Ask me if I’m trying to kick knowledge?
Nah, I’m trying to kick the sh*t you need to learn, though.
That ether, that sh*t that make your soul burn slow.
I came across a YouTube video entitled Hip Hop vs. Mumble Rap, and I encourage everyone, particularly the connoisseurs of Hip Hop music, to take a look at it. The footage contained interviews from a few legends within the genre who compared their era to the present day. Which, in my opinion, isn’t a fair comparison because you can’t compare the two. Present-day Hip Hop (if that’s the correct label) is nothing more than synthesized Hooked on Phonics. But watching the video gave me a new appreciation for the scholars in the previous era who released classics that can never be duplicated. One of my favorites was Nas.
My coworker and I had a conversation about his debut album, Illmatic, and we both agreed that he earned the right to be called a lyrical genius. In an interview at Georgetown University, Professor Michael Eric Dyson also agreed to that album being a classic due to the messages that are still relevant today (loss, misogyny, drug culture, the prison industrial complex, and etc). But the question still remains: Can that type of music be distributed again in mainstream society? A part of me wants to remain optimistic, but the culture says otherwise—the industry has become too commercialized, biased, and a lot of the top-selling artists don’t have much control over their sound. And I wonder if many of them even care because most of their messages tend to be the same.
Nas, himself, even talked about the genre lacking in artistic responsibility. Hopefully, history will repeat itself and a new wave of conscious music will start to resurface. In the meantime, I want to pay my respects to one of the greats who continues to educate his audience and who has inadvertently helped me throughout my journey towards self-mastery. His lyrical content is in a lane of its own, and his art will go down in history as being none other than revolutionary.
Until Next Time…
RAPPER NAS SAYS HIP-HOP ARTISTS NEED TO BE MORE RESPONSIBLE. (2014, March 28). Retrieved February 26, 2017, from https://www.georgetown.edu/news/dyson-nas-hip-hop-event.html