Tag Archives: hip hop

Bigger Than Jesus

Currently serving a life sentence, Mark Chapman was denied parole for the 8th time back in 2012. Receiving an autograph from John Lennon a few hours before assassinating him, Mark says he had to end John Lennon’s life after learning about claims and stats that ranked The Beatles popularity higher than Jesus…

 

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“Mama

Still wonder if this shit is real

I get on the stage and women scream like Meek Mill

Fucking in some nollis bar with…

I took off my pants and she said short gun long dick… Load up the chopper like it’s December 31st

Roll up and cock it and hit them niggas where it hurts

If I die today, Remember me like John Lennon

Buried In Louie, I’m talking all brown linen

huh?”

 

They say everybody loves a hero, but what makes a hero? The villain of course, okay scratch that, before I go on a tangent I’ll come up with a different answer, perhaps one that is less mind wrecking to all of us, better yet, let me just insert the music part of this post while I’m at it, as music fans we all have music heroes, and with that, there’s something rather magical that happens when an artist decides to pay homage to an artist they perhaps look up to. With hip hop stars going on about how absolutely awesome they are in every other song, it’s refreshing when they rap or write in praise of an artist before them.

I think we can all agree that “Doc Shebeleza” was the biggest hip hop song in SA back in 2014, a song that pays homage to hip hop’s very own Doc Shebeleza, I don’t know if any one noticed this, but if you’re not from South Africa, “Doc Shebeleza” is basically a downplayed version of “John” by Lil Wayne. Both songs are titled after respected artists, both songs lionize living the life of a rockstar and well, the energy of the song is very much the same. Undress your mind and play Lil Wayne’s “John”, ignore the lyrics and rap/sing “Doc Shebeleza” over it an all will be obvious.

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic, It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost”- Arthur Ashe

 


The 11th Daily Bread

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Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try, No hell below us, above us only sky, No angels but birds fly, yes, there comes a time when every bird has to fly, there comes a time when every rose has to die, when bonds untie, alone they cry, together they fight, out to test their might, practicing their rights, no might can hold it back, add a little doubt and stand back, watch it crack, watch it fall back off track, play that Jay Z track.

Man, if I had a billion rands for every time someone sampled or reworked Jay Zs “Song Cry”, I’d have…. a lot of money. Yes, if I had one percent of that for every time someone reworked the song, I’d still have a lot of money, but I just thought I’d be greedy and make it a billion. Being more realistic, Rihanna, Lloyd, letoya, Keyshia Cole and Ghostface killah are amongst the more than a dozen recording artists that have covered the song. though uncredited the Jaguar Write vocals are the soul and Jay Z verses are the heart of this Grammy nominated number. It is without a doubt one of the leading songs that made the 1st Blueprint album the masterpiece it is.

We all have rights, well, at least in paper we do. In reality the right or freedom to express yourself is bound by ideas inforced by society, this idea being a collective of ideas, two which imply shedding a tear as a sign of weakness, and admitting that you’re wrong as a sign of defeat. In Song Cry we see Hova explore his more emotional side, his mistakes, mistakes that doomed three of his relationships to failure. Though for the reasons I’ve mentioned, us men aren’t meant to cry, but they say crying helps, they say it’s therapeutic. But what happens when the tears just aren’t there, when the pride inside just wont let them out? In Jays case, he lets them out with a song, he lets the song do it, the Song Cry.

 


The Mass Mentality Of Conformity

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Everyone wants to belong, no one wants to miss the bandwagon, no one wants to be the odd one out, at least not for the wrong reasons, but what are the wrong reasons?
Who cares?
Neither do I.
Yes, that’s the new black in this modern culture.
We are ruled by the “herd mentality”.
Why should I care if the next person doesn’t?
Crowd behaviour is heavily influenced by the loss of responsibility of the individual & the impression of universality of behavior, both of which increases with the size of the crowd.

