I Still Love H.E.R.

I’m not the most righteous man in the world and I wouldn’t try to take such a stance to say that I am. I am however, a man built on morals that are based solely on right and wrong. Through those morals I see with eyes that can at times be a little unforgiving in terms of things that are dear to me. One of those things happens to be the culture if Hip Hop.

Some people don’t understand the nature of this culture and in all honesty maybe I am the one who doesn’t understand. I see so many positive things in this art form from expression, freedom, honesty, and inspiration. Of course, we could bring up all the negativity that surrounds it but I won’t do that in this post. I’ll explain why a little later.

This culture has grown to unify the world in ways similar to religion. People who didn’t witness it’s birth first hand witnessed it migrate to their area and influence their surroundings. People who spoke other languages in different countries witnessed it travel to them and influence their culture as well. By doing so it made people of various backgrounds have a common interest which in turn broke down the barriers that separated us. In other words it unified a world of people in a matter of decades and gave us something we could all relate to.

The small, less fortunate guy, was able to have a voice. Through that voice it didn’t matter if the big guy heard the cries of injustice. As long as the voice reached other less fortunate people that was all that mattered. It rallied all the have nots together and unified a million voices into one large sound so that the big man had no choice but to listen. Once the big man heard a million different cries things began to change.

That is why this culture is so important to me and many others. We appreciate what it has done for us on so many different levels that it is hard to imagine what the world would be like had this culture not invaded the minds of the people of the world. For this moment I would just like to reflect on the positive and not the negative as many of us do from time to time. Rather than say what is wrong with culture lets focus on the good and maybe….just maybe….the positive will overpower the negative.

This isn’t a post about me being right but more so a post of just a thought that I wanted to share. No worries though, I’m sure one day I will speak on the negative, but today is not that day!!!!

It Sounds So Lovely

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Looking at the future of music it seems to be going in a direction that I favor, at least for what I guess we can call the underground music. Well, maybe underground mainstream music would be a better term for it. What is underground mainstream music? I thought you would never ask.

To me it’s the musicians that were underground in my youthful days. Now those artists still hold true to what they feel is the integrity of the culture, and by never stopping, they have reached mainstream status but never mainstream sales. Groups like the Roots, Talib Kweli, Common, Jadkiss, Styles P, KRS-One, etc. are seeing their music being heard by way more people than of the past. Mainly due to technology and most definitely their talent.

This has caused music to shift dramatically from separate genres to a melting pot of mixed genres. In the case of hip hop, which has always been a mixture of genres, it has now traveled the globe from the ghettos of America to the ghettos of the world. Just like it spread from the ghetto to the suburbs of America, worldwide it did the same thing furthering the melting pot.

Which brings me to the point of this post. The music of today is still as good as the music of the past it’s just no longer bound to the hardships of the oppressed. It has had a chance to be heard and understood by the more fortunate. At one point it was the black and latino culture that fueled hip hop until white people started really listening and decided they too had something to add. Hip hop, as it always does, started sampling. This time instead of records, it sampled culture. Adding a new twist every time it did so.

Now when I listen to music I see the more popular emcees branching out to singers to help aid in the picture they are painting. This is nothing new, but the way it’s being done is different. Years of the past, one could see that if a hip hop had a singer on the chorus, it was more than likely an artist from the R & B genre. Now it’s branching out into artists who bring something entirely different. Whether it’s jazz singers, alternative, rock, etc. it doesn’t matter and I personally love it.

Hip Hop has expanded it’s boundaries to anyone who can appreciate it’s contribution to the world and by doing so, has created yet another chamber to the culture. A culture that doesn’t care where you come from or how you sound. All that matters is whatever cultures combine to make a song, that song better be good. If it is, it is welcomed to the Hip Hop culture.