D.L. Chandler's frequent thoughts on the world of hip hop and beyond

Thursday, December 30, 2004

2004: Crazy Year, So Much More To Learn

There is a very simple process to my blog. I read a lot of news columns, peruse the Internet for interesting content as it relates to what we do here and try to engage myself in conversations that will inspire good words. It’s been hit or miss for the most part this year when it came to my writing. Very little of it, as I look back on it, was my best work but I am proud of the efforts MfA has taken to give folks like myself a voice. I thank you all for reading my rambling prose.
Now to the good stuff: Xzibit – yes, that Xzibit – as political freedom fighter? Who knew that Mr. Pimp My Ride himself had that sort of angle with his politics? It’s refreshing, nonetheless, as you can read in this interview with London publication The Independent.

But there again, X to the Z goes on about he wants a return to the days of old when rap music’s messages were less centered around the ass-shaking and flossing fest that it has devolved to in some instances. X, with all of his visibility with the MTV show, could be a maverick in so many ways. As I’ve said in the blog before, these rappers and musical entertainers already have the attention of the world. They could use their powers for good, to borrow a cliché of sorts. Instead, they wait right alongside us fans hopeful that some savior upon a mystic steed is going to smite away the garbage that pollutes the mind and senses of us all.

Inaction of this sort is annoying because you can clearly recognize how it can be eradicated. But we must commend Xzibit for at least doing what he can on the platforms he enjoys. I’d like to see more from him in the future in that regard. Speaking of the future, we need to prepare for it by recognizing the ills of the past. This piece from Eric K. Arnold is a time capture of important events in Hip Hop – although he missed quite a bit and doesn’t seem to be as informed as I’d like folks to be when speaking on this culture I revere so much. Check out the Politics and Hip Hop portion for some interesting thoughts from Mr. Arnold.

I’ve written about Cornel West’s book, Democracy Matters in this blog once before but here is a review from Lester K. Spence and he brings up a point I’ve always raise with academics trying to fuse “youth culture‿ into their essays and critiques. Many of those in academia are so far removed from the grass roots levels of any type of movement, you would be hard pressed to find any of the scholars and intellectuals to reach people beyond their often times haughty circle. This self-contained and selfish right the public intellectual seem to covet when it comes to critiquing culture comes replete with words that miss the lay masses they should also try to reach. Most times, reading intellectuals discuss Hip Hop culture with this unnecessary wordiness just comes off as nothing more than self-serving mind jobs.

I leave you all today with this link about a political Hip Hop movement that fiery rapper Immortal Technique is involved in called the 9/11 Truth Movement. I like what the poster Alex from called the political Hip Hop movement – it definitely could be seen as a seventh element as I include turntablism as separate from the element of DJ-ing.

To all MfA massive and crew, enjoy your holiday weekend and remember that 2005 is all about doing what we started here – and more.



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