Posts Tagged ‘Mos Def’

“…these are the words that I manifest. I Manifest.” – Gang Starr, Manifest (No More Mr. Nice Guy, 1989 – Wild Pitch Records/EMI Records)

Peace, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

With sincerity, I submit this manifesto of gratitude and appreciation for your concern. More to the point and specific to this document’s intent, I thank you for your candor; your willingness to acknowledge the plight of Black people [through your dialogue invoking joint, White Privilege II] and the origination of what has proven to be an insurmountable social obstacle against the system of White Privilege. Your efforts are commendable, and brave to boot. Your public observance of what has been an issue for nearly 500 years is regarded as sincerely empathetic and not trivial, for it suggests that you understand the proper way in which to address and impart reasoning unto your cultural peers for the purpose of contextualizing the very real idea of white privilege, cultural appropriation, and cultural subjugation. However, while your song content and approach are unique and brim with quality, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention that the intent and goal aren’t. As I am sure you are aware, Hip Hop has always served as the initiate for social change, highlighting the adverse circumstances under which we were, are, and continue to be placed, per the ubiquitous nature of white privilege/supremacy.

Over the years, many of our beloved and legendary Emcees have worked to bring awareness to the problem while bolstering the richness and righteousness that is contained within us, the original man – “The maker, the owner, the cream of the planet Earth, Father of civilization, God of the Universe.” Legendary Emcees such as: KRS One – You Must Learn; PRT (Poor Righteous Teachers) – Shakiyla; X-Clan – Funkin’ Lesson; Lakim Shabazz – Black is Back; King Sun – Be Black; Big Daddy Kane – Young, Gifted, and Black ; Brand Nubians – Wake Up; Public Enemy – Fight The Power; Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five – The Message; Fearless Four – Problems of The World Today; Gang Starr – Royalty; Black Star (Mos Def & Talib Kweli) – Brown Skin Lady; Rakim – The Mystery; Nas – I Can, and a host of others that go unnamed but are equally recognized. Unfortunately, the gracious offerings of these artists wouldn’t surpass exposure beyond cultural relevance; the exception perhaps being those White brothers and sisters that were and continue to be avid Hip Hop supporters and/or historians.

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Macklemore and Ryan, the point of the aforementioned is not to convey nor pose opposition to your song, but, to simply acknowledge those that have come before you [as you’ve most notably done on DownTown feat. Kool Moe Dee, Grandmaster Caz, and Grandmaster Melle Mel]and have leveraged the platform of Hip Hop culture as a means of effectuating social change, or in the least, spark the flame of cultural consideration amongst  White folks.

Regarding this matter, I found myself compelled to express my perspective. Not because I felt it necessary to align with the wayward backlash that you guys are being met with, but instead, to provide an articulate and respectful explanation of how we as Black folks potentially feel about your song, albeit gracious. On another note, I have to admit that I was somewhat indifferent about your career; I’d concur that your lyrical prowess is mostly enjoyable and your content/topics were interesting and sometimes even poignant but your songs never quite resonated with me. In fact, if I can be honest, I initially considered you to be just another White rapper using the benefit of implicit privilege, supremacy, carefree themes, flow patterns, suitable vocal inflections, and vocabulary to drive a career. A shift in my belief has since occurred causing me to depart from this perspective and see that in fact, White people can genuinely care about and be invested in the long-term sustainability of Black culture. The two of you have proven this through your public sincerity and gratitude for the incomparable contributions that Black culture has imparted unto the world.  You guys have possibly set the stage for change amongst White people and it is now time to execute.

Below are some recommendations of how you can further facilitate an understanding amongst your ethnic peers regarding the social dynamic between Black and White people and how it is impacted by the system of White Privilege.  Some recommended group talking points amongst White people are as follows:

  • Don’t be threatened by the assertion of Black [and Brown] Pride
  • Seek opportunities that support/reinforce empathy for the Black [and Brown] experience
  • Similarities between the Black and White racial/social experience is virtually non-existent
  • Understand that the statement, “Black Lives Matter” is not suggestive of racism or a disregard for White lives
  • Gentrification is a result of White Privilege and is a real and proven concept that forces cultural displacement
  • White flight is a result of White Privilege and is a real and proven concept that erodes the cultural diversity in a neighborhood, thereby, causing the inevitability of poverty as a result of ethnic stereotyping
  • Amongst Black people, Rioting is never a result of animalistic and/or apathetic manifestations. Instead, it is the result of hopelessness in the face of racial adversity, inequality, and injustice
  • Effectively, Black [and Brown] people can’t reasonably be regarded as racist amidst the looming shadows of systematic White Privilege/Supremacy

Again, I thank you [prospective Hip Hop Legends] for your willingness to create the basis upon which healthy dialogue regarding the issue of ethnic privilege will perhaps come to thrive. It is my hope that the perspective shared in this manifesto has merely served as additional context and has imparted suggestive instructions that look to contribute to a foundation of better understanding the Black experience.

