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Based upon the following quotes from previous discussions, I'm not sure what you've been arguing about here HonestBrother. It appears you largely agree with fundamental aspects of MBM's argument.

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Originally posted by HonestBrother:

quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
And "conscious hiphop" (as we knew it in the 80's) had its time. Now it's time to move on. If I've learned anything about Black music, and rap music in particular, is that it is constantly evolving and changing, and we must change with it.


Rowe, I don't get this. Why must we change with it? Especially when the market forces that drive hip hop are largely white?




quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
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Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
Did art imitate life or did the establishment broadcast a destructive message to the disenfranchised inner city?


The establishment may have broadcasted a destructive message, but it's not a coincidence that the death of conscious rap occurred around same time the drug epidemic was becoming a problem in our communities. Today we hear rappers boast about having "bling bling" and large sums of money, but exactly what do you think they did to earn this money? It's very difficult to maintain an interest in being "conscious" and "positive" when you are out here doing things that go against the edicts of consciousness. I am in no way justifying or condoning criminal behavior. In my opinion, no matter what is taking place in your life, you should ALWAYS do what is right. However, when you're poor and the burden to provide for yourself and your family is all on you, the choice to remain "positive" becomes a challenge. For some folks, selling drugs was a way to finally end the complaining about "The White Establishment."


I believe both things are true. Art imitating life and the Establishment controlling the message.

Like any people, African American reality is complex. So you would think our art would be just as complex. But the Establishment has decided which part of our reality they want to promote.


So, why the change of heart?
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
AG, I suppose you are more or less correct in your assessment.

I'm trying to explain why we seem especially vulnerable to the impact of this (admitted) garbage (we are in agreement there).

Consider this (I'll go there for the gazillionth time):

Consider the early hip hop scene.

If business has the power you say it does, why weren't the participants in that early scene SO paralyzed by the marketing messages they were receiving THEN in THAT TIME that they didn't have surplus energy and drive left over to spontaneously evolve something new and unsponsored by big business?
I am sure you are familiar with the expression:
    "...He who controls the media, controls the mind..."

that being said, as far as hip hop was concerned, the rec. cos. did not know what they had... They did not realize the power of HH until conscious rap came about... with the advent of c-rap, young Black kids began to question what they were being taught in schools, what they saw on TV, what they were being taught in church, and no longer treated anything with the word African attached to it as a pariah... When you have disenfranchised youth, you give them knowledge outside of the status quo and a voice, you have the recipe for a revolution... white america was not going to let that happen again... It became a mandate in the record industry (which is an extension of the larger society) to stop promoting C-rap and start promoting G-rap... It was not that C-rap was not thriving, it was "awakening a sleeping giant" so to speak... So to answer your question, the youth at the inception if HH were not affected as today's youth are because 1. HH was not negative and 2. the marketing machine was not in place at the time...

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Why did hip hop travel nationally throughout the 80's even despite market resistance? It traveled all over the country via underground (non-commercial) networks in the form of cassette tape!

Remember?: BET didn't want to play the stuff back then. But people were listening anyway.

In fact, it received the little play it got because of demand. A demand which was NOT caused by any marketing campaigns.
HH travelled around the country because we as a community live all around the country... My cousins in NYC would hip me to new stuff all the time and then I would share with MBM, then he would share with members of his family in different places etc...

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Your point about subsequent evolution does NOT touch or explain these facts:

That hip hop in its birth illustrates that poor black communities can in fact DEFY (and even DRIVE) market pressures at least when it comes to the creation and consumption of art.
I agree with this, sorta... 1. all the people who were in on the creation of HH were not poor 2. HH in it's current form is not art, it is a formula that is cut out of a pattern and dispersed to the masses... Art evolves over time and HH has not in 15 yrs...

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These facts seem to defeat your claims about the power of the dollar in relation to culture.
HH used to be a culture... IMHO, HH is not now a culture... culture defines itself, HH in it's current state does not...

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I feel that you have never really understood this point I've been making from the very beginning.

