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Forum nameOkay Artist Archives
Topic subjectRE: Common revolutionary?
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=19&topic_id=15414&mesg_id=15417
15417, RE: Common revolutionary?
Posted by guest, Wed Jul-25-01 09:59 AM
Sant, jag e inte sjuk, bara svensk.

Inga noeman-skämt här, det får vara.

Anyways, the message being presented by most of these artists is a reaction towards the erroneous belief that being black is somehow a source of shame, when indeed it's a source of pride. If you're into this type of stuff, you need to get some Rawkus stuff, man, especially Kweli&Hi-Tek and Mos Def (and Black Star). Whereas Common concentrates his efforts on judgement of hip-hop as an artform, Kweli concentrates on the strengths of the black people. "For Women" by Reflection Eternal is a brilliant piece of music, and one that holds several layers of meaning, not leasst in its circular meditation on the development of black culture. Black Star's "Thieves in the Night" has one of my all-time favourite rhymes, detailing the inherent contradictions of african-americans. What these artists have in common is a use of their music to say something, as if the impact of the spoken word is multiplied when combined with music.

The thing is, you wouldn't really consider Common as a commercial rapper. So far he hasn't shifted sufficient copies o warrant that and before LWFC, most people didn't know who he was. But it's interesting that he's Kwelis inspiration and favourite rapper. This type of hip-hop is moving up from the underground and creating a place for itself, but Common, I feel, is experiencing this at a point in his life when he wants to grow musically as well as finding a larger audience. Therefore mabe the message that's being presented is less revolutionary than it was back when Resurrection came out.

Artists like Dead Prez get occasional flak for being too revolutionary, and artists like Common get occasional flak for not being revolutionary enough. So where's the the line that these people apparently keep falling short of?

"Not strong, only aggresive 'cause the power ain't directed
That's why we are subjected to the will of the oppressor
Not free, we only licensed not live, we just exciting
'Cause the captors own the masters to what we're writing
Not compassionate, only polite we're well-trained
Our sincerity rehearsed on the stage it's just a game
Not good, but well-behaved because the cameras survey
Most of the things that we think, do or say"

Mos Def, Black Star "Thieves in the Night"