How Hip-Hop Died Part 1: “The Death Of The DJ”

How Hip-Hop Died Part 1 “The Death Of The DJ”

Every time I write about hip-hop or speak on it lately, I find myself drifting into a world of negativity. And I am not alone. Whenever my brethren and I get together we are reminiscing on the golden era or saying how much we don’t listen to the radio or don’t have any albums we’re looking forward to. Part of it is due to the fact that in those convos there are at least four out of ten people that wish they were on radio or MTV or whatever. The other interesting thing is that even if we were in a golden era right now, we wouldn’t recognize it.

But most of it is credited to an evolution of a genre that has grown up right before our eyes. It started out pure and different, it is one of the only art forms that can be used to address issues, inspire, express, tell stories and also humiliate. It became industrialized and calculated, but it is now making a desperate attempt to return to its roots as a voice of its followers. But is that possible? Is it too late? The answer is not simple, but first we must analyze the question. And that question is: How did it happen? How did hip-hop just become hip? Read the rest of this entry »


Monday Ramble #38 Go Within Or Go Without

Monday Ramble #38 Go Within Or Go Without

Have you ever gotten so disturbed by other people so much that it made you look at yourself and analyze your own issues? Me neither, but if I did I’m sure I could find a bunch of things I don’t dig about myself.

And so I write:

The Hater.

-I hate humans that are great tiny talkers. I can’t compete with their thoughtfulness and insightful questions as I shift my shoulders, play wrap-up music in my head and search for the uncertain ending of our conversation.

-I hate the fact that Bernie Mac and Michael Jackson aren’t alive, primarily because I didn’t meet them.

-I don’t like the fact that I watch some of Tyler Perry’s movies with the hopes that the newest one will be better than the last one. But it never is, and I lose precious moments of my life. I don’t blame Tyler, he’s rich and he’s a smart man. It’s my fault.

-I hate The Situation for coming up with a better stage name than most of us.

-I dislike people that panhandle without the panhandling uniform. I’m not saying some of us aren’t underprivileged out here in the world, I’m just saying if you’re gonna ask for money, look the part please.
I don’t want to limit this to New York, but my hometown is the one place I’ve seen folks begging with name brand gear, fresh haircuts and the scent of Versace Blue Jeans or something. At least have the decency to skip the fragrance. That’s just disrespectful, you’re slapping me in the face because I don’t have the small amount of pride that it takes to go from train car to train car politely asking for contributions.

I realize you can make more per hour than the average minimum wage worker but does that mean you’re on your grind? No it doesn’t. Display a talent, show that you have a nice speaking voice or some dance moves, not that you have fashion sense. I am prejudging and discriminating like the rest of the world. And I don’t dig that about me.

My Verbiage.

-I don’t like myself for always saying, “pause.” I’m not homophobic but it’s a fifteen-year habit I can’t seem to break. Has it been that long? Yes, and you would think that I could just stop saying “pause” but I have truthfully only paused saying “pause” for brief moments of time and maybe pausing was all I was supposed to do because if I stop then there may come an instance where I didn’t say it and…forget it, now I hath confused myself.

-I actually used the word “swag” for lack of a better word. I used it twice last month and the delay right before I got it out was like 4 seconds. Everyone that was listening to me chimed in with “swag” to assist me as if to say, “come on, you can do it…say it…join us”
And so it was done. I was pissed.

-I can’t believe I still call Black people, “Black” and White people, “White.” We’re not even close to those colors; Tan and Peach make more sense. I still say “nigga” too.

Contradicter.

-I don’t enjoy being on the phone as much as I did when cell phones initially became the standard way of life but for some reason if no one calls me I feel neglected. I can not touch my phone for hours and then look at it and I want to see double-digit text messages, emails, a missed call or two, some Facebook love, a few Twitter mentions, what’s wrong with me? Is this the same as checking your answering machine after being out all day and hoping you have a whole lot of messages? Yes it’s pretty close.

-I know this sounds weird…but I rap. I look down on rappers and I rap. When someone asks me what I do I don’t claim to be a rapper but I still rap, and sometimes I am embarrassed. People ask what’s going on with it? What’s your rap name? Are you trying to get a deal? I have to group myself with the foolery that exists, then get advice from acquaintances about how to get more poppin’. They aren’t the blame for my issue. Sha is.

My Mind.
-I talk to myself and answer. I mean I conduct interviews like a psychopath. And sometimes the questions are in Oprah’s voice. And if it’s a wack question it’ll be Tyra Banks’ voice in my head. She asks some foolish stuff sometimes…but I answer anyway.

-I don’t like the fact that I’d rather be comfortable than fashionable. That’s just lame.

-I am totally upset that 79% of the time that I have a face-to-face conversation with someone I imagine punching them in the face out of nowhere. Who does that? But I picture it in my head and I think, ‘I wonder what this person would do if I just caught them in the jaw mid-sentence for no reason.’ That’s not cool.

-I eat food sometimes and get sad when I’m almost done because I’m still hungry. I go to sleep thinking about breakfast most nights.

-I don’t know how to play video games. Even deeper than that is I hate doing things I’m not good at…for example, I went to a batting cage and missed every ball and I was so upset at baseball the sport. I am still bothered by the pastime itself and I apologize for that.

-I judge people based on their knowledge of movie lines, Seinfeld, grammar skills…I’m just slightly off and I know that now. I mean I always knew it but it’s surfacing more as I open up to the world. Is this a pessimistic post to start off the week? Maybe, but only if you view it that way.  Who’s the cynical one now?