“Pay my respects to grace and virtue
Send my condolences to good
Give my regards to soul and romance
They always did the best they could
And so long to devotion
He taught me everything I know
Wave goodbye
Wish me well
Cut the cord”

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Voted Best Song of 2008 by the readers of Rolling Stone, “Human” by The Killers got a lot of us confused, well at least the line “Are we human, or are we dancer” did as there was a huge debate about its grammar and true meaning.
The lyrics were inspired by a disparaging comment made by Hunter S. Thompson, where he stated America was raising “A generation of dancers”. Known for his iconoclastic nature, this is just one of his many tongue in cheek statements.

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For now, lets all agree that “Human” is in fact about how we’re either “human”, individuals dancing to our own drums or dancer(s), dancing along to a dance choreographed by society.

Who leads the crowd?. Confidence exuded by those who think they know the way of course.

 

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They say confidence is everything, I say timing is everything.
Confidence is an illusion risen from believing in one’s self, ones ideas, dreams or plans
but what is this “believing in self’ based on anyway?
Confidence is an essential leadership quality as people look to be convinced.
Yes, we might not admit it, but we barely ever follow our own minds or views, at least as far as “what’s right, what’s in or what’s cool” is concerned… here’s why.
Self is a complex system made up primarily of the concept of membership or non-membership in various social groups.
These groups have various moral & behavioral values & norms & the individual’s actions depend on which group membership is most personally salient at the time of action keeping in mind that being salient itself is fueled by confidence.
Yep, now you know how that sale’s person got you to buy an orange goat’s knee for half your salary… What’s that? it was scarlet? alrightie then.

But what does this have to do with music?
Hip Hop is without a doubt the most commercially dominant genre right now and it has been for a while.
As it injects apathy into our souls, we sinfully bob our heads to the beat.
No, that’s not where I’m going with this.
The pure heart of hip hop is composed of rap.
Rap lives off assurance, confidence and spins on that I’m right and any disputers are whack kind of tip.
It’s that very energy that draws the listener, as the listener falls in love with the bravado exuded by the artist, seemingly, the artist can’t do anything wrong, making the rap artist somewhat salient hence thee person to follow, so we follow… we buy in.

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Unfortunately up and coming artists also buy into the cheese of the season with hopes to reach similar success.
This is why so many young, talented artists struggle to surface, to make it, it’s because of the herd mentality. If one successful artist raps about “bumping the cheese up” they follow, yes, though the talent is alive, originality isn’t, neither is individuality. As consumers, another bottle of the same wine doesn’t quite excite, a lot of “different”, “weird” and “provocative” artists understand this.

“The sky is full of dreams, but you don’t know how to fly”

As I touch on the fact that sampling has been and always will be the lifeline of rap/hip hop music as its culture has revolved around the idea of updating classic recordings, attitudes and experiences for modern audiences, hip hop has intertwined with a variety of other genres over the years
making it hard to shelf genres and sub-genres.

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So we’ve discussed how all these artists brainwash the listener with their “I know cool” mentality, but it takes a spectacular artist to make a social statement without making someone with a different view feel inferior or perhaps not “cool” enough to understand or keep the “vibe” alive.
Listening to “Glory & Gore” by Lorde, I heard how she mentions that she never thinks about death
…then she quickly follows with the words “…It’s okay if you do, it’s fine”.
Her music may be seen as pop rock though traces of hip hop are undeniable, especially the spoken word (“rap”) elements she adds.

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Del the Funky Homosapien

“I was born in ’72… back then what rapping meant, basically, was you trying to convey something-you’re trying to convince somebody” – Del the Funky Homosapien

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“Can’t Stop” music video shot

I’d like to close this post off with “Can’t Stop” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, yes I’ve mentioned this song in a previous post. I guess I just can’t stop writing about it, ha-ha!

With the lyrics, “The world I love, The tears I’ve dropped to be part of the wave, Can’t stop” this song talks about the struggles of trying to be a part of “Something” in spite of your self or truth. With highly cryptic lyrics The Peppers are known for, the predominant theme of this number is cultivating an inner, personal energy. Yes, the song encourages the listener to live with passion and individuality, something we sadly know nothing about.

Are you human?… Are you walking your own path? In the words of The Killers, Let me know, Is your heart still beating? #Done

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