If you had, then the very LEAST you could say is "Marketing strategies are much more sophisticated and intense now than they were then. Moreover the subsequent concentration of media outlets and changes in technology have made such developments much more difficult to sustain."

You see? I've even tried to answer that question FOR YOU taking YOUR point of view because I'm genuinely perplexed.

I wish you could be as open minded.
Believe me, I understand your perspective... and for the record, I do not think that technology changes have triggered the demise of C-rap and the promotion of G-rap, so there would be no reason for me to make the statement that you say I should have made... The promotion of G-rap is to "keep the niggers in check"... Nothing more, nothing less...


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PS: AG, I'm actually saying more than you described. I believe that even if we didn't have the hip hop problem, we ought as matter of sheer common sense (in a desire for health as a people) change our institutions to suit the conditions and actual needs of our communities.
Change our institutions? How?

As a kid I went to church, played sports, I did what my parents said (for the most part), I had many choices and alternate activities as was the case with most of my friends... but when it came to music, what my parents listened to vs. what I listened to were completely different... there was no way I was gonna listen to what my parents liked, mainly because they liked it... and they had no real influence over what I listened to... I suspect that dynamic has not changed for the youth of today... and it's because of these reasons I don't necessarily agree with your position...
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I haven't been thru this whole thread, so I can only imagine the direction it has moved in, from skimming a couple of pages. But I will say this:

MBM is around 90% correct, IMO (in the opening post). The corporate controllrs of hip hop demand certain product because it's profitable, and they go out and find talent to fill it.

I will go so far as to say that one of the reasons conscious hip hop died was because these powerful interests realized that there was a burgeoning "mainstream" market out there that would be eager to explode if all of the "black consciousness" in hip hop could become played out.

In fact, check out my memory of exactly how "conscious" hip hop died. From 1988 to late 1991, it seemed like most hip hop was pro-black. Even songs about how "dope" (this was 1990, now) a rappers lyrics were would contain some lip service reference to black consciousness. Now, the "pop" rap of MC Hammer, Sir Mix-a-Lot and Vanilla Ice lacked any of this (obviously), but those records showed the emormous market potential of rap.

The problem, from a market point of view, was that most rappers, and the "core" rap audience, wanted to be "authentic," but the biggest selleing records were seen as "unauthentic." In the long term, it would be untenable to try to build long term success on hip hop considered by the core fan base to be "fake." So the key was, how do you make hip hop sell to the masses that the core audience would still find "authentic"?

The "breakthrough" came in 1991, Naughty By Nature released "O.P.P." This was a party song that had no trace of "pro-blackness" in it, anywhere. It happened to be the most popular "authentic" hip hop song in years.

A couple of other such songs followed, but then something fascinating happened: the standard bearers of pro-black rap, Public Enemy, released an album, "Apocalypse 1991: the Enemy Strikes Black," which had enough hits to draw fans to buy it, but when they bought it, they found the rest of the album lackluster. At the same time, Arrested Development came out. This group had a very strong pro-black message, but their sound was very pop, and what most hip hop heads would deem "unauthentic." In early 1992, when the pop/hip hop anthem "Jump" became another huge hit like O.P.P., the world got to see the dramatic turnaround: Huge, high profile records painted the pro-black rap as either weak (PE's latest) or too pop (Arrested Dev), and painted the party-and-sex hip hop as "real" hip hop. That allowed NWA to surge, because there had been this "culture war" over the previous few years, between the street-oriented profanity-and-violence laden rap and the "back-to-Africa" pro-black rap, as to which was the "realest" message. Well, with the events of 1991 and 1992 divorcing the "realness" from the pro-black rap, all it took was the L.A. riots to basically settle the internal debate about realness.

My historical recap may be a bit convoluted, but back then, when it was a lot clearer what was going on, I realized that if "the powers that be" DID want to kill of pro-black hip hop, they couldn't have come up with a better, more effective roadmap. From "OPP to JUMP," from "Can't Truss It" to "Mr. Wendel," and from "Fuck Da Police" to Rodney King and Reginald Denny, it worked out perfectly, if that's what they wanted to see happen. (I mean, damn! Even the location of the riots was right-- the west coast!)

