Who Needs Culture?

a : enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic training b : acquaintance with and taste in fine arts, humanities, and broad aspects of science as distinguished from vocational and technical skills
5 a : the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations

Def. Merriam Websters on line Dictionary

You’re like school in the summer…no class! Man, when one of the Cosby Kids (the cool animated ones not the slightly square Cosby Show ones) would say that in a Fat Albert episode, I would nearly spit my room temperature 2 day till expiration date carton of milk at the TV screen. LOL I’d almost keel over drunk with the self-righteous zeal of Stuey on Family Guy. I had “class” and I knew it just like Stuey (although I’m not gay…Like I think Stuey is lol). Unlike Stuey, I was in an environment that encouraged my “cultural” development. Ohhh Lucky me (Stuey Voice).

I was raised by my Grandparents, not my parents, so there are some generational values that I picked up that set me apart from my peers. My Grandparents we born in the ’20s and ’30s. Their “party years” were the ’50s, so by the time the ’80s arrived, they had lived a rich and traveled life for two kids from Tuskegee, AL and Eaton, GA. My two sisters Lovie and LaShunda and I were there sole focus and because of that we were given a wealth of knowledge and experiences that our contemporaries didn’t have. My G-Parents were from a time in which upward mobility not only meant buying more stuff by also having richer life experiences.

While other kids were reading what was required of them in school only, we were forced to read daily, and read a wide variety of books. By the time I was 12, I was reading the Encyclopedia Britannica just to pass time and PBS was the channel of choice for at least 3hrs a day in our home. Along with programs like Nova (for science) and shows like the one with the art critic nun I was introduced to Egypt, Greece and Rome I was exposed to great art and artists all via the “Tell Lie Vision.” Later in life, I would put my homies up on the knowledge that Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo were actually some of the greatest artists in the history of the world and not just karate-kicking-jive-talking-reptiles.

The love of books and art was fostered in our household. We played instruments and drew and painted. We wrote poetry and took any and every school field trip that involved art and theater. We also traveled often and saw lots of this beautiful country. These experiences invoked a thirst to learn more. The desire to know more was ignited in me and I not only liked the music and art of the day (rap and graffiti) I was knee-deep in Classic Art, music, and a pursuit of higher knowledge. In class, I would add to what my teachers were lecturing about. I would read Shakespeare and serve as a translator for Mrs. Coleman (I’m telling U Super Head ain’t shit Compared to Lady McBeth she was a beast, a real villainess). I was forced by Ms. Renfro to take additional Art Classes at the High Museum, me, Larry and Chris, three black kids among a class of rich white kids drawing painting and learning about the impressionist, realest and cubist masters.

Then there was Mrs. Bishop, my overseer, choral teacher and Art Talent Center director. She was a tyrant in matters of making sure that Black kids from the hood were exposed to Fine Art. She turned our singing and artistic talent into college scholarships (I want it noted that I attended Morehouse on an Academic scholarship though). To Mrs. B, culture was to be forced and driven into you until you submitted and learned to love Miles, Coltrane, Mahalia, Monk and along with classic opera and more. She, like us, was from the humble beginnings and because she saw Loentyne Price, she was inspired to study and sing opera herself and had traveled the world because of that talent. She was determined to make sure kids from the “hood” with talent and no direction would do the same. Her dept. sent as many kids to school with a free ride for Music and Art scholarships as the Honors Program did for academics. Bravo Mrs. B! She Was such an influence on my development I thanked her in the credits of my 1st album, Monster.

Of all my teachers, Mr. Murray and Mrs. Baraki were probably the most influential in who I became. As u can imagine the artsy fartsy shit I liked meant nothing to the homies past getting a decent easy B for the report card. I, however loved art as much as I liked the streets and hanging out smoking dirt weed and drinking in the trap with the homies. I found a like-minded mentor in Mr. Murray. Mr. Murray was my teacher from the hood whose family owned funeral homes (shouts out to Murray Brothers funeral homes). He owned and rented properties b4 it was sexy to do so. He didn’t need the money from teaching and being a Booker T Washington High Grad (M.L.K and Lena Horne’s Alma Mata) he knew as many gangsters and he did fine artist, (in real life too not just knew of them like rappers) so he commanded a greater level of respect from the knuckleheads, me included.

