A Note From Nate

What follows is a well written note from a friend, musical partner, local MC and all around awesome guy. Enjoy.

In defence of Hip-Hop (a rant of sorts, from a local rapper)

(This is a letter i emailed to the View after reading this weeks rants)

In defence of Hip-Hop (a rant of sorts, from a local rapper)

“Some people thinkin’ M.C is shorthand for misconception” -Talib Kweli

This is a letter regarding the recent rants concerning rap music in the View the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately, I can see how the current state of rap could dilute the un-initiated into thinking that the popular versions of the genre are the status quo. But, what these callers don’t seem to realise is the garbage that is being pushed into the public sphere is not what the real Hip-Hop is about. From the beginning, rap music and hip-hop has been about self-expression and rebellion against the mainstream while exposing the lies and hypocrisies that the media and governments push on us daily. With the music from pioneering artists like KRS-One and Public Enemy, people were taught to think for themselves and question force-fed public opinion. Currently there are progressive artists like: Immortal Technique, Mr. Lif and Sage Francis (among hundreds of others that form the underground) who use their ideas of dissention fused with creative lyricism and provocative beats to invoke relevant arguments against mediocrity and the fallacy of complacency. From the mind bending sci-fi thought forms of Sole, Dose One, Aesop Rock and Del to the staccato angst filled deliveries of El-P and Crayzdom. From the slick samples and scratches of DJ Shadow to the pure and simple production of DJ Premier, real Hip-Hop has always been on the forefront of innovation and uniqueness. Unfortunately, the disconnected, moronic, auto-tuned voices of pop rap have blinded the general public to the true soul of the art form. I have to admit, a large percentage of the rap music heard today is ripe with homophobia, misogyny, violence, and mindless shallow consumerism. And when this shit is all that is presented in clubs and on the radio I cannot blame unwilling listeners to feel violated by this trash. Sadly, it seems, the direction of popular music is to be chosen by the purchasing power of confused 17 year olds, hence: Black Eyed Peas (post Fergi), T-Pain, Lil’ Wayne and the rest of this fake hipster-hop. This demon spawned fifteen minutes of fame vomit that haunts my darkest nightmares. As for the comment that Hip-Hop takes no “real talent”. I would challenge the caller to listen to groups like: Rage Against the Machine, The Roots, Bullfrog, Atmosphere, Cage, Saul Williams and K’naan or even Hamilton’s home grown crews like Peak Soil and The Warsaw Pack (not to mention Lee Reed). These are all Hip-Hop groups with real instruments, real energy and revealing lyricism. Comparing this malignant tumour, pop rap to true Hip-Hop is akin to putting The Jonas Brothers on the same page as The Clash. I didn’t stop listening to Tool because Nickel Back sucks. To the caller: I have a life, a son and a love. I wear baggy pants and still, listen to music that is made with genuine soul, skill and talent. I don’t listen to Hip-Hop “to be cool”, I listen to it (and make it) because it helps me relate in this sometimes-alienating world. Please, don’t let the falsehood of pop skew your perception of this energetic, progressive and powerful genre of music.

Keep it Real -N to the P (Hamilton)