Thursday, July 17, 2014

Published 2:37 PM by with 6 comments

Hip Hop has changed...

Yes, We Rise|  Hip Hop has changed...

"Hey Ladies!" 

"Hey Fellas!!'"

Once upon a time in the world of Hip-Hop, these phrases were sung loudly and proudly by the hottest MCs. It was like the call and response that you get in church. An MC at a party would say, "All the Fellas in the house say Hoooooo!!" Then guess what? All of the fellas at the party would respond in kind. When the MC said, “All the Ladies in house say ‘Owwwwww’”… The ladies would also respond in kind. There was a true, mutual love and respect between the audience and the artist(s) on stage. That was a natural, almost spiritual vibe because Hip-Hop was founded on the principles of “Love, Peace, Unity, and having Fun!”

Love, Peace, Unity... and Having Fun

Man, every time I look back on the early days of Hip-Hop, remembering that positive call and response vibe, a smile comes to my face. I remember male and female MCs spitting uplifting, provocative, and oftentimes poignant FIYAH!! The hard-hitting beats combined with the substantive lyrics expressed the various facets of everything that was going on in the hood – the good and the not so good - and the energies that those songs exuded encompassed the yearning for Love, the joys of Peace, the inspiration of Unity, and the embodiment of Fun!

That’s what made Hip-Hop a global force with which to be reckoned. It was the unifying force, the ability to bring people together that made Hip-Hop a global presence. When I say ‘global’, I don’t use the term facetiously. Back in 1984, I took a trip to France and Spain with the French and Spanish clubs at my school. I was amazed to see Blacks, Whites, and Asians break-dancing on the Champs Elysées; and, they were listening to the Cold Crush Brothers at the time! This was back in ’84 for Christ’s sakes. I KNEW right then and there that Hip-Hop was here to stay. Fast forward 30 years…AND WE STILL IN HERE!!! But let me tell ya…SHIT DONE CHANGED!!

Hip Hop is still around but it has changed...

Somehow, somewhere in the timeline of Hip-Hop history, my beloved musical genre was surreptitiously morphed into an un-Godly beast that does not resemble the positive entity that it once was. It no longer refers to men as men (or fellas) or ladies as ladies. Men – oftentimes despite race, color, or creed – are called Niggas. Ladies now have two choices. They’re called either a Bitch or a Hoe.

Sometimes, many times these days, I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs like Lawrence Fishburn at the end of “School Daze”. “Waaaaaaaake Uppppppppp!!!!”

 Did anyone see what happened or even how it happened? Did anyone ever give thought to WHY it happened? Well, we’re definitely about to take a look at all of this and see what’s what!!

Ladies and Fellas... what happened?

Ok, so let’s rewind things for a minute. Let’s focus on those classic words used to describe males and females back in the day – Fellas and Ladies. Why do I want to focus on these words? Well, you rarely, if ever, hear them any more in the World of “Hip-Hop”; and, honestly, that’s a big problem in my opinion. Why? In Rap songs of today, the words “Fellas” and “Ladies” have been replaced by the ubiquitous “Niggas, Bitches, and Hoes!”

It’s such a problem that I have to place my beloved Hip-Hop in quotation marks when I talk about the New School (mainstream that is) because using these words to describe our Kings and Queens ad infinitum is not what Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaata, and other pioneers of Hip-Hop were trying to accomplish when creating this musical genre. Remember, the founding principles of REAL Hip-Hop culture are Love, Peace, Unity, and Fun! Someone please tell me how the gratuitous use of “Niggas, Bitches, and Hoes” fits into this equation? Are they merely “terms of endearment”? Perhaps, they are to some; but to many others the terms are destructive at best. I’d be lying if I said that I never ever use those terms. However, I’m selective and I want to believe that I’m responsible when and where I use them. Does that make me any better than those who use them gratuitously with no regard for who may be around at the time? Hmmmm….probably not!

Let’s examine this further….

Over the next few blogs, I want us to take a trip down memory lane, examining how Hip-Hop has morphed from being conscious (Love), uplifting (Peace), constructive (Unity), and energizing (Fun) to nonsensical (Thug/Gangsta Mentality), demeaning (Misogynistic Lyrics), destructive (Violent Lyrics), and “fun” (via Glorification of Sex and Drugs). I definitely don’t want to sound like a prude; but, C’mon son!!! No matter what color or gender you are, it seems like everybody’s a Nigga, Bitch, or a Hoe…that’s it!! Something smells rotten in Denmark; and, dammit we’re going to get to the bottom of it and find out what’s going on! Stay tuned for more, good Brothers and Sisters. This should be quite an enlightening journey…

Beats and love,

To read the entire series:
Part 1:  Hip-Hop has changed
Part 2:  The Hip-Hop Conspiracy
Part 3:  The Hip-Hop Conspiracy Exposed
Part 4:  The Hip-Hop Conspiracy: The conclusion & the solution

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  1. Keep on keepin on...its on us to be those change agents brother! I like the blog!

  2. This is what it used to be...

  3. Marc,
    Unfortunately, the hip-hop, like other genres before it is a spot on reflection of societal norms. The only difference is that we live in the information age and its dissemination of the good/bad/ugly can not be contained. While we F1 Gen hip-hop heads like to romanticize the music of our youth, our parents were appalled with it. More importantly though, the seeds of its destruction laid within that inter-generational conflict. Without the guidance and oversight of our (figuratively speaking) parents, hip-hop was left to wander on its own until Madison Ave & Corporate america found her and pimped the ish outta her........I'll be back to continue - great blog

  4. Mark DjScientific BranchJuly 23, 2014 at 9:21 AM


    I feel you 100%!! Thanks for your response. I don't blame the artists for what's going on because I truly believe in freedom of expression. The problem, as you've alluded to, is with the Madison Ave/Corporate America cats who have taken what was created and pimped it to the highest of pimpstivity!! I'm going to go more into detail on WHY this has happened in my next blog. I hope you can check that one out too. I'll be looking for your comments! :O)

  5. Indeed Skullduggery!!! I wish it were still like this. But hey, since things in life are cyclical, I pray that a resurgence of that Classic vibe will come back to bless us once again! Word!

  6. Thanks for that feedback Richard! Blog #2 goes active today. Check it out when you get a chance.