When Super Fly became the movie to watch and Pimp (By ice berge Slim) became the book to read in my peer group he told us “Son ,see Super Fly, it’s good and all but hustlers ain’t tell that story. It took a renaissance man to tell the story of the streets cuz everybody in the street dead or locked up.” (aww the days b4 Feds and Don Diva). Mr. Murray Introduced me to Gordon Parks, and Gordon Parks Jr. The men responsible for Shaft and Superfly. These men were BLACK, they were photographers and writers and painters, they told our story with dignity and honor. Robert Beck aka Ice Berg Slim was a Tuskegee Univ. dropout and pimp with a descriptive command of a pen comparable to Shakespeare. His writing put you in the setting of the stories you could see, smell and hear the pages of Mama Black Widow and Long White Con. Becks writings were as tragic and morally conflicted as Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet. Mr. Murray taught me who Henry Ossawa Tanner was, a Black realist painter whose painting, “The Banjo Lesson,” has been sold as a print in the middle of the mall by east Indian shop keepers since I was a kid. I wonder why black people who buy that print never attended to High Museum to see more of his work when it was displayed. Sigh…Why do we not value our renaissance men and women?

Mrs. Baraki however was not an art teacher at all. But if arts and music were tools for me to move through different social and class circles, she world give me proper perspective in which to view art and culture. Mrs Baraki taught Social Studies and World History. She connected the Artistic dots from Greece, Rome, Europe and drew that line right back to this wonderful place called Egypt. Egypt, the birth place of culture. When she taught me about the great kingdoms of Mali, Ethiopia and other great cultures in Africa and the African Diaspora. She was actually teaching me about what and who inspired the European Artist I so loved and admired. I worshiped da Vinci, I learned Plato, I admired Hippocrates, but when I discovered their cultural inspiration ,“Imhotep,” I was floored. An African was the father of medicine, an architect, a poet and priest and advisor to as many as four pharos. He was history’s 1st renaissance man. Becoming more cultured has been my life’s passion since. It has rewarded me in ways too numerous to count. Hip-Hop is a culture, it has great men Like Ice Cube, KRS-One, Kanye West, Swizz Beatz, Jay-Z, Killer Mike, OutKast, Ce- Lo Green, G.M Flash, Africa Bambaattaa and the Zulu Nation, Rock Steady Crew, Jean-Michel Basquiat and many others. These are men who master many things and bring the gift of art and intellect to society. Maybe it’s time we abandon the corporate culture of money over art and celebrate ourselves as cultured lovers of an art form born in America ( Hip-Hop) and stop treating our culture and ourselves at 2nd rate. I encourage all who are in Atlanta to attend the new exhibit at the High Museum “Leonardo Davinci: Hand of a Genius” starting Oct 6 and the Apex (African American Panoramic Experience) Museum (on any Sat) or any other place besides the mall, movies, the game or Walmart with your stripper girlfriend or your blessed kids and feed your soul and mind with more culture and less bullshit. You and Hip-Hop will be better for it. We (Hip-Hop) are a culture. The culture at this time needs less rappers and more Hip-Hop Historians and writers. More B Boy’n art exhibits like Beats Rhymes and life and less “Freaky Friday” club nights, more DJs and less iPod parties, less “video directors” and more Spike Lees, less club dates and more stadium tours. Hip-Hop is a part of a long artistic American cultural legacy and unless we remember that and remind ourselves we will loose this rich vibrant art we have created as a our cultural bookmark in the pages of world history. We need Hip-Hop. We need culture. Fin.
Please Note: I know this was alot to read and I appreciate you all reading it. The embolded words are for you to google, bing or surf to research and share some of my favorite cultural influences. I did not get to use Langston Huges and Zora Neal Hurston as I would have wanted but hey, I’m sure ya’ll will mention them and more in the comments. I’m out this joint, me and a stripper body type gonna hit this High Museum up….after we listen to some Gucci Mane and burn a joint of course….I love the arts and love culture. Peace. GTRG…BBB

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    Wow…great drop!

    We are a culture but, like all cultures, there are different factions. But there are still those of us that were raised on the pure elements of hip-hop and look at it as something much more than just a song. “I take this more serious than just a poem.”

    As a white kid growing up outside Philly, I was clowned for liking hip-hop until Snoop hit the scene and then everyone was down with hip-hop…but it was always deeper to me and meant more to me. That’s why I come here every day and read everything I can and share thoughts and ideas (and disagreements) with everybody down there.

