From Godz To Niggaz

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Nu'Rudeen
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Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:36 pm

just read it and tell me what you think http://p076.ezboard.com/fpoliticalpalac ... =737.topic

HOW DID WE GET HERE , WHERE ARE WE FROM AND WHERE ARE WE GOING TO?

I remember when I was in highschool and I first heard rap...I immediately associated it with "rap" sessions or H. "Rap" Brown (a political activist). I thought it was supposed to be a thing where brothas would talk about their situations from the heart, and express themselves with a beat to keep you into the vibe or the feeling. I got into "rap" for that reason...so I could express myself from the heart about issues. I am of Jamaican descent so I have always listened to reggae throughout my life. When I was in high school and used to write rhymes for fun, I used to ask myself why Hip Hop wasn't nearly as "concious" as reggae. When I listened to Bob Marley or Third World back then, I got a sense of upliftment. Good old Bob used to say "Don't worry...about a ting, because every likkle ting, is gonna be alright."

Lookin' around, I always got a feelin' like brothas and sistas are messing up. I have always had a desire to speak to hurting people through rap. When rap became "Hip Hop" I didn't mind. People were at least talking about the culture. They used to explain rap is just "people reciting rhymes over a beat" and seemed to imply that if the music wasn't tied to the culture, it wasn't Hip Hop. People had an attitude and a concern for rap being used commercially and in movies that in no way related to us. When Public Enemy dropped, for people that think the way I do, Chuck D was very welcome. At least this brotha was droppin' concious music (a term used by Jamaicans alot to refer to music whose intent is to edify, uplift and motivate its listening audience). What has happened to Hip Hop?

Even people who aren't nearly as concerned about the Positivity as I am are saying that Hip Hop is dying off. Why is this? Well, let's examine this. First of all, if you look at reggae for a minute, you notice that much more music is pushed that talks about the need to take care of the children, respect your mama, overcome the drugs, and encourages you through struggle. I challenge you to recognize that for the most part, Jamaicans are still in control of their own music. It doesn't take rocket science to see that this may be a good reason why they pump positivity into their own culture!

What about us? Do African Americans own, distribute and control their own music? Hell no, read "Hit Men" by Frederick Dammen if you want an accurate picture. There is no doubt in my mind that this answers my question.

We have shamefully given up control of the very music we created in the South Bronx - only to be told that positive music, the music that has the potential to breath life into our own hurting people, won't sell! Nice job.

Lauryn Hill, you are a God send.

Originally on :http://www.2bzmedia.com/bizvscul.htm

MORE: the get rich or die trying syndrome

How Hip Hop Music Sold Its Soul-50 Comes to Ireland

by Jim Carroll

http://www.ireland.com/theticket...01HIP.html

Get rich or die trying? It seems that the world of hip-hop has taken 50 Cent's adage to heart. A reliance on the same producers, the same beats and the same lame lyrical concerns has turned mainstream hip-hop into a neo-con sound with a neo-con economic outlook. Jim Carroll laments the triumph of the commercial over the musical and looks for a new messiah

IT seems that the big silver screen loves hip-hop like a fat kid loves cake. Next week, 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin' (pictured on cover) opens for business in Ireland, the latest cinematic rap-driven vehicle to roll this way. The $40 million film, directed by Jim Sheridan, tells the tale of an orphaned, streetwise hard-chaw abandoning a life of crime to find salvation as a rapper spitting lyrics about, what else, a life of crime.

A semi-biographical take on the rapper's rise from drug-dealing teenager on the streets of Queens to gangsta rap kingpin, Get Rich shamelessly cashes in on Fiddy's current commercial clout. As the film's distribution chief Wayne Lewellen explained, "50 Cent's popularity as a rap artist was the appeal. The timing was co-ordinated with the release of 50 Cent's latest album and of his video game and we felt the market conditions were right."

After eight weeks on release in the US, Get Rich or Die Tryin' has taken nearly $31 million at the box office, so the film is unlikely to lose money in the long run for its producers and investors. It shows that 50 Cent the cash-cow is still in fine fettle. The Hector Grey of hip-hop can now add films to a portfolio that includes books, clothes, CDs, video games and bottles of vitamin water.

It makes you wonder, though, if this really is what hip-hop has come to in 2006. Is it just a tardy prop to hawk baggy T-shirts, grape-flavoured water and a ropey crime-drama that would head straight-to-DVD without its star name? What happened to the political edge and the activism hip-hop once brandished as a badge of honour? After 30 years on the rise, has the boasting and braggadocio really taken over? It may be time to ask again the question Public Enemy once rhymed: who stole the soul?

