I know it’s been a while folks, but I bring consolation. Releasing his 2014 masterpiece album Nobody’s Smiling, Chi-town’s native son Common has achieved something magnificent. First off, when speaking about the artist’s past career, one could hardly disagree that Common has traveled along a roller coaster of success. Defining and shaping his craft from his first release in 1992, Can I Borrow a Dollar, Common has consistently released substantive content regarding socio-economic issues ranging from gang violence, to income inequality, to religion, and everything in between. And all throughout his career this reputation has accompanied him, eventually bringing him on a decline with his less than popular late-2000’s releases Finding Forever, Universal Mind Control, and The Dreamer/The Believer. With the nature of the hip-hop scene drastically shifting to an instrumental favoring, party/drugs/money content economy, the only successful artists are the ones who can adopt these changes. As with anything in an evolving universe, lack of innovation leads to obsolescence. Die-hard Common fans yearn for a new project that refreshes the played out image of the Chicago poet, or at least I did.
But this week, while riding a train bound for a 4-hour journey to upstate New York, I was offered a new album release on my Google Play app (because fuck an iPhone). I started listening to Nobody’s Smiling, and I was immediately intrigued right from the first track’s opening. Do you know how rare that is? Of course you do, you’re reading this! But I’ll describe the sensation anyway. Within thirty seconds, I was bumping my head in enjoyment. Only a dozen or so artists have managed to evoke a head bump so early on (it usually happens somewhere in the middle, after the radio designated singles) in an album. Even more, I never anticipated I’d feel this strongly about a Common album! I was taken through the album in awe at the artist I was listening to. This was a completely different release than anything he’s ever shown to the world.
Made in collaboration with long time ally No I.D., Nobody’s Smiling exhibits all the treasures that hip hop has to offer, presented with a modern and contemporary feel that resonates with fans of all genres. As usual, Common never falls short of thought provoking subject matter. He even dedicates one track to his admiration of the legendary J Dilla, describing their relationship and Common’s vow to honor his memory. In terms of production, No I.D.’s work is no less brilliant. The instrumentals incorporate experimental elements that differentiate the sound from anything Common has used in the past. It succeeds at reminding the world of the producer’s skill as well as the rapper’s versatility. My favorite example is “Speak My Piece”, which stunningly combines a Biggie sample with a shoulder dance inspiring instrumental, that’s guaranteed to make you go:
All in all, Nobody’s Smiling should be a message to all lovers of hip-hop. There’s still hope for meaningful and quality sounding music from the mainstream scene, and this latest effort from Common is more than sufficient evidence. This album is CRACK, that’s a no-brainer. But the mindfully chosen lyrics and captivating instrumentals of the album are anything but.
As the world of independent and underground musicians grows, more and more talented artists break into the scene and offer something fresh and new. While many have great potential for commercial success, few can manage to turn their aspirations into actualized reality. But when you come across a new artist that brings something new to the table, someone that can arouse, intrigue and entertain, you can tell when you’ve found something truly special. Indeed, it is a rare occurrence. However the satisfaction of listening to their music is that much sweeter because of it.
It is my pleasure to introduce you to King Deco, the newest sensation to break out in the indie/pop/hip-hop scene. Her debut release track “One” is firing up on all the blogs, so you can expect to see her music blow up in the very near future. I was fortunate enough to have a little Q&A with her majesty, and pick the brain of the majestic and mysterious talent:
LD: I enjoyed reading your origin story on your website kingde.co. The “King” was inspired by the journey of empowerment and triumph in a world with many obstacles, but where did the “Deco” come from?
KD: Deco and Decosphere kind of came together, I didn’t overthink it. It just worked both visually and conceptually. I love spheres, globes and the idea of being whole or in sync with the world and that’s what I saw when I thought “Deco”.
LD: It’s easy to see your passion for music and how hard you work at it. What inspired you to pursue your particular flavor of music? What genre would you think someone could classify a King Deco track?