The advent of the "hood" movies in the '90s probably helped this process along. It's as if the state of today's hip hop was destiny! Eek

Where I think you're wrong, MBM, is that I think you're underestimating the power of black consumers. Historically, if you've noticed, we are quick to like what we want to like, regardless of what white people like. Hip hop wouldn't have survived to see 1990 if that wasn't true. If we wanted to hear the positive, we'd get it. The problem is, most of us don't want to hear anything positive. I believe that it's a reflection of the way we feel about ourselves. Of course, as I've argued, the "CONFLUENCE OF EVENTS" from 1991 and '92 had the effect of shaping the tastes of the CORE ("black") audience away from the positive rap and toward the negative. This would have been key, as I said, to enabling hip hop to thrive commercially these past 14 years since then.

Just yesterday, I added new albums from Xzibit, Hi-Tek and De La Soul to my I-tunes shopping cart. Clearly, there's a lot of this stuff out there. Hopefully, within the next year-and-a-half, when hip-hop's major popularity dies (it's already starting, for various reasons), they'll move on, and a new, at least semi-positive, movement can recommence.
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:

Where I think you're wrong, MBM, is that I think you're underestimating the power of black consumers. Historically, if you've noticed, we are quick to like what we want to like, and diss what white people like.


I agree 100%. How I think the marketing of HH makes things different though, is that corporate America got much more sophisticated in getting us to create product for them and in marketing to us. Because rap had an authentic origin, and since "authentic looking" folks were the ones still creating and performing the music, the dupe became much more subtle. They saw that the harder stuff was resonating with the ultimate (suburban white) consumer - and therefore kept feeding the development of that aspect of the music and culture. Things then spiraled forward - artists trying to be harder/realer than the next guy out there and then before you know it the "black folks in black face" phenomenon comes into existence.

HH grew as a culture. Our culture. As I said, business became much more sophisticated in figuring out how to influence us. So - instead of - like in R&R and smooth jazz - getting interlopers to perform our music, record companies saw the need to mold the music (to maximize revenue) - but they just got us to do it (instead of Elvis Presley or the Rolling Stones or Kenny G.). Hence the music maintained its appearance of "authenticity" and we continued to embrace it - despite the fact that it was being managed - as a puppeteer controls a puppet.

And again, "hard" was the standard that defined authenticity. You mentioned OPP. It was always so hilarious to me that a rough, hard looking brotha like Treach would be rapping about some skim milk junk like:

The last P...well...that's not that simple
It's sorta like another way to call a cat a kitten
It's five little letters that are missin' here
You get on occassion at the other party
As a game 'n it seems I gotta start to explainin'


HUH Confused Clearly his look delivered the "authenticity" required to make that work. On the other hand, Will Smith just couldn't - really - pull it off - despite some competent beats and rhymes. In my opinion, it all goes back to what was being pushed down the pipe to us. What matched the marketing of what corporate America imagined of our culture - fit and sold. What didn't was ejected or ignored.
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:
The problem is, most of us don't want to hear anything positive. I believe that it's a reflection of the way we feel about ourselves.


I don't know if this generalization about young people's interest in music is fair or accurate. I think young people do want to hear music that adults perceive to be "positive," but in this music they also want to hear about topics that are common and relevant to their daily lives (e.g., earning money, having an interest in sex, having fun with friends), because let's face it, life is not all about being political, intellectual, and serious.

In my opinion, no other artist combined the socially- progressive "positive" hiphop with the more commercial "negative" hiphop than did Tupac (2Pac). Tupac understood the internal battle that exists in the rap game between wanting to be positive, but having to also deal with a lot of negativity as a Black man in the streets (e.g., having your manhood challenged at every turn, having to earn money without an education, dealing with the police, having to protect your family from community predators, etc.), because that internal battle existed inside him. You can hear in his music that Pac was an intellectual in his heart and he desired to be that "conscious" type brother. But as a professional lyricists, he also wanted to be versatile and give the masses what they wanted (entertainment), something that the people in the club could drink, party, and dance to. I'm saying most people who listen to hip hop are young people, and young people want to be young. Music is one of the very few outlets that they have to enjoy the spirit of their youth. They don't want to turn on the radio to be reminded about all that is wrong with the world. So to say that young people don't want to hear anything positive because they feel bad about themselves is not really true. I talk to young people all the time and that's not true to say that about them.
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LibDem, you are very correct.

