The Lies Hip Hop Told Me pt.1

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There are a number of myths and outright lies that have been perpetuated in Hip Hop Kulture that poison the minds of novices and old-timers alike. Some of these lies have mistakenly become part of the false identity ascribed to Hiphoppas.

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Lie #1 Rappers Speak for Hip Hop

As many of us already know, Hip Hop is comprised of various elements or art forms like Emceein (Rap), Deejayin, Bboyin, Graffiti, Beatboxin etc.. Sometime during the 1980’s, the prominence of the Deejay and the Rapper rose to the pinnacle of cultural elements and became the voice and ears of the culture itself. At first, practitioners of these forms spoke with reverence for the totality of the Hip Hop Kulture. Music made by high profile figures detailed the aspects outside their craft which they also revered and witnessed in their daily lives.

As their individual fame grew as deejays and emcees, many began to focus more on their own lane of expertise. Now, instead of songs referring to Hip Hop in general, rappers started to make songs strictly about rap and their own personal lives. During the 1990’s, rappers especially, became more self-centered, declining to explore the scope of Hip Hop’s relevance to the World as a culture. In the new millennium, the focus on Knowledge as a cultural element of Hip Hop has become almost non-existent in the songs of main-stream rappers or deejays. They are now so far from the root of the culture that they add nothing to the discourse which may have meaning to the average Hiphoppa.

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During the Golden Era of Hip Hop, almost every rapper would have a track which paid respect to the general principles of Hip Hop as a culture or art form. Not any more though…today rappers speak only for themselves. Following the personal tales of rappers is like listening to a personal diary or wish list. The significance the everyday Hiphoppa could gather from hip-hop music, once had a universal appeal felt by Bboys, Graf artists and fans alike. Rappers who once could relate tales any Hiphoppa would be familiar with, were replaced by private fantasies of wealth, fame and ego.

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Main-stream Hip Hop didn’t get the memo however. Rappers and Deejays are still regarded as the spokespeople for the culture, when their voice has become irrelevant to anyone not in their shoes. There is no insight into the real life a Hiphoppa may face in this music. Their songs don’t reflect the tone, or mood of Hip Hop. Rappers and Deejays no longer speak for the masses. They speak only for themselves.

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Kurt Nice

Kurt Nice aka Kurtiss Jackson is a behind the scenes pioneer in the Hip Hop Kulture, creating the first nationally distributed video mix tape series, Shades of Hip Hop, in the late 1990s. Since touring the country with the Stop the Violence Movement and the Temple of Hip Hop as KRS-ONE’s National Marketing Director, Kurt Nice has been a constant commentator on conscious Hip Hop and its relevance to the new rap music of today, through radio and cable appearances. contact Kurt at info@hiphoplives.net

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