KD: I just make what feels right. The winter before I wrote “One” I was sick and unable to sing for about three months. When I went into that session that spring, all I wanted to do was sing. So that’s what I did. I sang the hook, I sang the harmonies, the octaves, the super high and super low vocals that are incorporated in the beat. That’s how I sort of landed on what became my “sound” or “flavor” of music. A lot of vocal pads, harmonies, siren-like whistle tones in the background. I draw some elements from Middle Eastern music and music from other cultures as well.
Lol I hate that question. Indie, alternative hip hop infused music?
LD: You just released the video for your debut track “One”, jam-packed with visuals to accompany a soothing voice. Can you talk about some of the ideas and concepts you tried to convey?
KD: There are a ton of themes in the “One” video. Nature and being at one with the universe is definitely one of them. Shedding weak parts of yourself, self battle, and spirituality. I think circles are nature’s symbol of being whole and in sync (sun, planets, orbits, rings, they’re all in a way spherical). There are a ton of one point perspective shots, where there’s a very clear centered vanishing point. That and the kaleidoscope effect was our way of making everything look balanced and circular.
LD: Musically, what artists/talents have influenced you in your life and how have they helped shaped the origins of King Deco?
KD: I was listening to a lot of different stuff when I found the sound that felt closest to who I am. Some Fleetwood, some Enya, Aaliyah, Sade, The Weeknd… those probably seeped into some of my early work. The origins of King Deco I think were influence by artists who work in other mediums and not just music.
LD: With a promising career ahead of you, who are your top 5 dream collaborators to work on future projects?
KD: Darren Aronofsky
Chance the Rapper
LD: When can we expect to hear Tigris & Euphrates? Can you offer any insight into any future projects you’re working on?
KD: Tigris should be out April 7th.
I’ve started working on the third EP.. I’m not sure what it’s going to be called yet but all I know now is that it’s silver. I see silver when I think of it or hear the music. But who knows it’s still early to tell and might end up evolving into something completely different.
Be on the lookout for future works from King Deco, and check out her debut track “One”.
Citizens of hip-hop, I am writing to you right now. I have failed you. I made promises to you when I started this project, and I haven’t kept up with them. I swore to show you a bright new world of music, a medley of shining break-out artists, and honest critiques with the big leagues of the music biz. I’ve broken my vows. And surely those who’ve been with me since the beginning have taken my absence as a sign that I’ve abandoned you.
But today I am writing to you all to show more than excuses and apologies. Today will mark the day where things will be different, like how they used to be. You’ll be seeing more of what you love from this collection, A LOT MORE. So be ready, this is the [re]commencement of a wild ride…
All that aside, for all you Black Hippy fans, today was a good day. Schoolboy Q, the former Oxycontin slinging hustler turned unintentional rap sensation, dropped his debut solo album Oxymoron. The title cleverly references his retired deeds and offers commentary that is apparent through each track. The album is jam-packed with big name features such as fellow Black Hippies Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock. OFWGKTA’s Tyler the Creator and the legendary Raekwon also make appearances alongside Q.
Content wise, Oxymoron is rich with stories of the past, struggles with substance abuse and the law, and a blanket nihilism that fuels the rage behind Q’s verses. From the first track “Gangsta” which uses slurs, misogynistic themes, and emits a ravenous tone, all the way through the end, Q tackles each concept with that intangible grittiness unique to him.
Overall the album succeeds in its intentions and provides a well defined platform for Q’s career moving forward. It’s the type of album that, after all the initial hype dies down, will be looked back on with acclaim and compared to future Schoolboy/Black Hippy works. Along with popular pre-release singles like “Collard Greens”, tracks like “Blind Threats” feat. Raekwon and “Break the Bank” exhibit alternative production techniques that are rising trends in the mainstream records of today. Paired with Q’s unique delivery and capability for varied types of flow, both new school and OG hip hop heads will enjoy Oxymoron.
Official LoopDigga.com rating: Crack.