As I've repeatedly noted on this thread: I MYSELF have voiced MBM's own arguments on this site. And I still agree with much of that analysis. What gets played is VERY MUCH a function of corporate power. Yes. That is pure profit motive. No doubt. The consumer base for hip hop is MOSTLY non-black. YES. I agree with that. Although some have argued that the Latino portion of the hip hop audience has been grossly underestimated.

I agree with that part (as I indicated repeatedly)

So it's not as if I did not read or understand what he was saying.

BUT YES what you are seeing is something of a change of heart with me. But it's not an about face. Rather a refinement of previous thoughts.

What I disagree with is in the depiction of how those corporate forces interact with the black audience for hip hop. And the reasons why WE consume the music. Afterall, were it not for OUR consumption then there is less of a reason for claiming that the music is damaging to us.

ALL of my comments were directed at this specific aspect of the topic.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:

As it is now, a generation of young people is being sacrificed under the guise of foolish behavior that can only harm them. America clearly has an interest in suppressing African America. That we have become complicit in our own social suicide - while amazingly conveniently to some - is something that we must combat at every turn. Our future depends on it!


It makes me sad to announce the creation of NiggaSpace - "A space for niggas". 14
Real hip hop is still vibrant its just often not getting airtime on the radios, but even real R&B is not getting radio time, so we should keep it in perspective. We live in a time where dumbing down is the norm and social consciousness is not rewarded. But in the spirit of Dead Prez "Turn of the fucking radio" lol, The internet is home to all types of shyt, for the insightful to the rediculous. So nothing suprises me much any more


To me Tupac, who is my favorite hip hop artist,represents the true inner conflicts of the young black male, which in essence is the inner stuggle between positive and negative energy. A desire to be concious and constructive in a world that is often primal and destructive
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Originally posted by ZAKAR:

Real hip hop is still vibrant its just often not getting airtime on the radios, but even real R&B is not getting radio time, so we should keep it in perspective.


And that's precisely the perspective that I am talking about. The overwhelming flow of cash is behind negative/hard stuff, that just about everything else is drowned out.

I saw a John Legend concert on cable over the weekend and was struck by his talent. I can't believe that guy isn't one of the most popular artists on the planet. It proves that he has to be that talented just to break through the clutter. Roll Eyes
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Originally posted by MBM:

I saw a John Legend concert on cable over the weekend and was struck by his talent. I can't believe that guy isn't one of the most popular artists on the planet. It proves that he has to be that talented just to break through the clutter. Roll Eyes


And keep in mind, the only reason he's even as popular as he is is that there was a marketing push behind him. Before I learned that he was down with Kanye West, I used to wonder why he was able to break through. There are a lot of artists like him who haven't made it.
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
Not A Rapper
I had not heard of Bomani D'mite until today. If you go to his myspace page, you have got to click on the track, "Read A Book."


Where is the song about reading books, because I can't find it? The only song that keeps playing is the song about him being a pimp and a poet.

In the upper right hand corner, there should appear a player. Underneath that, there should be a list of songs to choose from. Read a Book is the second option.
Ok, Brother Kresege, now this has to be the most ghettoist song that I have ever heard!?! I mean, I can appreciate the basic messages: Read a book, raise your kids, drink water, brush your teeth, and wear deodorant. But the song is patronizing. What I mean by that is, the song includes a hype man who is obviously tyring to sound a LOT like the rapper, Little John, because they know that a lot young people are listening to Little John. But these kids are smart enough to see what they're doing. Also, the positive messages are sort out defeated by the artist's use of terms like motherfucker, bitch, and nigga, every other word. I mean, how can you expect kids to appreciate and repsect a positive message when the person giving the message is calling them a motherfucker and a nigga at the same time??? sck

I was looking forward to hearing the song, because I thought it could be something fun that I could play in the classroom for my first-graders. ButI can't play that!!!
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quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:

I mean, how can you expect kids to appreciate and repsect a positive message when the person giving the message is calling then a motherfucker and a nigga at the same time???


lol

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I was looking forward to hearing the song, because I thought it could be something fun that I could play in the classroom for my first-graders. ButI can't play that!!!


