“Are you an OutKast?
If you understand and feel the basic principles and
Fundamental truths contained within this music, you probably are
If you think it’s all about pimpin’ hoes and slammin’ cadillac do’s
You probably a cracka, or a nigga that think he a cracker
Or maybe just don’t understand…”
Big Rube – “True Dat” [OutKast’s Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik; 1994]
The idea of this whole build in this ol’ clip from Video Music Box–to discuss the conditions that make our own Black and Brown savage and know who the enemy is versus the immediate threat is still 100% relevant. If we take it to Hip Hop music, it’s the right to express this conversation on wax that has been destroyed by label pressure, the pressure to not offend and appeal more broadly. Our young never heard/hear these conversations but have a real rebellious aggression without direction they don’t understand. We always, especially with fb/instagram pics all over to show our foolishness, say it’s just us fuckin us up. Still, the conditions of the young are the after effects of something larger. Our people deserve and must have these conversations. It’s one of the reasons so much rap music is rebellious but without any insight. Most people don’t see the reality and foundational core of racism in this society on the micro level (from the corporate daily business world to the streets of the inner city) so they dismiss it as an irrelevant issue in personal progress that is only a problem at the most macro level we won’t reach anyway.
Look broadly, Puerto Rico is still an oppressed colony, the entire Caribbean and Latin America is still plundered and thus the immigration here of a horrific collateral we are then punished for. The African American is still absolutely oppressed and faces a hypocrisy of mental conditioning that no other population enslaved faced due to the vicious magnitude and successive scope of capitalist heights derived from it. A hell where there was no manumission to not being seen as human under the white man’s mystery god.
If the youth now have no expressive culture shown to them or it is blocked from them (i.e. Hip Hop) to study themselves in the context of all society then how can they change themselves and better society. Features like this are what made me think and seeing an MC that relates or is from our hood made it something to think about. Most whites like Hip Hop if it just talks shit about wack rappers and how stupid “other” niggas are. For me, those “other” niggas are still family. And when we take our forums (Hip Hop, streets, our ciphers) to work out ideas and manifest understanding then we really will have the opportunity to live a better way of life.
It reminds me of seeing Vinny Cha$e’s new video for “Harlem Roses.” Cha$e and crew made a fool coon of themselves at Sneaker Pimps show featuring Wu-Block last year. The brother also has enough pop shit in his catalog to make you vomit a chinchilla filled with Dipset remains. But the young are the best part and this video shows they just aren’t being prompted and haven’t seen long term worth in making music with concepts, surround themselves around deeper themes and just clever, sharp verses. Here Vinnie just battle rhymes well but the video shows gentrification effects of lost culture with the closing of the famous landmark, Lenox Lounge. He even comments about the loss he felt with the odd look of gentrification happening at the onset of the video. So the young are just materialistic idiots? http://premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/other/ Only in presentation and slowly with accustomed heart via purse strings pulled. When I see the transition of a brother going bad to worse I see the development of this morally devilish and capitalistically weaponed society affect us. Like an 80’s drug dealing kid slangin’ outside of his neighborhood and telling the youngest with good grades to go home whilst keeping loyal to the elders that carved the block to this present day trappa on his own mom’s block and recruiting the best assets and human resources available (i.e. the child with good grades) and ruthlessly returning depreciated assets and human resources to the essence. When the U.S.A. gets “better” we get worse not because we aren’t living out the denatured principles they advocate but because we so deeply and intensely do live up to the materialism, ruthlessness and rugged individualism they advocate. As the trappa today knows, he is a pure free market capitalist, a grade A nigga.
Vinnie Cha$e may not take many chances to stop condescendingly throwing rolls of crisp singles at his audiences anytime soon. He may keep with slow rap talk interrupted by pretty hiccups, pauses for bling buffering and stay being scored with snare coffin beds of lazy electro thump. Yet, I know what the youth, my young brothers, can do and remind you of a forecast that we shouldn’t forget–the 3 B’s the God teaches on the streets and in the classroom.
Babies, Building and the Box.
The Future, the Truth and the Forum.
The Original Child, the Knowledge of Self and Hip Hop.
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.