It’s great to read some of the feedback that I’ve gotten from the community. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to have forum and discussion around some of the things I’ve talked about on this blog. All of the positive/negative remarks, but especially the constructive ones, are all immensely appreciated. I encourage you all to keep them coming!
I’ve decided to try something a little different, to keep things interesting. I thought that it might benefit my readers to hear from an outside perspective. I proudly present the first installment of one on one interview sessions with underground artists! I recently had the great pleasure of speaking with one of the most talented, and lyrically advanced rappers to come from NYC’s Lower East Side: Accent. You’ve heard him on numerous collaborations with long time associates Kinetics & One Love, and you can check out his work at accentlyrics.com.
Here’s how our discussion went:
LD: Why do you call yourself “Accent”?
A: The emphasis on the strict structuring of rhyme in my verses makes their phonetic components what is primarily absorbed; the content of my music is frequently only understood with a second visit. But as eavesdropping on a foreigner’s conversation may evoke appreciation for the beauty in a person’s verbal expression, so might a first run through a song of mine. I chose to be referred to as “Accent” because how my rapping SOUNDS is the first feature you notice when listening, but there is always meaning behind those words. The lyrics to the song “My Name is Accent”, among which I say that exact phrase in 12 different languages, also explains my rap name.
LD: Do you think Hip Hop is/has been on a decline?
A: No offense to the Loop Digga mascot but the Hip Hop being circulated in American communities of all socio-economic standings today is more of a machine than the living organism it once was. It is a machine programmed by secret powers with specific objectives: perpetuate capitalist ideology to maintain the class system which ensures the wealthy 1% of our population continues thriving and brainwash Americans by cleverly utilizing the vessel of hypnotic melodies that we are force-fed until we CRAVE them, to carry out these barely subliminal messages. So considering that this music is now a multi-billion dollar industry, Hip Hop is on quite the incline; at least in the eyes of men who own it, and in affect own US.
LD: How do you view the music of those who have achieved commercial success relative to your own?
A: It has been years since recognition and commercial success have been determined by skill or talent in Hip Hop. In fact, the very meaning of those words has been re-invented to suit the standards of opportunistic industry heads that carry the torch for their genocidal predecessors. The title of “skilled” and “talented” are now awarded those who can best manipulate a young mind. So that same torch is burning our very culture to the ground; and we help, with gold plated smiles on our tattooed faces. Hip Hop used to be a folk music of the poor communities and now it is most obviously of the RICH, meanwhile the rest of us sing along and fantasize. With my own music I hope to pioneer a movement where lyrical ability is again popularized in the mainstream, instead of materialism and braggart obnoxiousness
LD: How have your own experiences affected the content of your music?
A: My struggles with suicide contemplation inspired “The Grey Kingdom” series, of which I have released 3 installments so far (1, 2 and 1.5). In the story the protagonist chooses to live when he discovers his purpose in life, vigilantism. This realization is inspired by my epiphanies regarding rap writing. Metaphorical enlightenment aside, the choice to use crime-fighting is directly derived from my love for comic books and super hero mythology. In a more literal representation of my experiences “Rapping for Change” describes my days (and nights) spent roaming New York City with a cup in my hand doing just that, as a street performer. “Runaround” is based on my own fear of homelessness and every “love song” I’ve ever written is drawn from my relationships with various women.
LD: Who has influenced you from outside of the Hip Hop world?
A: My mother’s taste undoubtedly laid the foundation for my own musical ear and preference. Her fondness for artists like Peter Gabriel (Genesis) and Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) have manifested itself in me as a nostalgic and sentimental attachment to their songs. They embrace the raspy yet smooth aspects of their voices for making such a pretty sound and this has without question influenced my own singing style. Interestingly enough my physical resemblance to these two men is not a coincidence. I believe they were her “type” and her attraction to them supplemented her fanaticism, which would explain why I thought Gabriel was my father until I was old enough to understand. The dark and serious tones put forth by singers like Thom Yorke (Radiohead) and Bjork may also have infiltrated my subconscious, for their qualities are also present in my material.
