Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Hip Hop Is Dead (?)

Hi y'all! What's poppin'? What's been going on with me? The typical; a cycle of interviews with no results. I think I have got to hold the record for going on an interview and coming up empty handed.

My cousin AreYouGay is having her annual Kwanzaa party on the day of Nia. I wonder is the hot South American gonna be there again? I want to ask AreYouGay, but I wouldn't know how to ask. My real issue is what am I going to do creative. Last year I read one of my blog poems, but I haven't written a poem in I don't know how long (oh wait. Its been about a year. duh) and I'm in no mood to write one now. I might just bust out a kareoke machine which brings me to the topic. There is a song that I've been trying to download for a couple of years and I finally found it. Its "I Love You" by Mary J Blige featuring Smif N Wessun. I GO FOR that song! That was the joint back in the day, but in hindsight, it is the song or at least the group that probably has lead hip hop to its cultural critical care bed. You see, there is a movement that is calling for the death of hip hop and its not lead by Christian Right or Mini-van driving moms. Its led by Gen Y'ers who are sick of the fakeout thuggery, braggidoccio about bitches and hos, and the pleathura of Dirty South Dummies. This is disturbing for us Gen X'ers because this is the music culture we grew up with. There are some kats who are doing their thing like Jean Grae, Common, Self Scientific, Dead Prez, Mos Def, and so on. But the overwhelming majority of so-called hip hop artists represent stereotypes that we black people don't need.
But back to Smif N Wessun, they were probably one of the 1st underground groups to do a collabro with a pop star. Although the effort is a good one, it was a start of things to come. Now a singer HAS TO have a rapper in the song. Rap's crossover and success into pop was at the expense of hip hop. There always has been a difference between the two. Rap is pure expression, hip hop is the expression plus the message. Over time, people have explored this and some rappers have exploited it. The first one to do this was Master P. All of his work was considered hip hop because of its underground nature. But when the masses started listen and buy, Master P and the entire Southern contingent lost their minds. Extravagance grew to it current obsurdity with Lil' John and a host of others. Not just to blame the Southern rappers; some East Coast kats are guilty of the same antics like Jay-Z and Fabolus. So now, hip hop has taken black people back with these modern day minstral shows.
However, now the same kats who brought the game up in the first place are leading the march to kill the monster hip hop has become. One album that blatently states this is Nas's new album "Hip Hop is Dead". Cop that. It may be the beginning of the end.

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