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BEN-REAL / Blog

Whats Real Hip-Hop? #1

Contrary to popular myth, rap music did not begin in the Bronx circa 1977. The absolute roots of rap are not to be found in “toasts” such as the “Signifying Monkey” made popular by the indomitably potty-mouthed Rudy Ray Moore (Dolemite). The energy that pulses beneath the surface of this art form cannot be relegated as a mere component of a subculture, namely because the prefix sub- infers something that is beneath normality, lower or in some way inferior. The stigma of this ancient expression in my soul being somehow inferior to a culture which has sanitized and institutionalized oppression one I vehemently refuse to bear. What is the secret technique that allows con-men, swindlers and shysters to surreptitiously relieve otherwise sensible people of their valuables? “Ninety-nine per cent of the people in the world are fools and the rest of us are in great danger of contagion.” -Thornton Niven Wilder From my experience in the streets, I think the answer may be found in the inkling that one may exchange something of value for something of greater value without the process it took to procure that original something. The worst things you can be hustled out of are not physical at all. Woe to the fool who gives away his gifts. Souls can be bought and sold and so therefore, they can be stolen. I say to now, so-called hip-hop generation we have been systematically bamboozled, hoodwinked and.... well you know the rest. We traded in our Africa medallions for worthlessly flawed and dyed baubles. We exchanged ideals of peace and brotherhood for the ego trip of genocidal micro-warfare. Somebody has been made an all day sucker and somebody is cashing in on diminishing the other down to the soggy white stick. What did we give and what did we get? The burden of bad influence... “To influence a person is to give him one’s own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else’s music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him.” -Oscar Wilde