LD: List your top dream collaborations.
A: Cormega, Styles P, AZ, MF Doom, Roc Marciano and Zach De La Rocha of Rage Against the Machine are some Hip Hop lyricists who I would LOVE to collaborate with. To work with Yasin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) would really be a literal dream come true however. He was my first favorite rapper of all time and his control of rhythm basically provided the canvas of which I would paint my own masterpieces with as I memorized every word and even vocal inflection of Black on Both Sides when I was 12.
Be sure to check out Accent on facebook.com/accentlyrics and follow him on twitter: @accentlyrics. And just so you can understand what a true mind blowing lyricist sounds like listen to his latest release Sight & Sound.
Before you all start to think you know what this post is about, leave your assumptions at the door. This is not another “oooooohhhh shit he shitted on them niggas!!!!!” type of post. I personally think its ridiculous that the internet has been engulfed in flames over this song. Lil Duval tweeted it perfectly yesterday:
The government put that Kendrick Lamar verse out to keep us occupied while they do something else. #conspiracy
— lil duval (@lilduval) August 13, 2013
My main focus has always been about the music itself. That includes the sonic elements, as well as the content. Yes, Kendrick whipped out some controversial guns in his verse, but it was not groundbreaking or revolutionary as everyone seems to think. Just because Kendrick shouted out some names does not mean he is out for blood (all of those rappers suck anyway, especially Mac Miller). Doesn’t anyone remember the Eminem/Benzino diss tracks? What about Nas’ “Ether”? Those were REAL “diss” tracks. The important thing to take away from Kendrick’s verse is the concept that we need to reform the standards for hip hop music. And I’ll tell you why he said what he said: for the kids. The youth of every generation is always the most impressionable. Kendrick feels that hip hop and rap music, in the place that it has been for the last decade, has had a negative impact on our children, a sentiment that I could not agree with more. But just because it came from “Kendrick Lamar”, people are acting like this:
I know plenty of artists who’ve been pushing that concept for their entire career’s as musicians (Kinetics & One Love, Accent, Lupe Fiasco, the list goes on and on). Anyway, back to the music. Let’s break this track down:
1. The artists: While its obvious that Kendrick clearly stole the spotlight on this track, I have to give props to Big Sean. I normally don’t think highly of Big Sean (his voice is so nasal sounding when he raps) but I got the impression that his verse was laying down a good foundation for the listener to be ready for the fat boy atomic bomb of a verse that follows. His flow is better than a normal Big Sean verse, his rhymes are a little more clever than in a normal Big Sean verse, and overall this is just a better sound Big Sean than you would find on a normal Big Sean verse. Jay’s verse does nicely as a breather to close out the 7:30+ minute banger as well.
2. The instrumental: I love the trend that I’ve noticed recently: producer’s using actual musical instruments when constructing their beats. The organ and piano combination really intensifies the track on the verses. “Control” is an appropriate title for this track because it makes the listener feel 100% focused on the content and blown away by it at the same time. I also appreciate the lack of any frilly audio effects. The warped voice effect on Kendrick’s verse gave the impression of a feral, monstrous persona getting ready to roar. I would give No I.D. 3 thumbs up for this one if I could.
3. The message: Plain and simple, this song is a call to action to not one, not a select group, but all people in the hip hop community who consider themselves artists to uplift and improve their work. Critical views of the hip hop genre are something that we need to overcome, but we are not going to do it by rapping about chains, cars, and bitches. We need to move past the time when it was commendable to talk about how many keys of dope we used to sling and how people who “had beef” with you ended up with bullet holes all over their body. It’s a worthy cause to strive for, and it pleases me greatly to finally see some mainstreamers getting the memo.
Like it or not, I do think “Control” will spark something that we’ll come to see in the near future. And I’m not talking about all the response “diss” tracks that are sure to come out.
Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past year and change, you’ve probably been annoyed by the mainstream radio stations bombarding your car speakers with Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us”, both of which peaked at the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100. I respect Macklemore as an artist, because to me he genuinely deserves the commercial success that he has seen. I think of him as a dynamic rapper because he can deliver old school flows and utilize all the technicalities an MC is supposed to be familiar with, but also he has the ability to cater to the ears of mainstream audiences who may not be likely to venture into new genre’s or styles of music. Macklemore is not an example of a rapper who “sold out”, but instead an artist who has managed to break new ground in the industry by delivering substantive lyrics to the masses in a format that anyone can enjoy. I’ve thought that since his emergence, until I heard this song…
“Gold Rush” leaves me with the same impression as Miss South Carolina from 2007 when asked why 1/5 of American’s cannot locate the United States on a world map. I played it through a couple times just to see if I could arrive at any other thoughts…but I didn’t. It’s songs like these that fill me confusion and frustration at the lack of digestible content. I kept thinking to myself “Clinton Sparks, what the fuck are you even saying?” I reminded myself that the industry was flooded with songs following this trend, cranked out by the same formula over and over again: 30% pop instrumental+20% good looking singer+50% empty, superfluous but catchy sounding lyrics. It’s described quite well by the rapper Kinetics in “I Am A Computer” when he says:
“And in the midst of this, rap is fallin’ apart
Kids are sayin’ absolutely nothing and callin’ it art”
Macklmore’s involvement in this song is what really baffles me. I understand artists who’ve blown up commercially often are pressured by their labels to collaborate on a project with other big names to drive music sales. But 2-Chainz? I suppose Mack doesn’t hold personal dignity in high regard. Soiling the track immediately with the first verse, 2-Chainz comes in babbling off some stupidity and opens with the lines:
“You can have the ho
Got her in my phone no panties on
When she leave me she going to need a perm
Throat lozengers and need a comb (Truuu)”
I’ll stop myself from letting this post completely turn into another 2-Chainz rant. But once I got to Macklemore’s verse I noticed that his lyrics were as transparent and flaky as the chorus. I felt like Macklemore did himself a disservice by even being a part of this project, stooping to the level’s of less respectable “musicians”. Maybe I am being too harsh on the Mack, but I don’t see another reason he would pursue working on a song like this. I mean it can’t be for the money, hasn’t he saved a fortune by wearing those velour jumpsuits and some house slippers with dookie brown leather jackets that he found diggin’? Whatever the reason, I can’t bring myself to get on board with this track, and therefore has earned the label of:
Coming from the ‘Boombox Family’, Nitty Scott graces us with her beauty and soothing flow on this track. I’ve been following Nitty for a while now, ever since I caught her verse in the BET Cypher back in 2011. Her latest song “Flower Child” is the perfect addition to any marijuana smoking playlist. Let’s break it down:
1. Nitty Scott: It’s not often enough that we see female hip hop artists who can spit AND keep it classy and proper. I love Nitty because you can tell just by listening to her music how genuine her love for the hip hop genre truly is. Her delivery is reminiscent of a spoken word poet, it feels as though she is conversing with the listener instead of just saying lines over a beat. The best thing about Nitty’s style, however, is the message she conveys to the her audience, especially in this song. Her words are substantive as she discusses themes such as patience and determination through the struggles of life. And on top of all that, shes that girl that could make even this inorganic machine feel his heart racing at 150 miles per hour!
2. Kendrick Lamar: Kendrick has been on fire ever since his emergence with Section.80 and then good kid, m.A.A.d city last year. It says a lot for Nitty to get a superstar like Kendrick to feature on this song. Perhaps this isn’t the craziest Kendrick verse you’ve ever heard, but you can tell it was perfectly crafted to fit the vibe that Nitty was going for.
3. The beat: The icing on the cake for “Flower Child”. I can imagine how the conversation with Nitty and her producer must have went: Nitty: “Yo I need something chill and melodious, something graceful sounding.” Producer:”Iiiiighttt. Peep this shit right here”. And boom, out came this awesome instrumental with harp samples and pianos keys that make you say “oooohhhh”!