Eek nono
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Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:

I mean, how can you expect kids to appreciate and repsect a positive message when the person giving the message is calling then a motherfucker and a nigga at the same time???


lol

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I was looking forward to hearing the song, because I thought it could be something fun that I could play in the classroom for my first-graders. ButI can't play that!!!


Eek nono


Man, I'm telling you, that song is wild. But I must say that I'm not at all surprised. Compared to other artists, DC artists have a reputation for making some of the most ghettoist songs. We have one song that's out and playing on DC radio right now called, "Chicken Noodle Soup (With Crackers On The Side)." Roll Eyes

A lot of talented R/B artists have come from DC (e.g., Me'shell N'degeochello, Toni Braxton, Tonya Blunt, etc.). But our DC rappers suck.
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Ok, Brother Kresege, now this has to be the most ghettoist song that I have ever heard!?! I mean, I can appreciate the basic messages: Read a book, raise your kids, drink water, brush your teeth, and wear deodorant. But the song is patronizing. What I mean by that is, the song includes a hype man who is obviously tyring to sound a LOT like the rapper, Little John, because they know that a lot young people are listening to Little John. But these kids are smart enough to see what they're doing. Also, the positive messages are sort out defeated by the artist's use of terms like motherfucker, bitch, and nigga, every other word. I mean, how can you expect kids to appreciate and repsect a positive message when the person giving the message is calling them a motherfucker and a nigga at the same time??? sck

I was looking forward to hearing the song, because I thought it could be something fun that I could play in the classroom for my first-graders. ButI can't play that!!!


20

Rowe, you have a thing to learn about parody and sarcasm, I see...

That song is hilarious. Thanks, Kresge!
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Ok, Brother Kresege, now this has to be the most ghettoist song that I have ever heard!?! I mean, I can appreciate the basic messages: Read a book, raise your kids, drink water, brush your teeth, and wear deodorant. But the song is patronizing. What I mean by that is, the song includes a hype man who is obviously tyring to sound a LOT like the rapper, Little John, because they know that a lot young people are listening to Little John. But these kids are smart enough to see what they're doing. Also, the positive messages are sort out defeated by the artist's use of terms like motherfucker, bitch, and nigga, every other word. I mean, how can you expect kids to appreciate and repsect a positive message when the person giving the message is calling them a motherfucker and a nigga at the same time??? sck

I was looking forward to hearing the song, because I thought it could be something fun that I could play in the classroom for my first-graders. ButI can't play that!!!


20

Rowe, you have a thing to learn about parody and sarcasm, I see...

That song is hilarious. Thanks, Kresge!


Phew! I'm glad Brother Kresge wasn't being serious. I thought he knew better. Smile
Re: Whether innovation is due the efforts of individuals or communities ...

It is a complex of both. The individual is merely the external face of the apparent innovation. They exist within complex social nets.

If one actually studies the work of innovative individuals, one sees that they normally build on the prior accomplishments of many others.

Einstein did not just come along and wham: We have Relativity.

The mathematical language of Relativity existed before Einstein was even born. In fact, the conceptual language within which the equations of General Relativity are couched existed (in the work of Bernard Riemann) some half a century before Einstein even thought to write them down.

Not only that, but it was only through his consulting COLLEAGUES who were more mathematically literate than he, that Einstein became aware of this previously existing body of work which he then used to further his own work. History has also uncovered certain competitive tensions within the professional community of which he was a part that also played an important part in the story.

One sees the same story in Andrew Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. This work rests on MANY MANY MANY achievements which were 2 centuries in the making.

