Chuck D once famously called hip-hop the CNN of the Black community, the way people got the news. Is it still?
Yes, but it’s delivered differently. There are so many outlets for the culture to be spread today. If an artist has a story he/she wants to tell, they can get it out quicker on a social media post or a podcast than they can in writing and recording a song. The hip-hop influence is definitely there, but the music is less of a factor than it was years ago. The stories are more personal and anecdotal now. They’re being told by artists big and small all over the world. There is a beauty in that. No pressure for one artist to speak for an entire community. Listeners hear more truth that way.
Fifty years ago, hip-hop started a revolution, not just in music but in fashion, film, TV, art. Is another revolution possible now?
Hip-hop is so entrenched in society today. The influence is legitimately global. I don’t think that another revolution is possible, but honestly I don’t think another revolution is necessary. People have so much access to content of all sorts, so the thought of a majority of people following one movement is hard to fathom today. Also, one man’s information is another man’s misinformation and another man’s disinformation. People wouldn’t be able to agree on what to revolt against. Having said that, hip-hop culture is a foundational pillar in many people’s life approach. I’m amazed at the numerous references I hear in mainstream society today that were considered revolutionary years ago.
Name a hip-hop album that flew under the radar.
I have two: Originoo Gunn Clappaz’s Da Storm and Method Man’s 4:21… The Day After.
Interview by Kyle Eustice