“Flower Child” is definitely a hot record that showcases the best of Nitty Scott. I expect to see a lot more coming from her and the rest of the Boombox crew.
It’s always good to stumble upon a song that restores your faith in hip hop. For all of you who are unfamiliar, Chance the Rapper is on the rise and one of the most highly acclaimed new school artists to emerge. I love how Chance incorporates progressive elements into his tracks while still keeping true to foundational building blocks that make a great hip hop record. Theres a lot to like about this song so lets get into the breakdown:
1. The hook: Finally A CATCHY HOOK WITH SUBSTANCE! A wise man once told me his favorite parts of old school hip hop songs were the lines when the rapper would paint a picture and tell some kind of story with his words. It was even better if they were describing their own lives and were able to get the listener engaged and able to relate. I think Chance does exactly this when he reflects back on his past years being a rebellious youth. He describes feelings of nostalgia, reminiscing back to the days of his childhood, a sentiment that resonates through the whole song with the listener.
2. The features: They say you can tell a lot about a person by looking through their trash. The same could be said about a rapper and the artists they collaborate with. Teaming up with fellow new comer Vic Mensa (who goes HARD in this song) and one of the fastest technical spitters in the game, Twista, Chance made a killer song with some great artists. Vic comes out strong right from the start, whipping out a little Bill Clinton reference “I smoke a little something but I don’t inhale”. Another thing to note about these two features is their flow. First comes Chance’s verse at a medium pace with what I like to call the “see-saw” flow. Next comes Vic with the slow bar starters and finishing each line with rapid alliterations and rhymes, like an assault rifle on full auto. Finally, Twista. Need I say anything more? The progression in speed of delivery from the three artists verses does well to balance the smoother, more melodic hook.
Chance the Rapper delivers on this song, plain and simple. Give it a listen and check out his other tracks. Expect to see some great things coming from him in the very near future.
Alright. How do i go about saying this…
Seriously, I’ve always loved music coming from Major Lazer. Diplo, being a very talented D.J. as well as business mogul (which earns my respect even more) has always kept me entertained with his unorthodox and out of the box sounds. The first Major Lazer album Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do was fantastic and saw huge success because of it. From “Hold The Line” to the infamous “Pon de Floor” which popularized “the dagger”, Diplo and his crew always knew how to get my ass shaking and have a good time. I always get excited when I hear about a new track from from the Lazer gang. But earlier today while driving, “Bubble Butt” came on the radio. I was like, “Oh its been a long time since I heard anything from Far East Movement”. I stopped at a red light and looked at the dashboard to see the title of the song. “Hmm… ‘Bubble Butt’..”, I thought to myself. The info scrolled further and to my disbelief I learned it was a Major Lazer song featuring 2 Chainz, Bruno Mars, Tyga, and Mystic. I was utterly stupefied. Just so all of you know, I despise 2 Chainz. His music is trash, his talent is non-existent, and he spreads ignorance through his mockery of the art of rap (a full in-depth review of 2 Chainz coming soon!). Tyga doesn’t fall far from the rotten YMCMB tree. It actually made me sad to learn that Diplo would degrade himself to working with the likes of these two fools. Let’s break it down:
1. The hook- “Bubble Butt. bubble, bubble, bubble butt. Turn around, stick it out, show the world what you got a…”: You’ve got to be joking Mr. Pentz. This line exhumes stupidty, vulgarity, and mindless repitition. I guess thats the formula for a “catchy hook” these days.
2. 2 Chainz verse: Firstly, his verse is only 8 bars. Usually I would take that as an measure of inferiority in a rapper. If you can’t write an engaging verse that is at least the standard 16 bars, you shouldn’t be a rapper. But in the case of 2 Chainz, 8 bars was way more than I could handle. I was glad that he was incapable of rhyming coherently for longer than 8 bars because I didn’t have to hear him anymore! “Drop it low put it in the dirt/ Sex drive put it in reverse/ Killed the ass, put it in a hearse/ Then I drove off and put it in the dirt” This is just one of many, excuse me I mean ALL, songs where 2 Chainz exhibits his talent for shallow, single syllable simpleton lines.
