Still Loving Hip-Hop

by Niema Jordan

It’s Hip-Hop Appreciation Week? It’s Hip-Hop Appreciation Week and I had no clue? I damn near snatched my own hip-hop lovers ‘r us card when I clicked on Miles Marshall Lewis’ latest piece for Ebony. I figured I should write an ode to hip-hop a la Sid Shaw in Brown Sugar. Maybe I’d as few folks when they fell in love or channel Erykah Badu and sing “Love of My Life” or “The Healer/Hip-Hop” all passionate and off key.

I chuckled a bit when MML started discussing the celebratory events schedule for this week. “But as hardcore hip-hop aficionados know,” he wrote, “these sort of old-school cultural events tend to be overpopulated with aging, grey-haired B-boys who never listen to any rap music post-Tupac and Biggie.” These old-heads actually sounded a lot like some of the “I only rock with the real real hip-hop” folks in my crew.  I was reminded one of many poems that I’ve written about genre, the culture.

We make love to your corpse

When we should be plotting your rebirth

Why did I choose “plotting” instead of “celebrating?”

While my friends and I stay on the blogs looking for the next song, we spend a ton of time talking about how hip-hop ain’t what it used to be. We say it as if we were there at the founding. We act like were at house parties or participating in ciphers during the Golden Era, knowing damn well we were in daycare.

In a lot of ways respecting — and reminiscing for the folks who were there from the beginning — has turned into romanticizing. When we romanticize, it’s hard to fully enjoy all of the great things happening now. It’s difficult to see the potential of the future. While I would have loved to fully experience Yo-Yo, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah and Salt-N-Peppa, I’m happy that Missy, Kim, Foxy, Da Brat, Left Eye, and L-Boogie are part of my coming of age story. I’m also happy that I know where to find Invincible, Jean Grae,

Rocky Rivera, Rapsody and Josie Stingray. Seeing Nicki make moves and thinking one day more women MCs can make it to the mainstream allows for some hope.

So, I’ve decided to go back to my Brown Sugar hype with this. “To Hip-Hop, I used to love you. I still do. I always will.”

 

What do you love about the current state of Hip-Hop?

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

    “What do you love about the current state of Hip-Hop?”

    Nothing. Hip hop hates me as a woman and a Black woman and I hate it back.

  • EssDot323

    I’m pretty bored with the current state of mainstream Hip Hop. A lot of it is watered down and predictable:
    “Kill a n!gga, f*ck a b!tch
    sling coke, stack chips…”

    Garbage. And tired garbage at that. There’s nothing new that speaks to me from the mainstream.

    So I’ve tapped into the non-mainstream market and discovered some great music from Dominique Larue, Eternia, Nikki Lynette, and KalaeAllDay.

  • Yb

    +100000000

    Got no love for the anti black women, racial misogynist negros that participate, celebrate, and indulge in hip hop/rap “music”.

  • Ms. Information

    Nothing…give me old school hip hop (a tribe called quest, ll cool j, mc lyte, de la soul, common, et cetera) ALL DAY…this new stuff is crap mostly.

  • Jess

    Sadly…Not a damn thing.

  • OSHH

    I concur.

  • Sgqemz

    What I love is the fact that the internet has made the underground more accessible. BTW Jean Grae is a demon on the mic #Jeanius

  • B. Payne

    There’s a difference between hip hop and hip pop

  • That’s That

    +1

    Most definitely. Like an above comment has mentioned, the internet has opened hip-hop lovers, who can only tolerate Nicki Minaj and the entire Young Money team in small doses, to tons of underground artist.

    (Even though I do stomach a few Drake tracks or I may be an actual Drake fan in denial idk. He’s just so “different” from the rest of them. LOL)

  • Sgqemz

    +1

  • Leonie UK

    @ That That’s I too am a secret Drake fan

    I am a die hard Hip-Hop loveR, and all this week I have got my ipod rinising the following artist so far…
    Median
    Kendrick Lamar
    Cross Movement
    The Truth
    Common
    Wretch 32
    Black Star,
    Talib Kewli,
    Mos Def,
    Dead Prez,
    TACQ,
    Dizzee Rascal,
    Dwyane Tryumf,
    Jahaziel,
    Kano,
    Rugz D Bewler
    SWAY
    Maino,
    Pharoach Monch
    PHONTE (THE BEST ALBUM OF 2011)

    Yes my music taste is like a live show with Jools Holland, but I love Hip-hop. Tired of defending it, but love it never the less. Like a family relative you pretend is only partly blood related, I love hip-hop.

  • Brown Sugar

    Hip-Hop is still alive. Check out Meek Mill’s hot new FREE album “Dream Chasers 2″.

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