On a smaller more existential level, one sees in the life of innovators that they exist within * COMMUNITIES * that nurture their work and aspirations. Einstein had a (first) wife. One that was also a talented scientist in her own right. And recent studies have investigated her role as his collaborator.

An "Einstein" could only have come about within the context of this complex social network - one which extends BOTH spatially AND temporally.

But we only remember the name Einstein.

I have used scientific examples here. But one can say very similar things about innovative individuals in other realms of endeavor. I can think of many such stories in the arts.

One can only believe that innovation is mainly individual in character (and the related dichotomy of innnovator vs. consuming masses) if one accepts the individualist * MYTHOLOGY * of the dominant capitalist culture.

PS: This post is merely my attempt to answer a question that was put directly to me. The poser of the question challenged my ability to answer it.
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Re: The relationship between innovative individuals and the masses...


As I was showering this morning, it occurred to me that there is great irony (vis-a-vis this topic) in the fact that Einstein's famous "gedanken-experimenten" (or "thought experiments") all seem to be staged on the early forms of mass transit. I.e. light beams traveling on trains and such.
Interview With Chuck D

Q: How is the Bush Administration trying to coopt hip-hop for war?

Chuck D: The powers that be are trying to meld, shape, and corral the culture of hip-hop into another speaking voice for the government. They have exploited hip-hop and some of the culture around it"”magazines, videos, etc."”to recruit people into the military. The Army says it will give out Hummers, platinum teeth, or whatever to those that actually join. Early on in the recent war, Vibe magazine was working with the Army to recruit black youth. They are willing to do this because they will take money from the highest bidder. It's one corporation dealing with another corporation.

Q: How are corporations commodifying hip-hop?

Chuck D: If you checked out the news lately, McDonald's offers a king's ransom to any hip-hop artist who is able to put Big Mac into a song. MTV"”and more to the point, Viacom"”is succeeding in extending a teenage life to twenty-nine or even thirty-one years old. It is about extending this market and removing any intelligent substance in the music. Why would twenty-six-year-old "teenagers" care about political ramifications if their backs are not up against the wall? But if their backs are against the wall they may be plucked to fight in Iraq, and all of sudden they become politicized real quick.

Q: Do you think that hip-hop can escape the corporate grip?

Chuck D: I always remain optimistic. There are three levels of music production: the majors, indies, and what I call "inties," music distributed via the Internet. The Internet is one area that I have used pretty effectively to break free of corporate control. Alternative spaces, independent media, satellite, these all provide some tools by which we can work more independently and deal more directly with communities we hope to reach. Distribution is key, and finding alternative ways to do that with new media is critical.

Q: Why did you get involved with the Internet?

Chuck D: I became tired of submitting my art to a panel of corporate strategists who decide if it meets their standard of what gets into stores or not. It was quite simple for me: they act like judge and jury of my art, and that is unacceptable. I wanted to give it right to the public.

Q: And what about the current wave of bad press for rappers like 50 Cent?

Chuck D: A lot of artists have been persuaded into doing whatever they can do to gain attention. The media, of course, will position and promote the worst of them to the front page. The sidewalk to crime becomes the marketing campaign. These artists have seen it work and sell millions and millions of records for other artists.
Rap comes from the humble beginnings of rebelling against the status quo. Now, rappers have become the status quo themselves. You can't rebel against the Queen and then become the Queen yourself. I attribute much of the blame to testosterone"”male dominance and patriarchy.

Q: Hip-hop is thirty years old and now a dominant global musical force. What has been the biggest change in hip-hop over this period?

Chuck D: The biggest thing that has happened to hip-hop in the last ten to twelve years is the clinging on to the corporation as the all-mighty hub of the music. When culture is created in boardrooms with a panel of six or seven strategists for the masses to follow, to me that is no different than an aristocracy. It's not created from the people in the middle of the streets, so to speak. It is created from a petri dish for the sake of making money, and it is undermining the longevity of the culture.
Why gee .... A poster who registered May 14th 2002 and who ONLY has 36 posts? Maybe he's someone else's alter-ego?

ohsnap ... Maybe he learned that from "Virtue"/Falak/Khalliqa too?