    The culture continues…

  • these posts are racist

    Great Drop.

  • Silly Chilly Willy

    Damn, big homey you killed it. Great drop!

    Sometimes some of my friends clown me for reading books that are not mandatory in school (matter of fact, they ain’t friends, mostly acquaintances….can’t have friend like that). LMAO at Superhead vs Lady McBeth !!! I would’ve liked a battle Superhead vs Messalina, that would’ve been epic !

    The human life shows cyclic patterns in every aspect, so knowledge about the past, not just the trials and tribulations, but also the beauty, the ideas and the actions that made humanity what it is today, is irreplaceable. It helps us understand the past and try to make a better future, which is the only reasonable explanation for the perpetuation of mankind. Our soul need food just as bad as our body. If you avoid going to McDonalds everyday, you should avoid McCulture just the same. No place for mediocrity.

    Those dead old bones paved the way, we’re fortunate enough to have them, we shouldn’t hesitate to learn what they did so we can take it to the next level.

  • iGotOnMyBackpack79

    Great Drop! you hit niggas wit some knowledge and they don’t even read the shit. y’all were quick to jump on OJ and Whoo Kid when they were dropping them bullshit blogs the previous two weeks. Killer hittin’ y’all with the realness and he ain’t gettin’ no feedback. keep up the good work Killer. PeAcE!

  • Chris Cash

    The one problem with hip hop culture is we as fans and artist alike dont treat it with respect, so how can expect the rest of the world too. Fans dont wanna buy the “art” because most artist (note: i said most) dont treat their music as art.

    Also hip hop culture doesnt respect other cultures. We act as if someone embraces other cultures its a problem are that person is weird. Hip hop is still so young but when we lose the ego the world will see the art in it not only the entertainment

  • Mutada/Mullah Atari

    Amazing. I recently took my GF to the LACMA and saw the Pompeii and the Roman Villa art exibit. We enjoyed it an plan to go a second time before it moves on to the next location.

    Another great spot in LA is the Getty Center, its so big that you have to split it up into multiple days. Peace

  • VISKI

    Another one…Do others in hip hop think like you or are you the exception? Culture means so many things and in my opinion is the gateway to a rich and beautiful life. When I say rich I dont mean from the aspect of money but what I mean from the aspect of learning and appriciating your surroundings from the past, present, and the future. There are so many people who have helped and have contributed incredible things in thsi world that I beleive that it is a privilage to read about them, their beleifs, and their actions. It is amazing that the birthplace of real culture started in africa went to greece and from there went to Rome. All of these people shared in one thing and that was intellectual prowess; they wanted their people to be intelligent and make siginificant strides for man kind. That is what the culture of hip hop and hip hops leaders should be doing (you are but others arent). We, the hip hop nation, whether white, latino, asian, or black should always strive for growth within our culture and that starts with the role models. We need peopleto learn to appriciate and understand the privilage it is to be within this culture. I also beleive that when people as a whole read the masterpeices and learn about the history before then society is all the better for it. YOU killer mike, are truly one of the few that I can say are making hip hop better with your music, your attitude, intelligence, and your messgae.

  • Moving Sideways

    Great drop.

    I went to college in Minneapolis, and everything you were saying about how Hip-Hop needs more serious cultural dialogue can be found there. The people all know the culture backward and forward, and don’t tolerate much bullshit from their artists either. Shows will have with graf writers in the background producing paintings (sold at the end of the night), b-boy circles are plentiful, and indie Hip-Hop shows sell out First Ave. (where Purple Rain was filmed) as quickly as a major label artist would.

    Then I went to grad school at in Atlanta. For being the birthplace of some of the most progressive music of the 21st Century, the culture there was horribly stagnant by comparison.

  • capcobra

    i feel smarter now.

  • Mutada/Mullah Atari

    I like your point about needing less rappers

    Lots of hip hop “fans”, at least 60%-70% of the black males that I come across. Want to be rappers themselves on some level.

    Whether it’s an occasional freestyle or the others who get a $100.00 microphone, an M-Box, and FL Studio. Then abandon or neglect everything else in life (education, a solid career, family, friends, children etc), to make it in the “game”. They spend their late teens and all of their 20’s, chasing after something that they see as easy get rich quick scheme.

