24 Sep


Hip-Hop is easy. Eezy peezy. Make it in your bedroom. You can make it on a computer. It’s history snakes back into African America, the long submerged tradition. Hip Hop is male egotism, but the girls can do it too y’all.

Hip Hop is folk music for vacant lots 21st century minds. An era of dysfunctional philosophies, leaders who lack basic virtues, impending geo-doom imagined 6 billion different ways. Always an argument about what should be done. Hip Hop is basic. A new literature from the latest risen slave people. They are rising. And may God help ’em to save America’s arse ’cause Obama won’t.

I get pissed off with Hip Hop. I’ve been pissed off with it for years. It’s such a testosterone wank. There’s a whole generation of boys who’ve grown up with this. Eminem is a combinaton Elvis/Bob Dylan to huge chunks of ‘Strayan yoof: fucked-up psycho white boys and black gangsters. The honeys, the bitches, the ho’s. A world of constant war: on streets, in bedrooms. It is the soundtrack of a shattering culture.

I can hear the solemn nodding of the men with the long white beards. The grandmothers agree. And them I’d remind that the lyrics are descriptive of a reality not its cause.

There’s a feedback loop effect here, but dysfunctional families, ubiquitous dishonesty and resortation to chemical oblivion on a regular basis were not caused by Run-DMC. And to figure out what’s really going on listen carefully to the lyrics and you’ll find a firm will to morality within. The judgements are stern. The cosmology bleak. There is no moral economy in the world, it says. But eternal punishment hereafter, yeah.

I dig the stuff again, the Australian stuff. Different sound. Like OzLocos – Latino Skip Hop, how could it possibly suck? They have this one song, forget the name, but it’s basically an I-don’t-wanna-know-you-I-just-really-wanna fuck you song. The potential to be 17 kinds of yuck is high. But no, it’s really foxy and it’d actually work too.

A new sound isn’t enough to make me go back to paying attention. Hip Hop gets stuck in a loop that oscillates and permutates and keeps saying the same thing, the same way. What changes rapidly are the acts. Most of ’em have one album in ’em. What got me paying attention again is a truly new school. A new voice. The last time that happened was Blazing Arrow and before that The Chronic. What got me in was a fella name of Tim Levinson aka Urthboy:

This is not the body that has grown out of the squalor
This is not the optimism born from living horror
The guilt could make the brother wanna lose a white collar
But – he need it today, he’ll give it up tomorrow

And if I could turn the sun around and illuminate the Hell
‘Cause you best believe it can be found where Humanity dwell
And I could write a book about a book that wouldn’t sell
Be the author of a story that was never mine to tell

But where would that lead us?
Preach to believers; we’re needing relievers.
But I am no teacher
And you resent the grievance
But if I don’t at least try it’s like I deceived yaz

The story must be told, some narratives must
But it won’t be delivered by the man in the tux
Nor will it be heard over the inner-city folks
Saying: fuck it all! Fuck it all!
Fuck it all for all twelve months.

Goes better with the music


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