A good place to start looking for answers is at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx. There's little to mark this particular apartment block out as noteworthy. If you didn't have the address written down on a scrap of paper, you'd walk right past and keep going down the street. There are no huge billboards, glitzy statues or neon signposts to alert you to the fact that you're standing at the birthplace of hip-hop, its equivalent of Sun Studios, the Cavern Club and that Mississippi crossroads where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. This is where it all began on a sultry August night in 1973.

To the hundred or so people who turned up to boogie on down, it was just a back-to-school hop in a small recreation room in the Bronx. A girl called Cindy Campbell had organised the dance to make some money to go downtown to Delancey Street to buy some new clothes for herself. Her brother Clive, or DJ Kool Herc as he styled himself, borrowed a sound system from his father and started to play records. Every so often, their chum Mike would flick on and off the overhead lights to add some atmospherics.

While Cindy collected the 25 cents entrance fee, Clive spun funk and soul, James Brown and dancehall, breaks and beats. Everyone had a blast and went home sweating. It was such a success that Cindy and Clive began to plot some more parties. The rest? Well, the rest is history.

Little acorns and all of that. Hip-hop has come a long, long way from those innocent parties so beloved of back-in-the-day folklorists. These days, hip-hop is a multi-billion dollar industry, which uses the culture spawned in south Bronx rooms and parks to pimp every manner of consumer tat imaginable.

Turn on your TV and you can bet your limited edition pair of Phat Farm shell-toe trainers that the next ad break will feature a sales pitch or two borrowing heavily from hip-hop style and substance in one way or another. Keep watching and you'll soon come across some of hip-hop's current best-sellers, the sound of hip-hop present. As the beats thud and pound, the lads in the video will start rapping about how they're the toughest, roughest, hardest motherfuckers around and that if you mess with them or their crew, you'll get a clip around the ear.

Everywhere you look, hip-hop is sewn tightly into the fabric of the daily grind. To bounce a line from rap duo Dead Prez, hip-hop has become much bigger than hip-hop music.

Hip-hop is now used and abused over and over again by savvy salesmen, angry b-boys, social commentators, teen rebels, angsty academics, political chancers and everyone else as both shorthand and longhand for all sorts of things. No wonder hip-hop has become so darn confused about what it is, where it's coming from and especially where the hell it's going. Hip-hop needs a new lease of life, but where does it go to get that?

Back on Sedgwick Avenue, hip-hop past and present come together when a bus rolls by heading south. Emblazoned across the side of it is an advert for Get Rich Or Die Tryin'. It seems that no story about hip-hop can get away from the Fiddy man. No-one represents what hip-hop is about right now more than 50 Cent. He's the money, and every new day, the rapper ticks off yet another box on his business plan.

It may be a good thing for 50 Cent Inc that there are other business interests to fall back on, because the acting gig is not going to be a runner. The rapper just cannot act. Even in an undemanding, cliché-ridden bore like this, a flick where everyone must have phoned in their roles, 50 can't deliver lines like "I'm a gangsta, grandpa" or orchestrate robberies in a convincing manner.

What Fiddy is doing is flogging a lifestyle. The racks of G-Unit sportswear in department stores and rows of G-Unit sneakers mass-produced by Reebok represent a connection to the world of Fiddy without the purchaser having to hang out on those same hard streets.

Buy the CD, throw on that hoodie, lace up those trainers and suddenly, the white suburban teen, the target demographic who buys the bulk of Fiddy's products like their younger siblings dig Barney, becomes a gangsta in his head.

By conforming to what his audience wants, Fiddy has become a very wealthy, successful individual. But the lyrical skills and flow with which he first made his name have become blunted and the lifestyle pimping has taken over from everything else.

Far removed from the streets which provided him with the material for his raps ­ you only have to look at the lavish portrait of 50 and friends in a recent edition of Vanity Fair, all suited and booted in his Connecticut mansion, to see that - he's now selling a commodity rather than reliving pages from his diary.

It has to be this way. His audience don't want to hear him moaning about the problems involved in buying soft furnishings for his new big house. They want the guns and the shootings and the crimes. So 50 has to become a new-school song and dance minstrel and keep up that old routine.