    And honestly there is nothing wrong with that. If you have talent and what not chase after your dreams by all means. But a lot of these same folks have this misguided idea that they have to hate or be in opposition to others established successful artists. They some how see other artist who have made it as competition. That just leads “to many Indians and not enough chiefs”, very prevalent in Hip Hop culture. When I go see Stevie Wonder, I’m not in the crowd like “F*ck this nigga, I’m better” Why is it that hip hop fans are sooooooo different from other genres?

  • Shawty J

    Good drop! I do agree that we need more exposure to culture. And hopefully if I’m not busy with school and work I’ll make it to the High Museum.

  • http://xxlmag.com JC

    Great reading, Im going to best buy and buy your whole catalog and see if your as good on the mic as with the keyboard.

  • KS

    very informative. keep up the good work mike. im from atlanta and i love the high museum btw. visit everytime theres a new exhibit.

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    “Maybe it’s time we abandon the corporate culture of money over art and celebrate ourselves as cultured lovers of an art form born in America (Hip-Hop) and stop treating our culture and ourselves at 2nd rate.”

    CO. F**KING. SIGN.

    LOL @ how the blog thoughts are in true sequence…

  • GIBZ

    WOW!!! that was my reaction as soon as I read that last line. WOWWWWWWW I said it outloud! A wonderful drop!!! Full of so much info, that I thank you for the bold words, or I would have some work to do, going back to jot down all those names.

    Thank you for that great knowledgeable drop. You have made me want to learn more with that SINGLE BLOG. God Bless and thank you again.

  • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

    @Mike

    I had to stop reading to drop this gem….

    Yes, Stuey’s gay. There was an episode where he comes out & admits it to Brian, but they decided against ever showing it because they thought it might take away from the character.

    Favorite cartoon, ha!

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

      I just want to say that Gordon Parks was my hero as a kid.

      & Eldridge Cleaver.

      & of course, my dad.

      Good take on Hip Hop’s renaissance men. I don’t know if I’d throw “Swizz Beatz” & “great men” in the same sentence, but I definitely get the gist.

      Good drop, juice.

      • Lowedwn

        co-sign on Gordon Parks….pure genius.

        Also, Swizz is actually really big in the Arts especially painting. I know he’s an avid collector, but I believe I read somewhere that he paints as well and had and exhibit about a year ago somehwere in NYC.

        Man, this post makes me wanna pick up and move to NY or Eurpoe. L.A. feels like where culture goes to prostitute itself then die.

        • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

          @Lowedwn

          Nah, I wouldn’t say that it died. Just got caught amidst the stupidity of our city. Like Mike said, it’s so many “other” things to do, especially in L.A., niggas wind up @ Venice Beach or The Slauson before they make it to Wilshire Boulevard.

          We still have the Getty, LACMA (shout out to Mutada) & Exposition Park, where I take my son to all 4 museums & the Rose Garden (& McD’s for a Happy Meal, ha!).

          I saw some of Swizz’s paintings on the ‘Nets, & I read about him buying art, it’s just the term “great men” isn’t something I’d throw around because a cat is knowledgable on some artwork. Mike also named Ice Cube, for example. If one list’s somethings that he’s contributed to the culture, there’s a more concrete reason to call him (Cube) a “great man” of Hip Hop.

          Don’t get me wrong, Lowe, in no way was that a shot @ Swizz. Maybe I need to get more familiar with him as a man [||], versus as a spotty producer.

          It takes all types, though, so…..

  • Silly Chilly Willy

    Aside from the fact that hiphop, at least in America, appears to be championed mostly (I said mostly, don’t panic!) by black youth (with the educational problems we know, cf “Y Kant Tyrone read” above), I think the main reason why every other aspects of the Culture, with a capital C, is disregarded is because hiphop is a young culture.

    Hiphop, as a cultural entity, still feel the need to hide in a shell because she’s not secure enough about her own identity and the place she holds in musical and popular history. There are people who were old enough to have witnessed her birth. That’s how young she is.

    She doesn’t look like the colorful, playful, imaginative and daring kid she once was. She got gimmicky, and fake and hate on everything out of her own existence and can’t stand seeing her pioneers and mentors gettin old and still feelin the need to say something, because she’s still in a pubescent phase. She looks dumb, stupid with a spark of genius here and there because that’s how she really is inside all that make-up. She’ll grow up eventually.

