper, the record labels hired studio bands and track producers to replicate the deejay. The background music to ‘Rapper’s Delight’ by the SugarHill Gang, which is widely regarded as the first commercial rap record is performed by a studio band covering Chic’s ‘Good Times’. You have heard this story already I’m sure, but have you examined the ramifications of it. The very first commercial rap song has the deejay removed from it.
THE VERY FIRST RAP SONG ISN’T EVEN HIP-HOP.
Nonetheless, we jammed all summer long to ‘Rapper’s Delight’ and a new genre of commercialized soul music was underway. The lesson for today is…
Hip-Hop > Rap music
Hip-Hop music is so much more than just rap and some rap isn’t even really Hip-Hop. It’s just pop music designed to tittilate the listener with ideas of sex without love, wealth without a work ethic, and actions without consequences. These are themes for children and idiots. They do a good job of keeping the average adult within a mentality of arrested development. They are unable to learn or develop skills that will provide them with the ability to progress through adulthood. This is what popular music does for its listener. The goal is ultimately to maintain the caste system which we all live under. The rich get richer and the poor, well you already know.
Keep this in mind this summer when you are rocking out at the park, the beach or someone’s barbecue. Think about what you take into your eyes in ears just like you think about what you take into your body.