26.5.08

What Happened to Hip Hop people?


I read today's news story about the violence over in the UK, the reports are attributing this movement to Hip Hop. Even Tricky said "Hip-hop music is fuelling gun and knife crime in Britain". The report continues to quote Tricky "some parts of the United Kingdom are now worse than New York's notorious Bronx district."

This is a pretty sensational claim but I am not totally sold about the story even if the media has dubbed it with a sensational headline.

I love hip hop, even when I was a grom...skateboarding and a Hip Hop soundtrack is like peanut butter and jelly, to this day, it still gives me goosebumps when I skate to Hip Hop....Although I grew up on several different musical influences and Hip Hop was definitely a big part of my life. I loved the culture behind the music and according to Matt Mason, the author of
Pirate's Dilemma. It was a movement that brought peace and love to the roughest neighbourhoods and ended wars between gangs in NY during the 80s.
For me personally, Hip Hop was about having fun and creating something from very little, whether it was a breaking move or a piece of art....it was all about doing it on your own terms because you are not alone and people all around you were contributing to the community & culture in their own way.

It is just a great part of pop history, Hip Hop pioneers has not only invented a whole new sound and exposed people to new forms of dance with breaks and turntablism. The kids with dreams had also started record labels (Rockafella & Def Jam most notably) while other kids started to rock fresh gear and set up their own fashion houses such as Phat Farm (Russell Simmons).

The record mogul turned designer Sean "Diddy" Combs who started Sean John has been welcomed to become part of the New York Fashion week. Needless to say, these brands have become household names and their creators have become enormously wealthy. This has been a by product of the culture seeded by Hip Hop.

However, during the 90s the term became loosely used in favour of more user friendly categorisation for music genres, possibly most favouring to award shows.

By the time I had got to about 2002, I think I had already quietly fallen out of Hip Hop, party because I didn't think the new acts were appealing to me as much as Run DMC and Beastie Boys or even Kurtis Blow used to give me the chills when they come on for me and my friends to bust a move or 2.



The reign of MTV "Hip Hop" acts came over to blow aggressively over pop culture, with an endless supply of opulence object references and fashion trends. Which I would confess made me dislike the movement so much more and I had comfortably slipped into the punk scene and appreciated Live music so much more. I had never submitted myself to look like a punk nor do I think I ever will. I don't care if you would call me a poser, that would be immaterial to my attraction to punk culture and philosophy in the first place.

Punk for me is like falling in love with Hip Hop when I was a grom.

I terribly miss the golden days when Hip Hop was full of energy and passion, and "my Adidas" was rocking on woofers to fuel a group of kids eager to bust a move in the circles. Whereas nowadays, I continue to see media all writing about the rivalry between Kanye and 50's album release and the glory of GTA 4....

Is this what Hip Hop has amounted to.....a couple of good looking guys rocking big rides with girls bouncing to their tunes then collaborating with a sneaker label before their next release of a video game that is loosely based on their life is due to drop on our senses?


1 comment:

Daniel said...

Jennifa oh Jenny