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Hip-Hop News: Chuck D Offers Hip Hop State of Mind
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Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
3/11/2005 2:27:16 PM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Chuck D.

Hip hop state of mind is all about mine? Im not one to make the rules and I do pay attention to structure when it's beneficial and in place for the masses, but now I have to make a few mentions amidst the blizzard of commercialism...

Let's get real- anything sold from merchant to consumer automatically makes it commercial. Across hip hop now are so many compartments and conflicting, varied definitions it's easy to call everything hip hop. But is it all hip hop? And really what the hell is it? Let's not get twisted in false truth (yeah)

The elements of mcing, djing, breakdancing, and graffiti simply evolved from whatever the black rooted art extensions of vocalization, musicianship, dance, and graphics already were- presented for thousands of years prior.

I swear that hearing Tymphany 5 bandleader, Louis Jordan and 1960's comedian Pigmeat Markham in old tapes made me swear I heard em ‘rap'. Ok we won't even get into whether it was rap or not. But the flip side of this is that many aspects of hip hop can be bought and purchased at a local mall nearest the high school.

Hip hop started out of a jazz mentality, meaning it really didn't aim to please 100% of the time if you didn't already get it. There wasn't really anything to tangibly purchase. Therefore hip hop in its humble beginnings was created from out of what was considered nowhere and from, in essence, nothing.

It was punk, it was jazz- a social rebellion against the cultural status quo. Costs for urban style were under the radar, jewelry was bending a fork into a bracelet in high school metal shop, wearing a rake in your fro, to keeping your 'kicks' clean... Ok, enough with the memory lane thing, what I'm saying is that hip hop was always anti-status quo, always a minority piece of the crowd. When the masses picked up on it, hip hop became something entirely different. Corporations were afraid of it and didn't totally understand it and when they finally did understand it they couldn't get their hands on it. Too greasy, too slippery for captivity.

The culture of hip hop and the genre of rap kept moving through unpopular trial and tribulations- thus it couldn't be stopped only merely contained. Now here we are a good twenty-six years after I've been turned out by its innovation, as well as fighting for its social respect and existence.

I would let folks know that hip hop is in their personal state of mind and within their souls. You don't have to buy all the advertised gear to be hip hop. You don't have to purchase every CD or watch every video to be hip hop. You don't have to ice-grill cats on the block or kick lock-down slang to be hip hop. In fact it's debatable in the new millennium that if you don't do those things you may be more hip hop than what's advertised.

Somebody that's clear speaking and rhyming definitely is rebelling. Someone wearing something entirely different- like Jay Z wearing suits and Andre 3000, are statements of trying to run from blending in as fast as they can...

The weekend of February 24th-26th was memorable in more ways than one. Coming fresh from doing Air America, in Atlanta that Friday(gorgeous spring day) I had to head where it just snowed and was as cold as a witch's argument- NYC for the Jammaster Jay Foundation Dinner. Kid Rock couldn't make it and we filled the slot up with me hosting the event. DMC, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, a fully reunited Bone, Thugs and Harmony and Vinnie from Naughty By Nature performed as the latter brought us on. JMJ'S DJ Scratch Academy had an exhibition as well as an incredible dance- basketball rendition by Bobbito Garcia and his crew.... I was sort of pissed at the back of the event where the noise, networking and milling around interfered with the dedications up front. Hip hop has a way to go if 35-40 year old people don't know how to act...still in all it was a class event.

Speaking further of class, the three day seminar-sy

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