European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Dec 18 1999, Page 48

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - December 18, 1999, Darmstadt, HesseSaturday december 18, 1999 s tar s and s t4j i l t s t v Page 17 hip hop remains the most democratic pop music form in a country that prides itself on its democratic origins. A kid on a Brooklyn stoop can look around and compose a rhyme about the neighbourhood he s stuck in. Chuck d famously called hip hop can for Black of hip hop run deep by Chris Vognar the Dallas morning news his year Marks the 20th birthday of hip hop sort of. Yes it has been two decades since the sugar Hill gang ignited the airwaves with rapper s Delight and made rap an easily heard record and radio phenomenon. As most music fans know it now rocks the charts on a regular basis and gives teens of All stripes a perfect Way to scare the Beje Zus out of their 60s-bred parents. So a rousing chorus of Happy birthday is in order then you might want to Check the birth certificate. On a More accurate less accessible time line hip hop is much closer to being a thirty some thing. And if you take a close look at a family tree you la find roots taking form before most of us were born. Krs one once rapped that you must learn referring to the Long obscured details of Black history. Today he could just As easily be scolding Young rap Heads who Don t know Kool Here from Captain Kirk. Here a jamaican emigre who arrived in the Bronx in 1967, won t be found on the shelves at Best buy. No sweat and Little financial Reward. But he did have the Honor of pioneering the Art of the break beat at Parks and Block parties throughout the 70s. Along with other new York forefathers including afrika Bambaata and grandmaster Flash Here made hip hop an Art form and a culture Long before it became a Cash ack then it was t All about the music break dancing and Graffiti Art were just As prominent in what we now Call the hip hop Community. For a while they could even pull in some Green. It was just a subculture of teen agers who loved and cherished the elements of hip hop which were rapping scratching break dancing and Graffiti says Early hip hop artist kurd blow. It eventually evolved to a Point where the businessmen of the Art world saw the potential to make Money with these Guys doing this crazy new Art. That opened the door for the average Graffiti artist to make Money by putting his work on a Canvas in an Art but our culture of commodity could t let that last. Before Long the record companies took Over. And they soon realized that you can t sell head spins or murals on Wax. In the words of Kurtis blow these Are the Breaks. Kurtis also holds rap s Virgin commercial Milestone the first Gold single the Breaks certified in August 1980. In Case you re the associated press Snoop Doggy dog is one of the most popular rap stars of the Day. Even though hip hop is not new Many Don t remember the Early Days. Raps the Box bet and All of your other Fine purveyors of rap video were born Back when rap was the music Industry s stepchild labelled a fad by most who heard it. These Industry experts of course would now give their right Arm to have a piece of no limit or bad boy records. But How could they have known hip hop sprang from the streets and grew from a Long tradition of Black Oral expression from african riots to on the Corner insult bouts known As the dozens to the poets of the 60s Black arts movement. Those of us who Don t live it but feel like we still get it Are drawn largely by this Art of Story telling As All cultures Are. And we know of few musical forms that weave a More gripping colourful humorous often violent and confrontational tale. Don t be alarmed if you Haven t checked the history books they offer ample Testa ment of America s violent and confrontational heritage. We Are a Frontier people a people in love with the image of the outsider. We try to suppress these roots but they emerge in the Western the gangster film in Rock n Roll in rap even though racial tears 1 and stereotypes prevent Many from seeing hip hop As a link on this Chain it was nonetheless Only a matter of time before the masses and the corporations caught on to rap s Appeal and packaged it for everyone. It did t happen overnight. Hip hop was always cherished among the faithful but it was hardly mainstream entertain ment until the great crossover of 1986. That was when the Beattie boys made rap Safe and funny for suburban kids . Taught Aero Smith to once again walk this Way. Rap s big business Era was just around the a now has its own Mogul Russell Simmons master -. V t a v Vav % v i v v. � rap now has its own moguls Russell Simmons master a puff daddy left and it s Selling better than Ever. A puff daddy and it s Selling better than Ever. But it s still not All about the benjamins regard less of the ostentatious displays of wealth we see in videos and on album covers. To be sure the rap Industry features As Many vision less wannabes As the rest of pop music. The current commercial ism has brought on a period of artistic torpor glutting the mar Ket and making it harder to find the stuff that s Worth a listen. But Check out the Best and you la hear voices that simply need to be heard delivering poetic Dis patches from areas where most record buyers would not want to be caught after dark. Or the work of and v v political activists who have mastered hip hop s rough Grace and lyrical Powers. You la hear the cutting Edge of the Man machine musical merger sliced and diced into Brave new forms that give musical purists in hop remains the most democratic pop music form in a country that prides itself on its democratic origins. A kid on a Brooklyn stoop can look around and compose a rhyme about the neighbourhood he s stuck in. Chuck d famously called hip hop can for Black people a description that Speaks to the Cul Ture s above and below the radar Appeal. For its practitioners it s a language a code of behaviour and Honor a Way of walking talking dressing and living. Most of hip hop s critics deem such people worthy of nothing but scorn. Fans aware of the racial and generational chasms that plague contemporary society realize that it s time to listen into its third official decade gaining steam for the next millennium hip hop has established itself As far More than a passing fancy. Detractors May still think of Nas or we Tang clan As Black noise. To which the rest of us say turn it up

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