Fiddy doesn't have the time to do much else. When you add in the G-Unit label (home to such dreary rapping grunts as Lloyd Banks and Young Buck), the G-Unit video game, the Formula 50 vitamin water and his From Pieces To Weight autobiography, you can understand just why Fiddy and decent music have parted ways.

And there's the rub. For many of today's hip-hop headliners, the business of selling the brand has taken over from the business of making music. Priorities are back to front and, as a result, there's just way too much humdrum formulaic music doing the rounds.

It stands to reason that if you're too busy sweating over the design of your next puffa jacket, you don't have time to write sharp rhymes or find new beats. It's also unfortunately the case that you'll probably make more cheddar from those jackets than you will from sales of your new CD. Case in point, Sean "Diddy" Combs, who has been making more cash from his Sean John fashion range of late than from any releases on Bad Boy Records.

Fiddy, then, is not alone. After all, rap has become one of the new American dreams. An endless string of rappers keeps coming along with one dull record after another, hoping to get their 40 acres and a mule or, at the very least, a sneaker endorsement. At least when Run DMC hooked up with Adidas, the music was banging. The new breed really don't have anything new to say, but hell, they're going to holler anyway.

Worse, it's becoming harder and harder to tell one rapper's big tune from the next. A reliance on the same producers, the same beats and the same lame lyrical concerns has turned mainstream hip-hop into a neo-con sound. What was once a series of furious clarion calls and sharp social observations has become a way to pay your respects to your dopeman and gun dealer. If it keeps going like this, rappers will simply be reciting shopping lists and the contact list from their Blackberrys by 2036.

Of course, there are exceptions to all of the above. There are some underground alternative MCs, the antithesis of the thug-rappers currently in vogue, who have plenty to say, even if few are bothered to listen.

There are mainstream figures such as Kanye West who may represent a new way for the genre to shine. West's two albums to date contain a fair shake of shout-outs for bling king Jacob The Jeweller, but his Diamonds Are From Sierra Leone makes a couple of pertinent political points. Similarly, his post-Katrina TV appearance showed someone who knows his high-profile position can be used to do more than just hawk branded sweatshirts.

But the genre needs more characters like West to come through. There's no point blaming the industry for hip-hop's current state. After all, the industry's permanent establishment will work with anyone who can sell a million, regardless of their political, social or economic leanings.

Like the scene that emerged over 30 years ago from a party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, it will begin - or end - on the streets. As mainstream hip-hop moves further and further away from its roots, the time is right for hip-hop music's next great leap forward. If that doesn't happen, however, let's hope we're not in for 30 more years of Fiddy.

Get Rich or Die Tryin' is released next Friday
theme elohim
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Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:46 pm

Davey D
The blood that courses through my veins contains, although minuscule, quite relevant traces of wise and mighty Queens and Kings
hell yeah, I'm inspired...for real...I think we are all just too afraid of such threads, too real...but ask me and I will say all that was written in that piece is the original mindset of hip hop, although I now firmly believe in its universality, white or black, as long as someone can still revert to the original ideas that birth'd it...

Peace n Love King
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Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:47 pm

Its true though for the Hip Hop part

This album "The Minstrel Show" by Little Brother was rated 10/10 on http://www.rapreviews.com however the source didn't want to give it five mics, causing an Exec to quit his post in the mag. BET didn't even want to air their videos sayin it wasn't "Marketable"...like Nas said we gotta take control of our music.

but funny enough not all of Reggae is conscious, yea i know People gon' say Sizzla, Buju Banton, Damien Marley, President Brown....

but what of Sean Paul, Vybez Kartel, Beenie Man and a million others....

"Dude" by Beenie Man was about encouragin us through any struggle

and "We be burnin" by Sean Paul certainly wasn't sayin stay off drugs and shit....

so go figure
theme elohim
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Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:58 pm

but what of Sean Paul, Vybez Kartel, Beenie Man and a million others....
there's a distinction between Reggae, ragga and dancehall...but I get your point...otherwise reggae itself has remained untainted, although ragga and dancehall are threatening to cloud it through commercialisation. The only problem with hip hop is that although you got different types of hip hop, the average muthaphuka or the record exec is still gonna class it as "real hip hop" even when its crap.
BrothaNature
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Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:38 am


theme elohim

there's a distinction between Reggae, ragga and dancehall...but I get your point...otherwise reggae itself has remained untainted, although ragga and dancehall are threatening to cloud it through commercialisation. The only problem with hip hop is that although you got different types of hip hop, the average muthaphuka or the record exec is still gonna class it as "real hip hop" even when its crap.
And thats the issue in and of itself. However, most Jamaican Reggae artist are able to produce their music in a majority Black country. Black people in the U.S. do not make up a large percentage of ownership behind the scences as far as Hip Hop goes (or Black Music in general), therefore we do not have enough clout to determine what's authentic enough to be presented through mass media.

