Compassion in Hip Hop?


What ever happened to camaraderie in the hip hop community, maybe even, a positive message relating to community within hip hop?  Regularly, we are flooded with hateful music from artists feuding, trivially, with other artists in order to get name recognition for mediocre attempts at musical art; a backwards way of name dropping while flexing not artistic muscle, I am sure there is some sort of inside deal about name dropping in correlation to fame.  In many ways I think negative aggression lacks substance, I mean, other than how someone is going to kill another rapper, out do them with hoes, or make, and or stack more cash than said other rapper, the insight is useless to my ears.  (I will try to refrain from using the word artist unless the person doing the work is truly an artist.)  

I want to hear rhymes about real situations, real good times, and especially positive thought.

How many artists actually carry guns, kick that much ass, and fuck that many fine girls?  If so I am sure they aren’t really that excited about it really.  So why make a song about it?  What does the demographic that listens to hip hop want?  I used to listen to Lil Wayne more often in high school because I thought after I turned 18 and didn’t live with my mom I would be rich, own a mansion, and drive a Bentley.  This dream is over, I have grown up.  Maybe a Hail Mary is affordable to some listening, maybe subtlety, even Dr. Dre says ‘still water runs deep’, is more realistic though.  Have we lost that message?

On the other hand, I am thankful daily for something, anything, positive flowing into my life, as the above video has.  I like to represent all things positive and progressive, especially in my locale.  I look and I find.  If you look you will find.

All of the artists in the above shown video seem excited about being out and having a good time.  They don’t seem to be cutting on anyone, or getting their jollies off by slicing on other rappers.  The positive energy is fascinating and seems highly addictive, I want some.

I see a group of artists having fun laughing, enjoying themselves sans flashing guns, drugs (besides Prof and the beers), riding in tricked out custom cars, and I am amazed, but don’t think I should be.  Prof is even on a bike, that is Minneapolis to the core.  Those fleeting things shouldn’t be the backbone of an industry, more so, they seem a means to an end, hopefully.

I guess bullying doesn’t prove your manliness.  It proves you have a lot on your mind-in regards to other men, artists, etc.  Maybe its time to start thinking, as an artist,  in a more enlightening way.

When have you, in recent times, seen this many MC’s getting down in a friendly jovial manner?  I think some artists think it might be the hardest shit that gets them noticed or the most vicious, but I feel that thinking (or lack of thought) reduces originality and relevance considering that is probably the most frequently used form of delivery in the hip hop industry as we know it.  50 cent did it, but that was 15 years ago, and he is huge and a real gangster, apparently.  And Ja Rule does suck.  I always see battles on Nicollet Mall in front of the Library and someone is yelling, or someone is walking away defeated.  My friend, I feel for you, because remember:  Volume does not equal intelligence.  They should read a book perhaps.

So, I would like to give a massive shout out to those with positivity, forward-thinking ventures, life-like ideas and little animosity towards kin, unless it is usefully and positively expressed.

Negative hip hop is childish:

Like, man, that dude got rocked in that 8 mile MC battle…

Or, That cat got rocked in a battle at that one crazy party…

Did you hear that 50 diss???  OMG!

(… it was also boring and uninteresting)

I remember these statements, but I don’t want to recollect through a CD.  I would rather have positive enjoyment.  Maybe a laugh.  I would rather listen to the whole #APT Crew at DDP singing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody drunk as shit under the Hennepin Ave Bridge via my Windows phone.

The more I think of how normal the hip hop industry sounds (mainstream, nationally, and internationally), I compare it to what I hear locally in Minneapolis, or through my friends, and I am blown away with how everyone around here seems to be everybody else’s keeper, ahead of the rest, and able to deal with reality.  The big picture is there is rivalry, yet there is a sense of respect, interest, and differing perspective.  Hence the art is not bland and overdone.

Internationally, I respect the message of The Streets.  Mike Skinner’s idea of not trading dreams in for a 9-5 job captivate me as a listener.  Locally, underground, and semi-nationally I respect the late great Gavin Theory, and Hives Inquiry Squad.  And Locally I respect most all Rhymesayers Entertainment artists:  Rhymesayers Official.

I hope hip hop does not get fixated any more than it already has with boasting, hyperbolic slander, and generally negative concepts.  I can only look, hope, and pray for inspired, hilarious, and friendly spirits in music (As the above videos have demonstrated).  I think we all need a little smile on our faces from the music we listen to, or just a smile while we throw negative music out of our lives.  Music is awesome, I think artists need to make it a beneficial thing that is worthy of a listen, and be held to their work, other than promoting a headache.  Why waste a burned CD?

Again, I am ever impressed with what is around me, and I am happy as F to be living in Minneapolis.  The music seems to keep offering interesting and realistic opportunities aurally.  89.3 The Current keeps up with some very innovative acts, very cutting edge, and local word of mouth is dominant and precise.

A message for all you MC’s: evidence proves that sticking together takes you farther.  Divide and conquer, stick together and prosper.

Stay positive.

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One Response to “Compassion in Hip Hop?”

  1. […] just how deep the city’s talent runs. This is the type of stuff that Terry was talking about in his post about compassion in Hip-Hop; I know for a fact he would love to see that Slug is reaching out a […]

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