THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE LANCE, THE UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR STUDENT NEWSPAPER:
NEWS, REVIEWS AND COMMENTARY, COURTESY OF THE PAPER TRAIL

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Global Culture, and Philosophy of Hip-Hop

Last post on this topic, I swear.

PART THE FIRST
After posting that video of the CL Smooth remix the other day, I started digging around for more work Shin-ski's done, and came upon an amazing vid of him and affiliated crew The Levitatorz rocking the MPCs and attributed to a site called Flight808, a site dedicated spreading the word about hip-hop artists from around the globe.

Yeah, yeah, you think you're already down with the global state: you've got a couple DJ Krush or Roots Manuva discs, you've got it covered. The crew at Flight808 take it further than any blog I've come across so far [I'm sure there out there, but this one got to me first].

We're talking about artists from places like the Netherlands, Uganda and Greenland(?!) as well as underground acts from geographical favourites like France and Mexico. Think for a minute how an artform that developed in one borough of New York City has inspired youth culture across the globe. Hip Hop Teachers have been espousing that fact for years, but to really dig in and here the music that's coming out of these place, it's pretty mind blowing.

[Oh, and I'm really digging on Arts the Beatdoctor at the moment. "The Anthem," specifically.

PART THE SECOND
After I was done my world tour, I sat back and pondered the reach of the music when it occurred to me: if there are MCs from nearly every nation and ethnic background, why do I never hear about gay and lesbian rappers? They have to be out there. And how do they stay true to themselves, practicing an artform that, while recognized as the music of the downtrodden, isn't exactly progressive in its attitudes towards homosexuality?

A couple of Google searches and trips through Wikipedia later I was introduced to the world of homo-hop. From its uneven start with the manufactured rapper Caushun [touted as the first openly gay black MC to get a deal], outed as a fraud in 2007, to the pioneering work of Juba Kalamka and the Deep Dickollective, to the rawer sounds of God-Des & She and Deadlee, these artists are using the language of hip-hop to express themselves despite strong resistance from even the most forward-thinking areas of the community. Doubt it? Hell, even Common, the prime example for conscious rap, was spewing some pretty hateful lyrics until he dropped a song on his 'Electric Circus' album discussing his conflicted feelings when a friend came out to him.

And yeah, some of the music seems like it's going out of its way for explicit shock value, but if Akinyele had women begging to 'Put it in My Mouth' [extremely NSFW!] in 1996, why can't Deadlee tell a guy to 'Suck Muh Gun' today?

Actually, hearing it again now, that Akinyele song is kind of tolerant. In its own filthy, misogynistic way. Huh. Go figure.

At any rate, if hip-hop is all about the realness, respect to those artists who keep it real despite how unpopular it might be.

1 Comments:

Blogger Audible Treats said...

Hey- Thanks for the compliments on Flight808.com! Glad you're enjoying it! If you ever have leads on scenes or groups we should cover, hit us up.

Cheers,
Gavin

info (at) flight808.com

12:15 PM

 

Post a Comment

<< Home