    But in the meantime, all those who love her should keep dropping the knowledge because she really could use some, whether she wants it or not. That’s the responsible way to raise her. No preaching, just give her a room for her to fully embrace that growth, show her love and support, and not feed her bullshit but real talk like the drop above. Then Lil’Hippity Hop will one day become Ms Hope,…Hip Hope !

  • http://www.myspace.com/emcdlthemusicprofile EmCDL

    Damn man my comment didn’t post….

    Anyway, good job on the post Killer! Hip Hop is an art form in so many ways…ain’t nothing like getting behind them boards crafting masterpieces, and the same goes for spittin’ on the mic.

  • BIGSCREECH

    Dope shit!

  • G2

    Great blog!! I had a similar experience in discovering Kemet (Anciet Egypt) thru the readings of the great Chiek Anta Diop, Martin Bernal, and George G.M. James. I really believe African Americans would have a little more pride in themselves if they took the time to learn a little more about African contributions to what we think of as culture or civilization.

  • giantstepp

    Check out Nathan McCall’s “Makes me wanna holler”, if you haven’t already. I think that this particular book is waaaaay underated and he deserves to be mentioned with the greats. A must read for all young black males IMO. “Read…Think….Grow”!

    Good shit Killer Mike! And Real Talk, I’ve been stuck in my era and aint really been checking for anybody in Hip Hop the last few years. You are on my radar now homie. Imma give you a listen like I havent given anyone ‘new” a listen in 5 years or so.

    • Enlightened

      Exactly. And for everybody that suggests “Makes Me Wanna Holler,” I tell them to also check out “Manchild in the Promised Land” by Claude Brown.

      It’s a similar coming of age story and it’s about Harlem in the 50s and after. You can see the first real “hood” as we know it today and how the drug/drug dealer/drug addict/robbery/murder cycle really started in our neighborhoods.

  • Master Cheef

    killa kill killing this blog shit.

    i appreciate that someone wants to get on here and spread some knowledge.

    culture is the sign of a gentlemen. chickenheads want a thug. classy women want a smart man that is intelligent enough to lead them through this crazy obstacle course called life. no better way to show a real woman that you are knowledgeable than letting her see that you are cultured.

    killa mike, thanks a lot for coming on here and keeping it 100. Grand Hustle is a great look. 8ball and MJG, young dro, YOU, the king. big things, my nigga (no homo).

    any news you can give us on some upcoming projects from the label?

  • William Lee

    You sir deserve to a permanent spot on this blog roll with the insightful words you are bringing to the masses. Appreciate it.

  • http://callmephlip.blogspot.com/ Phlip

    This blog, this week, is a breath of fresh air.

    I come from a background surrounded with writers and musicians, to the point where my abilities, stylings and presentations are shown to that. Let us say that the movie Barbershop was a stolen concept and I am related to the proprietor, and I know someone who can play/sing Funkadelic’s “Cosmic Slop” flawlessly but can’t read sheet music.

    Blogs like this speak to my inner nerd, anyone who reads my own can find flashes of that taste in me.
    I hate that the week will end soon, and next week XXL will be bringing OJ da Jumang back to torture us further, and we will comment to how much we hate the shit.

    Also,

    A veteran of ANY customer service job will tell you that they’re told sometime within the first 1-5 days of training that a satisfied customer will tell 2 people at most of their experience, where a dissatisfied will tell at LEAST 5, usually more.
    The disparity between OJ’s bullshit and this gem we have been given is testament to that.

  • Killer Mike

    Man i swear ya’ll make me proud! @Giantstepp: I read Macall’s book. he was a writer for my home town news -paper i believe the AJC. thank u you 4 sharing that info i hope others pick it up. Iam very excited by the amount of info i get from ya’ll please know i am writing notes and reading and researching any new jewls. GTRG…BBB

  • http://www.jamal7mile.blogspot.com Jamal7Mile

    Superb post!

    I came up in a culturally rich environment too. It’s why I can appreciate true art within our Hip-Hop Community no matter what coast, what language, what color the artists is, or what element (rap, DJ, tagging, breaking, etc).