At any rate, hopefully this version has something relevant to say on the subject? Smile

But interestingly enough he only got Chuck D to say what he (and I in other places) have already said.

So it really adds nothing to the discussion but to suggest that perhaps Chuck D has the same cultural blind spot. At any rate, Chuck's observations contradict little that I've said (save in one telling detail). Which further suggests to me that this mysteriously reticent poster still doesn't have the foggiest clue what the discussion was about.

I would agree (and have already said as much) that a lot gets decided in the boardrooms.

But ... how does one create "culture" in a board room? That is unless we conceive of "culture" as being synonymous with (indeed indistinguishable from) media driven "popular culture". I can definitely see there is a relation between the two. But then I will ask why in the world should we view them as identical? This is really my point of departure from Chuck's pov. There isn't any reason at all to view them as identical.

We say that the culture is originated in the "streets" (a very strange place indeed for a culture to originate) ... but then have to say that the streets tune into BET or MTV to figure out what they are supposed to be creating as if there were no other sources of information available about it's own identity or wishes.

Now I will allow that this last might very well be the case. But I don't see why I should necessarily fault corporations for it being the case.

Lastly, if we're only talking about the ephemera of pop culture anyway how could Chuck possibly expect it to have "longevity" in any sense of that word? Especially something that lives in the "streets"?
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quote:
Originally posted by MBM:

Here's my contention: while Hip Hop comes from African Americans and, at some levels, "celebrates" an aspect of African American culture, it has really devolved to be a music form that is driven by whites and that - without us even knowing it – has African Americans parodying white stereotypes of themselves.


Alicia Keys: Gagsta Rap Was A Conspiracy

April 11, 2008 10:18 PM EST | AP

NEW YORK "” There's another side to Alicia Keys: conspiracy theorist. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter tells Blender magazine: "`Gangsta rap' was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other. `Gangsta rap' didn't exist."

Keys, 27, said she's read several Black Panther autobiographies and wears a gold AK-47 pendant around her neck "to symbolize strength, power and killing 'em dead," according to an interview in the magazine's May issue, on newsstands Tuesday.

Another of her theories: That the bicoastal feud between slain rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. was fueled "by the government and the media, to stop another great black leader from existing."

Keys' AK-47 jewelry came as a surprise to her mother, who is quoted as telling Blender: "She wears what? That doesn't sound like Alicia." Keys' publicist, Theola Borden, said Keys was on vacation and unavailable for comment.

Though she's known for her romantic tunes, she told Blender that she wants to write more political songs. If black leaders such as the late Black Panther Huey Newton "had the outlets our musicians have today, it'd be global. I have to figure out a way to do it myself," she said.

The multiplatinum songstress behind the hits "Fallin'" and "No One" most recently had success with her latest CD, "As I Am," which sold millions.
I cannot ignore this, or call it preposterous.

Our culture has routinely been infiltrated to 'swing the momentum-of-change' to defame us.

We are in a constant battle trying to keep ourselves 'righted' in a societal storm.

We also know many of our voices are too quick 'pick up' the position of our detractors...calling it pragmatism...logical reasoning...'just thinking it through'..., and a whole host of other labels.

In my last book, 'Manumission' I tried to deal with the reality that language is the mechanism of the last bondage of chattel slavery, and the fact that whenever possible that language is built into law and/or regulation.

I am proud of Alicia Keyes for her stedfastness.

The 'gangsta' idiom of hip-hop is an insult to us as a people, and is a mechanism for taking hope away from our children, and respect away from our women...with or without intent.

PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by Santana St. Cloud:
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Keys, 27, said she's read several Black Panther autobiographies and wears a gold AK-47 pendant around her neck "to symbolize strength, power and killing 'em dead," according to an interview in the magazine's May issue, on newsstands Tuesday.


Keepin' it real; by any means necessary, I guess. Roll Eyes




Ya'll need to stop hatin on Li Li ...

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