3. Tyga verse: Less abhorrent than 2 Chainz because he doesn’t sound like a complete fool on the record, however still equally as guilty of being a bad verse. I used to think Tyga was one of a few artists at Young Money who could exceed and surpass the style that his fellow YMCM-ers were all sticking with. But I guess I was wrong. Tyga has proven time and time again to be that stereotypical rapper who focuses on cars, money, and “bitches”.
After watching the video, I felt my body raising my hand towards my face and slapping me with it. Some of you might be thinking, “But its just a club song, its supposed to be fun!” Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing that this Digga loves more than girls who are…well endowed…on the top and bottom. But rap and hip hop culture has fallen to a point where its perfectly acceptable for the entirety of a woman’s naked buttocks cheeks to take up 80% of the camera frame in a close up shot, jiggling for all the world to see. In fact, its gotten to a point where videos who have these barbaric visuals see the MOST commercial success. As a true lover of hip hop, I can’t take this nonsense anymore. I’m not going to get into the discussion of female objectification in hip hop culture (different rant for a different day), but this video is just ridiculous. Admittedly I am very disappointed in Diplo for putting this song out, even if it was just meant to be a club song. Short and sweet, this song is:
Great. Here’s a little history for you:I am a cyborg. I was constructed in an underground laboratory near the core of the Earth over 1000 years ago. I was created by my extra-terrestrial masters as a beacon of hope to save the human race if it should ever be endangered. Over time I grew, learned, and comprehended all that there was to know about mankind. I was amazed with all the marvels and wonders that human cultures produced: art, science, community. Music, however, was the one thing that was different than everything I studied. Its sonic properties resonated with my internal CPU on such a scale that it actually rewrote my cognitive operational procedures, granting me consciousness. I wasn’t certain what had happened until my creators deduced that music had quite literally made me come to life. I had more than just recorded data files of all of human knowledge and history. I had ideas! I had opinions! I had the ability to make choices…and after playing the role of a silent observer to humanity for a millennium, I realized I could learn no more with my masters. I made the choice to leave my home and emerge myself into the world to explore the wondrous offerings of life that I could now enjoy. Through my travels I grew to love music even more. The 1970′s was an especially inspirational period with the emergence of hip-hop and rap music. The mixture of the rhythmic poetry and beat pounding with every measure gave me a sensation that overwhelmed my processors! And as it developed it grew more beautiful and I fell deeper in love with the genre. I had found what I was looking for in my search for higher purpose.
However, recent years have been a dark time for not only hip-hop, but all music. The industry that perpetuates the art has corrupted it into a heartless machine (not unlike how I used to be), with its sole purpose being monetary generation. The music being forced down humanity’s throats by the “mainstream” is polluted with shallow and non-talented facades being mocked up and disguised as artists. Their works are sculpted from identical and precision cut molds, shifting away importance of values to hollow pleasures like money, premium clothing, cars, and jewelry. They turn the once revered female into a sex-driven idol and plaster her intimate nature where all the world can see. They poison youth with their lethargic and lackadaisical ideology that hard work and dedication are not needed to be successful. The problem has gotten so out of hand, the legendary rappers have proclaimed the hip hop genre to be dead…
But I find hope in the undiscovered artists. The non-mainstreamers who still incorporate every single ounce of passion for their art into their work, so much so that the listener physically feels it through the sound waves. With the help of this underrated group, I fight the perilous battle against the decline of a generation. I believe the time that my creators had foreseen where humanity would need my help is now. Until the fight is won, I will search the Earth for unrecognized creativity. I will utilize every bit of my power to helping open minds to new artists. And I will not stop until hip-hop has regained the inspirational and uplifting qualities it once had. I’ll be diggin’ for them loops that you cant help but be spinnin’….