    My problem is when non-artist grab ahold of the wheel (the money-over-art hustlers) and steer the ride over the cliff. I DON’T appreciate that shit, and it’s got nothing to do with me being “old” (35) and out of touch. I KNOW what Hip-Hop is, and a lot of what I’m seeing today ain’t it! Chain Hang Low? Whip it Like a Slave??? Chicken Noddle Soup???!!!

    REALLY???!!!

    These non-artist probably never picked up a book unless it was on some school reading list (if they even did that). Kanye disappointed me a lil bit when he said he didn’t read books. We were both raised by educational leaders so I couldn’t understand how he swerved to the wayside.

    I guess I was Blessed. I grew up on a block with teachers, lawyers, a judge, police officers, counselors… and yeah, killers and hustlers too. And they were ALL brilliant. Coming from Motown, yall already know what my music education was like. Marvin and Smokey aaaall day! Throw in some jazz and Stax with that. Plus, I’ve traveled far. From Pittsburg to Paris, France. From eating REAL Chicago pizza to hanging with Mona Lisa.

    These non-artists don’t seem to have had that, and that is a shame (and it fuckin’ shows).

  • http://quebishop.deviantart.com qp

    This was an amazing read. We need more artists/emcees like Killer Mike. My father inspired me to be an artist. He drew comics but he also admired the works of the masters and had their works laying around the house. He also expanded my taste for music. I was bred on the typical “black” music, but he also listened to Rock,and etc. He loved the Beatles.
    He was always big on learning this history of ours.

  • macdatruest

    yea Im in Milwaukee so you know it’s a lil Iceberg Slim in a nigga! I even went to Messmer Catholic High School (The Naked Soul of Iseberg Slim by Robert Beck)And you see what the throwback Brewer’s logo says: M.O.B. Money Over Beeeeitches (but I prefer bullshit)

    I was like damn, how can i get a girl to stay down for me like a ho stay down for they pimp??? I picked up that Iceberg that shit laid out the basics of female’s mindframe cause pimpin is about understanding, which is about intelligence and being a well rounded individual so when the time comes for self preservation and self presentation you are not only ready, but willing and able… to stand up and man up. In other words it aint easy….

    And if a pimp toast wasnt freestylin’ way before freestylin’ was freestylin’ I don’t know what to call it Shout to Pimpin Ken, Pimp Snookie and all the other Milwaukee and Chi Town Pimps (Bout to Youtube dat Outkast Playaz Ball) fuck it shout out to Dungeon Family!!!

    • Enlightened

      Messemer huh?

      Y’all had some nice females there!
      I used to come through from Racine and watch my potnas from Lutheran High play against y’all squad.

  • http://www.justice.gov.za GO-Getta’

    Good lookin’ KM.
    I’m was truly impressed with both Skyzoo,MC Lyte blogs & now u doing ur thing as well.

    Man i hope when ur next album drops it ‘ld b’ even betta’ than this blog.

    Good luck on ur future plans.

  • BigDan!

    Mike, fantastic drop. It’s hip-hop artists like yourself that will continue to bring respect for the art form from all corners of the world. Come down to Australia (Gold Coast/ Brisbane please lol) and show ‘em what I’m talking about. No disrespect to anybody but you are one of the best out now (even though Pledge I is no longer available I tracked down a copy on Amazon, the illegal download link was directly below on Google…)

  • General

    Another great drop Mike…

    After reading your blog and then reading the comments that everyone before me put down here it reaffirmed my belief that hip hop culture is as strong as it has ever been. Its one of the reasons I enjoy participating on this site because you have some people on here that truly love and represent the culture such as yourself Mike, and Tony Grands, Pierzy, Syk, Silly, Mutada, Jamal, TPAR, and Mac…Everyday on here they bring some knowledge and true discussion into all the aspects of hip hop in an educated way.

    I have been blessed to have been able to travel to many different countries and witness and soak in their culture when I was in the military and I always think that I am better off for that. But even at home I have always believed that you should take advantage of every oppurtunity you can get to broaden your experiences in different aspects of not only hip hop, but American culture and all that it has to offer…

    I am a firm believer in the written word and how powerful it is shaping and helping you to understand who we are as people, which is why I have always read books constantly and have encouraged my daughter and son to embrace and find that passion for books as well…

    Again Mike, great blog and I think someone else asked this question above, but how many other rappers do you know that are truly immersed and versed in culture and the pursuit of knowledge and not just money?

