“At first you didn’t know us but now it’s like ‘yo, put me down’/We didn’t get it in so you can get it with us/You wasn’t down when we was riding the bus/So put on your Adidas and step off…”
-Ed OG – “I Got To Have It”
“You listeners, stop what you’re doin’ and set it in motion, it’s the next movement…”
–Black Thought of The Roots – “The Next Movement”
Please be advised that skinny jeans were not worn in the crafting of this understanding. The products henceforth included in this presentation are cruelty enhanced and must be worked on machines rewindable with maximum volume output to prevent strict penalty…
That ain’t the right bus. I wasn’t on that one. Finesse is with the Lord that can handle the young Black woman. If wrong is right and uppercuts can make them stiff necked women take flight then we lost the sight to see deeper into the use of might. Today’s Original woman is an unkempt child like a lost kite from a lifer searching for a civilized man to raise the garden he left behind. So is there a way for us to withstand the impact of all of our mistakes boomeranging through the young? We could set our feet and let loose the hammer when provoked or corral the wild seas and usher them into the exile of contemplation and redemption. There’s an aging passage that the true and living God is the Original man, a science via a title thrown at brainwashed, degenerated apes known as niggeramus, spiccenmatrix, dominiconlechon, etc. where they catch self and study taking responsibility for all that is wrong. Imagine some shit like that…
But I’m on a different bus going through similar illah routes through illah days. In ’05 at The Source I picked up a bus ticket to Detroit. I picked the best indie records for their bullshit top listings. Sean P brought back Duck Down and was the movement I last saw before I left because my other pick was Dreddy Kruger’s Wu-Tang Meets the Indie where a Hip Hop musician Bronze Nazareth was emerging. So I got on this Detroit Gun Rule bound bus. A Great Migration through elevated lyricism and Blues beat Boom Bap, Bronze Nazareth’s ’06 classic let the Wisemen approach into this barren decade. Detroit has its MCs of worth beyond the popped-off-the-real-like Eminem but the best are in them trenches from the infamous number streets to the projects. Wisemen lead with the strongest Hip Hop movement of the decade with albums that make classic the expected caliber. So I built with Bronze on his school [Bronze Nazareth on School For the Blindman @DX & Lavoe Revolt], Kevlaar 7 on how he’ll die ageless [@DX, LAVOE REVOLT REVIEW]and sophisticate the movement [@Lavoe Revolt]and just on the dynamically sincere masterpiece Phillie has with upcoming Welcome to the Detroit Zoo. With that, the wise way is to expect Salute, Illah Dayz and June Mega to craft exquisite joints too.
The D is filled with talent. Many know of Elzhi, Black Milk and even Guilty Simpson but emerging are Desert Eez and Sun Tzu Cadre, a click of real G’s who present their brother Jessiah Allah aka Black 7 Pro, the rising beatmaker with his solo project, G.O.D.: Grounds of Detroit coming soon. All of these talents merged recently in a rare moment of acknowledgement when the Man with the Iron Fists, The RZA, came through to take the stage with the Bronze man aka Jesus Feet. It’s music the Black and Brown people can score their struggles and write their history to but this event most won’t hear of even in retrospect. The little details of the meetings of greatness that are our culture’s tales by the bodega. Lament that the streets are lacquered with the paint of concessions, infused with the glitter of bitchness and the germs that provoke men into belching the prettiest hiccups.
Still, the movements always make a stop into Medina where they born kings that never yield. Through one of the most lyrical sections of the universe, our bus stopped in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where KA completed the Art classic of 2012, Grief Pedigree. Eleven tracks all accompanied by equally introspective videos all versed, produced, directed and shot by Ka. The decade has its immediate example of a work where timing, pacing, stature, aura, clever wordplay and the heart and soul of our experience of poverty and its extremities of struggle are all present. [KA features @DX & @PREMIEREHIPHOP & PREMIEREHIPHOP REVIEW]
I’m then traveling on the BQE to the Desert. Queens has to have an Oasis so we go through the sands of reggaeton, club pop and metrosexual hipster rap remains. We eventually hit Broadway in Astoria–The Grand Opening of Goblin City Barbershop. I got family with me, my Earth Izayaa and my brother from another mother, Gillie Gillz. Never pussy faced, always no Bruno, it takes strong pens to pen of other mighty ones. An honor that Late Nite, manning the helm at this shop, keeps making a home for us to document through.
