View Full Version : Hip Hop is more......

Sun Tzu, Tha Soul Controllah
08-14-2005, 07:53 PM
(this was a good ass read, I think alot of you should pay attention to it)

Hip-Hop is More Than 4

Fri, August 12th, 2005


This piece is dedicated to all the true Hip-Hop headz that have created a culture only to have a group of arrogant, backpack wielding, 4 element screaming, Hip Hop purists telling them that they are not true Hip Hop supporters.

This Hip Hop community is tired of being accused of contributing to the slow death of Hip Hop . This community is tired of staying silent while the progressive faction takes all of the credit and none of the blame. The purpose of this piece is to expose this element for what it is. A group of individuals who only see Hip Hop as 4 elements (Mc'ing, Breaking, DeeJaying, Graf). A group so focused on upholding the traditions of the 4 elements that it functions like a horse with blinders on, missing the many dimensions of this Hip Hop culture.


In order for you to get an accurate understanding of what I am about to write first you need a little background info on where I come from. I was Born in East Flatbush Brooklyn in 1970, the son of Trinidadian parents. My neighborhood was made up of a large Afro American/Latino/and Caribbean demographic. It was here along with dozens of neighborhoods across our city that Hip Hop took root and blossomed. Personally for me (largely because I was only 8 or 9 years old), the birth of Hip Hop was not the earth shattering event that people make it out to be. I consider the growth of the Internet today a much bigger revolutionary event. The birth of Hip Hop was more like a new sound that evolved into what it is today.

As kids we were not sitting around debating the importance of this new sound. We were just enjoying it in very much the same way this community enjoys it today. There were other trends at that time that were just as hot and no less intertwined with the community. E.g. Roller discos, Kabangers, Karate flicks , disco music, etc. There were just as many people battling it out on roller-skates, as there were battling it out on the cardboard box, or in the cipher. The primary difference between Hip Hop and those other forms of expression, can be noticed in hindsight, that difference is that Hip-Hop had the ability to evolve. Of course all you backpacking cynics are saying that is what makes it special. But at the time no one knew or really cared if it lasted. And as cynical as you want to be, to predict such a thing is next to impossible. For all we knew at the time Disco was the next movement. The point I am making here is that it didn't matter what form of expression took root, what mattered is that the urban community needed some vehicle to express itself. Hip Hop got tagged "it". Now that you have an idea of where I am coming from let me give you a profile of the Hip Hop kid from around the way (the non progressives), and the typical Hip Hop purists (the progresives), and why the latter may consider reforming it's self righteous attitude.


This community has grown up with Hip Hop music as a backdrop to it's life. They are not as judgmental about the music because it is all around them. Typically this community is also exposed to many other aspects of Black America that the typical Hip Hop purist either does not get exposed to or will not allow themselves to be exposed to. This community has never made a conscious or subconscious choice to have Hip Hop be their official music. As a result they do not walk around with a guilt complex every time they start to appreciate something that isn't pure Hip Hop. In fact it is rarely an issue with this community. They feel no guilt listening to P diddy. If his track is Hot they give him love. They feel no guilt if Nas has gone from lyrics about his struggle in The Queensbridge projects to lyrics dealing with Dollars, and bitches, just as long as it is hot. They don't want to hear Mos Def rant and rave about staying true to the culture if he got no beats.

Jay Z is king in this community because his beats are hot and he is all about the American dream. Rags to riches is the anthem. This community is trying to make it just like any other. So when you tell a kid from this community to keep your lyrics progressive, stay true to the culture, don't sell out. They will look at you like you have three heads and ask you, Why should I stay true to the progressive movement while the very audience that supports this movement is far more well off than the artist of whom they make these hypocritical demands.. The typical kid from this community doesn't feel guilty when he hears a bangin' track from an artist that has nothing to do with the Hip hop culture. They would jam Hall & Oates in a heart beat if they like it. Reggae is king almost as often as Hip Hop. This community has brought Hip Hop in all it's forms to the world entirely because they have incorporated all forms of expression to the culture. Another typical characteristic of this community is they blend in with the trends of their community. You will rarely see a person from this community Breakdancing or Spraying Graffiti on walls. Ask Jigga when was the last time he was breakdancing and he would probably give you the same answer I would give you, In the early 80's. You see that is when the art form went out of style in this community. This community is not interested in living in the past. Which is why they are so innovative in the first place. You won't see folks in this community wearing Pumas with Fat laces, or Adidas suits . If you ever went to an event held by the Hip Hop purists you could swear you got caught in a time warp.


The Hip Hop purists can be described as a guilt ridden group that is afraid to recognize anything that is not true to the four elements as being a part of the culture. This is a demographic that you will rarely find in lower class neighborhoods (with some exceptions). They are usually preaching that commercial Hip Hop is corrupted with Playas and people who are not aware of it's history. They are notoriously slow to the innovations in the culture, because they are to busy staying true to old ideals. They only respect artist who have progressive lyrics or non commercial pop beats. For them progressive means uplifting, not innovation. They have a misconception about the inner city kid they so often try to imitate. They think that community lives, eats & breaths Hip Hop, when it is actually they who hold this expression to such high standards unaware that the true Hip Hop community goes on living it's life with Hip Hop as one background among many, this group has successfully stunted it's own growth. Willing to feed only on four elements while the community it tries to emulate continues to build the true foundation of the culture.

The growth of Hip Hop in this country is the result of the former as much as the latter. Take these names. Puff Daddy , Jay Z, Wu Tang, Fresh Prince, Run Dmc. All products of the former are the main reasons why Hip Hop is where it is today. These artist and artist like them all take elements that have nothing to do with Hip Hop e.g. : Rock music, kung Fu , Disco songs, everyday life as their motivation and bring it into their music. They spend very little time dwelling on the past and as a result were innovative pioneers in this culture. While the underground progressive community does provide an outlet for those who like lyrics for the brain, and beats from the past, they have done no more for the Hip Hop community than the non progressives. Yes, it is good to hear the progressive lyrics of Mos Def or Common , but how long do you think this culture would have lasted if the kids in the true Hip Hop community didn't think they could get paid? How long you think this art form would have lasted if The Source couldt sell magazines? How far would you think this culture would have matured if the kids from FUBU didn't think that their was a market for their gear? How long do you think this culture would have lasted if their was no market for Rocafella or Bad Boy? If Mobb Deep didn't think they would get paid would they have stuck with it, or gone where the money was? The underground community needs to get off it's high horse and realize that without the commercial hip hop heads, there wouldn't be all those white kids filtering down to your basement events. How would they have found you? Puffy himself launched a generation of fans that grew tired of him and sought your underground sound. And while you spew hate on Puffy, he and his community are on to the next thing. Discarding the old and creating the new. Something that can only be done when you take the blinders off. If you back pack wearing, 4 element preaching headz still don't agree with me, come back in ten years when you are calling Puffy an old skool God, and hating the new innovators.

08-14-2005, 08:21 PM
progress never comes easy, so it's true that even when music quality was low, it brought things forth.

"They don't want to hear Mos Def rant and rave about staying true to the culture if he got no beats. "
artists don't matter, producers do. without producers, there would be no Hiphop today.

it's like fuck your lyrical skills, flow over the beat and let us vibe to it.
Stearns-Knight (http://www.dodge-wiki.com/wiki/Stearns-Knight)

08-14-2005, 08:29 PM
There is allot of good points in there but i believe that the majority of hip hop is innovating into a water downed parody of itself

all the artists that make good music are getting older and new ones making money are only concerned with materialism

i just like bumping good music that's got some substance