  • caino

    A fantastic Blog Mr Mike !! This is what we have been needing from our ‘guest’ blogger, someone who shows genuine love for the culture. l hope peeps on this site, take note and do in fact take time to read up on a few of the points that you mentioned.

    This is a culture, We are the culture, We live the culture…..REMEMBER THAT!

  • Avenger XL

    Mike this is dope as usual. I only wish you were a regular blogger here or you wrote more online because opinions like yours is desparatly needed in the black community as well as the hip-hop community. Keep grindin and being a fool wit it.

  • Brass Tacks

    Great post My Dude!

    Thank you for bringing true Georgia Boi thoughts to the table…

  • iQuell

    GREAT DROP! Best guest blogger thus far. And I’m to see Killer Mike getting so many responses via the comments section.

  • HERM

    Man, this is deep. We forget that, Hip Hop, she is an art, a culture, and something that we can never take for granted. This has always been OURS and we cannot lose it, no matter how watered down or silly it gets at times.

    Thanks for the words my man.

  • GIBZ

    I came back today just to re-read your blog Killer!!! And to read the comments, I’m glad to see there are more than yesterday. I’m also glad to see the gems that the commentors are dropping. Like General said above, hip hop is definitely alive and well. I also like how at the end you say, “I’m out this joint, me and a stripper body type gonna hit this High Museum up….after we listen to some Gucci Mane and burn a joint of course….I love the arts and love culture.”

    Thats what I’ve been yelling!! People hatin on cats like that, and yes some stuff is redundant and monotonous, but its hip hop! Soulja Boy had that “superman” song where some hated it and some loved it. I just sat back and looked at it like, “wow people out here dancin and smiling and laughin and having a good time” which is something we haven’t had in a while in hip hop. It was mostly mean mugs and cold stares, and ppl at clubs wearing the wall out. We have to embrace them all, from the Killer Mike’s to the OJ the Juiceman’s (I cant believe I just said that lol)

    I have a thought/question for everyone. Why isn’t this knowledge and love, that so many of us have, not mirrored in what we see on tv or hear on the radio???? I’ve read that there are powers that be(Bilderburg Group, The Elite, TriLateral commission) that are making sure to mislead us. Correct me if I’m wrong, but they market this un-creative music to our impressionable youth, glorifying the money, the ice, the women, the cars, all the materialistic crap, but the ones putting emphasis on the actual culture do horrible numbers and don’t get nearly half the exposure that these no talented bastards get. So love the culture as much as you can, and do as much as you can, but it will never be enough when you have other “powers that be” controlling it. I think hiphop will strive but only more in an underground type of scene, where the artists do it for the love, not the material.

    I read somewhere (I hate not being able to remember my sources) that the man that labeled our culture “hip hop” got the idea from hearing another man make fun of his Army buddy, saying that they all fell in line, and were brainwashed to march around all day like “hippity hoppity”(and proceeded to mimick the marching) and thats where the name came from. I also believe that you can’t always believe in what you read/hear but I take it into consideration because I believe that there’s always a ounce of truth in everything. Just wanted to share that wit yall and see whatcha think.

  • Brooklyn

    i was always a prolific reader and as a kid i used to watch the history channel for hours, so i can understand where you coming from. hip-hip is a culture, and a wonderful one at that, but i think that hip-hop is a culture that is in a slow state of decline, which is sad considering that it’s still so young. hell, egypt had 2,000 years, greco-roman culture is still prevalent in the world, thousands of years after those civilizations have ended, so why should hip-hop only have thirty-odd years before it’s decline? i think that as long as there as discriminating hip-hop heads out there that continue to respect the craft and the culture and instill that respect into the younger generations, we’ll be able to keep it alive.

  • BIGNAT

    “Please Note: I know this was alot to read and I appreciate you all reading it.”

    mike i would like to let you know when something is filled with substance. i think a person will continue to read till they are finished. or bookmark it and come back to when they have the time. with this drop right here you have given me some things to look up on. really not new things more like certain things i just looked over. coming from the pj’s myself i really feel you when you put. that you couldn’t get your friends to relate to different things. if i lived in Atlanta i would have went and checked that joint out. also you meet really nice women in really nice places and that is a fucking fact

  • Killer Mike

    Thanks Big NAt! i mean it homie!