There’s too much talent in the room from Spit Gemz [PREMIEREHIPHOP FEATURE], Starvin B [PREMIEREHIPHOP FEATURE], G.S. Advance, Detek, Eff Yoo to the radiant Carmen Indhira. But it all works as typified by Ms. Indhira. She travels with her precocious son Jacob, whom infect the shop with their natural aura of sincerity, character and love. Powerfully enough that Late Nite would barely win later when Jacob and his new buddy, a five year old fireball of energy, would attack and jump him. Carmen Indhira awaits her October 19th birthday excitingly as her first album The Secret Garden will be released. With “Tip Toe,” leading the way, there is an R&B resurrection coming that lends a great diversity to The Opposition.
The walls buzz with Lefty and Tek shaping and cutting up hair while Starvin B’s new LP Something in the Water chops heads in blasts making the remaining heads laugh and joke in warm yells, watered with green tonics and filled with Late Nite’s mom’s home-cooking. We often step outside where the brothers sip and smoke in a cipher that forgets the chilling air rising and N train bellowing above. Gemz breaks down plans and schemes all in the reach of their talent. His forthcoming Fvck the Radio is shaping up brilliantly and the ill tracks we already hear serve as proof. Whether Gemz drops his many works planned and tours the world or takes up the battle stage and beats the shit out of plush rappers lyrically and physically, he’ll be heard.
More profound than goons or mystery spirits our legends stumble over to praise, the Goblin saga is built up off the strength of personal relationships. Gob Goblin adds on with me that all these names in our collection that are working at Goblin Music Studios aren’t work alliances, like Sadat X, Lil’ Fame, Juju and Psycho Les or Cormega, Lord Digga and Sean P but just real time relationships that compile their wax ideas through the walls of his studio. This is why there are so many stories from the just released Legend of the Gnome Sword EP from Eff Yoo to up and coming talents Starker, Aye Wun and a particularly deep mind we traded science with, G.S. Advance.
Soon, it will be time to get on the bus again and travel the streets of Ill York and get the story from Shaz. Before I get on, I tell all them pop niggas, “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. I got a degree off a prestigious government scholarship, the builder on them welfare lines for cheese and food stamps. If you’re looking to sellout I don’t have any money. What I do have are a set of special skills I’ve acquired over a long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. So I will find the Real. And I will podium their presentations prime. They will Boom Bap and they will kill you.”
The Next Element of Hip Hop
This book will be the first overt and uncontested display of the newly proposed element in Hip Hop culture, for official consideration, The Writer. The basic 4 elements of Hip Hop culture, DJing, MCing, Graffiti and B-boying (Breaking) eventually gave rise to the journalistic efforts by the immediate inner city audiences of color that began to question, explain and analyze this phenomenon. As Hip Hop journalism became the most powerful and popular force of music coverage, the writer immersed in the culture, became more than an impartial reporter.
The framework of the book is a cleverly constructed autobiography of Hip Hop writer, Sunez (aka Sunez Allah aka Edward Sunez Rodriguez), detailing his career in the journalistic industry from his beginnings as the author of the Sunset Style column. “Rodriguez was for several years a regular contributor to the CUNY Baruch College newspaper, The Ticker. His often controversial column, Sunset Style, is a “hip hop editorial” named after Rodriguez’ working class and heavily Puerto Rican Sunset Park neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York.”- Raquel Rivera, New York Ricans From the Hip Hop Zone; Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. From that column it continues through his career spanning stints as a freelance writer, online editor and editor at numerous publications including Vibe, XXL and The Source then to his self published street and online journals, Our SWords and Lavoe Revolt (www.lavoerevolt.blogspot.com). Sunez reveals the evolution of his reality as the Next Element by his life experience that segue into displays of the journalistic skill, refined musical commentary and creative works that make the Hip Hop writer. Essentially, the Hip Hop Writer is a Hip Hop element as a chronicler of the music and culture as well as a newly recognized creative force of the culture.
Sunset Style is the start of a revolution of recognition for the great Hip Hop writers who have contributed to the music and culture as journalists, music analysts, critics and as creative writers. It is the defining testament of a 18 year Hip Hop writing career that makes Sunez the Next Element of Hip Hop: The Writer.