Not to mention the fact that we own very little outlets for who to market the music to:

"Buy the CD, throw on that hoodie, lace up those trainers and suddenly, the white suburban teen, the target demographic who buys the bulk of Fiddy's products like their younger siblings dig Barney, becomes a gangsta in his head. "

The Average white kid in the Suburb probably wont be interested in listening to an artist talk about Pan African themes such as Ethiopia, Garvey, Haile Selassie I, ect. But, it IS a true that Shaggy has changed his style up.

Nontheless, I disagree w/ the writer who says:

"But the genre needs more characters like West to come through. There's no point blaming the industry for hip-hop's current state. After all, the industry's permanent establishment will work with anyone who can sell a million, regardless of their political, social or economic leanings. "

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Black people do not need to "work with" ANYONE, we need TO BE IN CONTROL OF!

Second The United States Govt will NEVER allow Black Hip Hop artists to speak out againts the ongoing contradictions this country has towards it's Black population in large numbers w/ out putting up a response/fight. The author mentioned Public Enemy, yet they failed to realize they were under FBI surveillance. The same could be said about NWA, Tupac and Paris.

So I dont want the author or ANYONE to get on their SoapBox and tell me about how American Hip Hop "Use to sound" w/ out bringing up the the fact that there ARE those who feel Hip Hop (and Mass Media) could be used as a tool to influence Black youth under solidarity. It happend in the 60's and the 70's so I dont see how one would think it would be different now...
konko
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Fri May 12, 2006 5:29 pm

@ sid:

nice articles men....u always know how to "inspire" people. i admire u for that and i'm really inspired. keep it up bro. would be nice if u can post dis up in other forums,specially the NAIJA one( :wink: ).

@ brothanature:

i feel ya on the US govt response tip. but should that be an excuse to deviate from the true essence of hiphop? some people believe that tupacs death was secretly masterminded by US govt. operatives (i don't know bout that).... but the point is, his words still have a powerful effect on people's minds till today. i agree with u that blacks need to TAKE CONTROL of OUR music, n not allow ourselves be turned into money making commodities while promoting gangstarism as "HIPHOP CULTURE". damn!....i mean, the way hiphop is right now, i wonder who gets the last laugh huh?
BrothaNature
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Tue May 16, 2006 6:44 am

[quote name="konko_below"]@ sid:

nice articles men....u always know how to "inspire" people. i admire u for that and i'm really inspired. keep it up bro. would be nice if u can post dis up in other forums,specially the NAIJA one( :wink: ).

@ brothanature:

i feel ya on the US govt response tip. but should that be an excuse to deviate from the true essence of hiphop?[/quote]

Yea you've got a good point, man. No, there is no excuse. Thats why you and I agree on the same point, that Black people need to take control on the economic side of our music (actually everything). Because when it comes down to it, we can not get mad when others decide being a gangster is worth more to put money behind.
WTNRRadio
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Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:48 pm

Alas, when there are no more senseless battles and no more raps about the streets - only then will hip-hop elevate

only then will rappers no longer be hoes to the anglo pimps of the industry

change the content, stop hatin on the next man and stop telling everyone how rich OR poor you/we are

it ain't easy but taking the road less traveled is the only way to be truly original

just a quick muse from us at WTNR Radio -

Where We Take No Requests

and where we get tired of every hiphop song either crying about the system or demeaning someone

and where we ask the questions

what happened to simply rockin the party

what happened to R&B

what happened to Michael Jackson - lol

you might say crack in the USA - i might agree

biggup to all who recognize what's really going on with the bigger picture of the last 20 years

pce

and peep The Dialect on WTNR Radio sundays where you can help us weigh in on the tragedies amongst the hiphop community from BET to VH1 representin HipHop.
beman99
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Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:24 am

yea.. but am sure it doesnt help when after all these insights are said that the originator of such a creative thread still uses the title "from godz to NIGGAZ"... talk about an oxymoron... you jibby jabba bout one shit while forgettin the words that yourself is spitting are just a contributing factor to teh same shit that you condone...
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