Thank you in advance for the engagement. Looking forward to hearing back from you.

One,

D.D. Turner, Enforcer of Negritude

TCOHHL (The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend) Radio

@TCOHHL_Radio

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In Hip Hop context, how would you define the title, Lyricist? Here’s my submission:
Lyricist [liruh-sist] : One whom is endowed with the ability to express popular thought and perception through the skillful execution of rhyme sequences, patterns, and constructs all while adhering to the sacred tenants of Hip Hop culture.

This definition explains [Coney Island] Brooklyn, New York City’s, Torae Carr exquisitely. As a polished Emcee, Torae has committed himself to an undeniable consistency over the years by delivering lyrical craftwork that is replete with formidable punchlines and observations that go straight to the heart, mind, and soul of his fans. And to reinforce the complimentary perceptions of those of us that comprise his loyal fan base, our celebrated TorGuide has blessed us with, Entitled; a full length project that satisfies the expectations of even the most unforgiving Hip Hop music critic. From “Get Down” to “C.I.’s Finest” to the “Shoutro,” Torae takes us on an explorative journey of his own maturation, offering disclosure along the way through his lyrical prowess about his life experiences, love, and loss.

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But to think of Torae as only a lyricist is as absurd as regarding Imhotep as only the High Priest of Heliopolis. Torae’s career also boasts his role as a regular SiriusXM radio show host where his self-titled TorGuide show provides quality Hip Hop programming to the masses. And most recently, he has proven his versatility and discipline yet again by submitting himself to the realm of acting, appearing in the pilot episode of the VH1 feature, The Breaks.

Torea’s interest in disciplines outside of Emceeing is implicit and speaks to the idea of long term career sustainability perhaps being the desire of most Lyricists and Rappers but is only achieved when there is a willingness to explore brand expansion opportunities that go beyond the scope of music; consider the careers of Ice Cube, Will Smith, LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Ludacris, Ice T, Common, T.I., and Mos Def. And now, Torae.

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Torae has borrowed a page from the golden playbook of our Hip Hop transcending elder statesmen/women by pursuing and mastering fields outside of the culture. And like these legends, his journey of self-exploration and maturation through music has prepared him for the realization of his life’s path. And as he has showed us through his hard work, sacrifice, and determination over the years, he’s not just deserving of all of the good things that are to come for he and his family, he’s Entitled.

-D.D. Turner, Founder – #TCOHHL (The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend)

Click the below links to hear our recent interview with Torae:

The “Torae” Chapter (U.S. Version)

The “Torae” Chapter (International Version)

 

 

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Inarguably, classic soul music is the cornerstone of Hip Hop’s, Rap music. From the rhythmic, beat-driven concoctions of the kingly, James Brown and The JBs, to the strumming harmonies of the great blues pioneer, B.B. King, Hip Hop musicians have always looked towards the classic creations of these great musicians and countless others for inspiration and influence while amidst their own creative process.

Tonight on The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend (#TCOHHL) Radio, the dynamic duo, D.D. Turner and C. Stats, will be kicking it with DJ/Producer/Beat Maker, Amerigo Gazaway. Over the years, Amerigo has released a number of projects that have redefined the way in which samples are used by identifying a workable and undeniable synergy between the talents of yesterday’s soul legends and the legendary lyricists of today.

So tune in tonight (Wednesday) from 8-10pm est on tenacityradio.com.

Call yourself a music enthusiasts? Then you’re going to love this episode!

Don’t fake jacks by being a #TurdBird. Tune in and officially be Down By Law with #TCOHHL and #AmerigoGazaway. #WordBorn!

On the go? Then tune in to the live show via our mobile app using the link attached below.

http://tenacityradio.mobapp.at/#listen-live/Listen_Live