I haven’t been inspired by Hiphop as much of late. It started with Lauren Hill’s hiding behind the “Underground” in regards to her tax evasion charges, then carried through the disrespectful Tupac hologram at Coachella, and finally culminated into a huge pile of shit when Snoop found Jah, claimed to have mastered Hiphop, and put out a Reggae album. Hypocrisy, essentially, is what left me with a sour taste and a dampened spirit. These artists and producers have exploited Hiphop for their own personal gain, have hijacked a sacred anthem and given it false breathe.
I saw Talib Kweli perform a few months back in the only venue for Underground Hiphop in San Diego. Kweli was one of my first lyric-loves, one of the few who has held my hand through the darkness and whispered truths to me that I perceived deeply, but had yet been given wings to imagine. And his performance was abysmal. To be fair, the sound system kept going out and the crowd was a bunch of upper middle class college students. These shortcomings of the venue dictated the sincerity of his performance, and it was all too apparent to the well-developed Hiphop soul. Immortal Technique has performed in the same piss poor space to the same ignorant, privileged youth, but he still brought the magic. I suppose this lackluster performance by Kweli only served to heighten my already unfolding disappointment with our Hiphop community.
But then there are the few, the consistently honorable….. Mos Def released his 10th album this summer, and I am reminded again of lyrics from his debut record, more than a decade ago:
It’s a lot of things goin on y’all
21st century is comin
20th century almost done
A lot of things have changed
A lot of things have not, mainly us
We gon’ get it together right?
I believe that
Listen.. people be askin me all the time, “Yo Mos, what’s gettin ready to happen with Hip-Hop?”
(Where do you think Hip-Hop is goin?)
I tell em, “You know what’s gonna happen with Hip-Hop?
Whatever’s happening with us”
If we smoked out, Hip-Hop is gonna be smoked out I
f we doin alright, Hip-Hop is gonna be doin alright
People talk about Hip-Hop like it’s some giant livin in the hillside comin down to visit the townspeople
We +are+ Hip-Hop
Me, you, everybody, we are Hip-Hop
So Hip-Hop is goin where we goin
So the next time you ask yourself where Hip-Hop is goin ask yourself.. where am I goin?
How am I doin? Til you get a clear idea
So.. if Hip-Hop is about the people and the..
Hip-Hop won’t get better until the people get better then how do people get better?
I REPEAT: Me, you, everybody, we are Hip-Hop
So Hip-Hop is goin where we goin
So the next time you ask yourself where Hip-Hop is goin
ask yourself.. where am I goin?
And bang! Boom! The hope rushes back into my heart like a scorched riverbed filled up by merciful rain. I am going forward; Hiphop must be going forward too. We are all in transition, the world itself is in a prophesied state of flux, and Hiphop is no exception. As we wade through a failing reality of the American Dream, as we crawl painstakingly forward through the political quicksand surrounding our Civil Rights, we must hold on to the Hiphop. The ocean may be swelling, full of doom and danger, but our boat is intact. And it sails majestically through the muck. We are the Hiphop; we are the Hope.
kellbmill asked: Im digging your blog. Do you want to be a writer?
I AM a writer!!! :) Thanks for reading. Sorry if it took me a while to respond, I have been working a lot on other projects, but you should see a lot of updating to come in the next few weeks. Stay tuned <3
FOR THE LOVE OF HIPHOP AND VAGINAS
Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy! The nose is holy! The tongue and cock and hand and asshole holy! Everything is holy! everybody's holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman's an angel! The bum's as holy as the seraphim! the madman is holy as you my soul are holy! The typewriter is holy the poem is holy the voice is holy the hearers are holy the ecstasy is holy! Holy Peter holy Allen holy Solomon holy Lucien holy Kerouac holy Huncke holy Burroughs holy Cas- sady holy the unknown buggered and suffering beggars holy the hideous human angels! Holy my mother in the insane asylum! Holy the cocks of the grandfathers of Kansas! Holy the groaning saxophone! Holy the bop apocalypse! Holy the jazzbands marijuana hipsters peace & junk & drums! Holy the solitudes of skyscrapers and pavements! Holy the cafeterias filled with the millions! Holy the mysterious rivers of tears under the streets! Holy the lone juggernaut! Holy the vast lamb of the middle class! Holy the crazy shepherds of rebell- ion! Who digs Los Angeles IS Los Angeles! Holy New York Holy San Francisco Holy Peoria & Seattle Holy Paris Holy Tangiers Holy Moscow Holy Istanbul! Holy time in eternity holy eternity in time holy the clocks in space holy the fourth dimension holy the fifth International holy the Angel in Moloch! Holy the sea holy the desert holy the railroad holy the locomotive holy the visions holy the hallucina- tions holy the miracles holy the eyeball holy the abyss! Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! bodies! suffering! magnanimity! Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!
My new sounds:
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This is a great story by NPR on a Punk band in Russia, who staged a strong performance of dissent against the Putin Regime back in February, during “elections”. They also managed to offend the Orthodox Church, which probably isn’t helping them get out of prison any faster, but, in my book, earns them extra points This article contains a link to their music video, Holy Crap, where they appeal (in classic avant-garde fashion) to the Virgin Mary for deliverance from Putin.
“¡Viva la Revolución Motherfuckers!” -Immortal Techinique
My homie writes a fucking fantastic blog called SweetNothingsNYC, all about lingerie and being a girlie girl in Manhattan. You can read her summation of this breaking news story by following the link above (and follow her blog, it’s unique and quite fun).
Recently the remains of a bra were found in an Austrian castle hundreds of years old. This totally demolishes the theory that bras are a 20th century invention! I am super hyped to learn that some awesome rich lady cared more for comfort than social construct, and made a piece of fancy lingerie for herself, rather than following the rigid (and horribly uncomfortable) popular fashion of her day. This is just further evidence that women have been forward-thinking, liberated individuals for much longer than history gives them credit. Burn your bras if you have to ladies! But remember that they are truly a symbol of progress, and maybe you just wanna store them somewhere safe until your liberation is complete….