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Subject: "Gen Xers, did we take hip hop too seriously?" Previous topic | Next topic
obsidianchrysalis
Member since Jan 29th 2003
7607 posts
Mon Oct-26-20 08:45 PM

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"Gen Xers, did we take hip hop too seriously?"


  

          

The post asking posters to ID 'overground' hip hop stars in De La's Itzsoweezee video took me on a mental trip.

It was so cool to get nostalgic about that time where there was more of an authentic claim to 'true' hip hop. It was an innocent time.

But then a memory of myself strongly disliking the song at the time because it wasn't edgy enough came to mind. (inwardly I shamefully bowed and shook my head at my inner 19-year old. kids, back then...)

And that made me think of how seriously I and hip hop overall took the music.

I was deep into 'real' hip hop. KRS, Gangstarr, The Roots, Common, Tribe, De La, OutKast were my musical gods and I looked down on others who worshipped what I thought of as Golden Calfs.

Yes, I still listen to all of those artists but over the years I just don't take the music or my sense of taste that seriously or assign a false level of importance to it.

On a cultural level, hip hop was literally life or death at times. Take The Roots for example.

They had enough street cred to hang on at the table of outcasts in the rap lunchroom but they were/are about as calm and refined as an act could have in hip hop at that time. And even they had to watch their back against BIG for making a video that *tangentially* referenced *a* video that BIG did a little ways from the 'What They Do' video the band put out. Didn't call out BIG's mom. Didn't take money or cheat BIG out of royalties. Just a video that mocked him flaunting his success. Crazy to think about/

That doesn't even reference Biggie and 2Pac literally losing their life over some stuff said on records. (the situation was more complicated that simple beef, of course. but hopefully the point of a non-violence incident leading to two deaths makes sense)

THEN, the thoughts of how severe the claim of 'sell out' was in hip hop. Or the Rawkus/Def Jux vs commercial battles at the turn of the century.

At one time in the 90s the claim could make a career stillborn. Does the concept really exist now?

Back to The Roots. Remember how much flak The Roots got for being the *backing band* of Jay Z? Thought didn't step out of a Bentley wearing ice with fly girls on his arm. ?uest didn't have a drum kit with women from 80's hair bands surrounding it.

All of this to say that while we all wish for a time when the music had more urgency and fierceness, to be honest, it should have never gotten to that point in the first place.

To think that Biggie wasn't able to spend any more time with his wife and kid because 2Pac heard some false rumor and said some disrespectful shit on a record.

Or Pac never got a chance to be a Congressman or Mayor or be deeply involved in politics because of some asshole who owned a record label.

I'm rambling here but I wonder what you all make of our relationship to hip hop culture back then and our take on it now as almost/actually middle-aged adults.

<--- Me when my head hits the pillow

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
RE: Gen Xers, did we take hip hop too seriously?
Oct 27th 2020
1
nah, hip hop is music
Oct 27th 2020
2
Nah...we were young, energetic, idealistic & protective.
Oct 27th 2020
3
honestly, i wish I took it more seriously...
Oct 27th 2020
4
In all fairness to the late 90's, hip hop had nowhere to go but up.
Nov 14th 2020
18
I appreciate everyone's comments
Oct 27th 2020
5
The East Coast /West Coast Beef seems so silly looking back.
Oct 28th 2020
6
RE: The East Coast /West Coast Beef seems so silly looking back.
Oct 28th 2020
7
      I mean I know he grew up in the projects but I don't think he was slangi...
Oct 29th 2020
8
           RE: I mean I know he grew up in the projects but I don't think he was sl...
Oct 29th 2020
9
                Meh, you know exactly what Buddy meant man lol.
Oct 29th 2020
10
                     An aside, this is really important point being brought up here
Nov 02nd 2020
11
                          RE: An aside, this is really important point being brought up here
Nov 03rd 2020
13
                          That's a really, really great point.
Nov 03rd 2020
14
                               All good, I was just making a related point! No apology necessary!
Nov 04th 2020
15
Good post, thanks everyone for the thoughts (may chime in ltr n.m)
Nov 02nd 2020
12
We were impatient and spoiled
Nov 04th 2020
16
On second thought: AN EMPHATIC YES!!!!!
Nov 04th 2020
17
according to the founders of the music and culture this isn't correct
Nov 15th 2020
19
I don't about "too seriously" but folk get ridiculous at times
Nov 15th 2020
20

spidey
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Tue Oct-27-20 12:15 AM

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1. "RE: Gen Xers, did we take hip hop too seriously?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Nah, Hip Hop just lost...I'm long past the hope that it could have been a mechanism for upliftment, and now simply enjoy the music , for just that, music.

Integrity is the Cornerstone of Artistry...

  

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stone_phalanges
Member since Mar 06th 2010
1565 posts
Tue Oct-27-20 06:28 AM

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2. "nah, hip hop is music"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I take it seriously, but I don't expect it to change the world. No music changes the world, people do. The soundtrack to those changes is immaterial to the work done by people affecting change.

I'm also not really buying into anyone telling me that hip hop is one thing or the other. I always rejected that whole east coast west coast narrative, conscious vs 'rap' narrative etc. That's all people looking at the music (and not really the music but the people making the music) and making broad, inaccurate judgements.

Further, I would say that Hip Hop was never life and death anymore that anything else is life and death. People use Biggie and Pac's deaths as some type of mark against hip hop. It isn't. Their deaths were about the lives they lived, not rap music. The only difference between their deaths and any of the thousands of other young men taken from us too soon because of gun violence is that they were famous rappers.

www.anwarmorse.com
Stone-phalanges.deviantart.com

  

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Marbles
Member since Oct 19th 2004
21661 posts
Tue Oct-27-20 09:37 AM

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3. "Nah...we were young, energetic, idealistic & protective."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


It's just what kids do.

We created an entirely new & unique genre of music (and art & dance) and it reflected who we were. We wanted to keep it that way. We had all seen various aspects of our culture get watered down and taken from us throughout history. We wanted to protect hip-hop from that same fate.

It might sound dumb or silly now (I'm 45) but I haven't forgotten what we thought we were trying to do and how it felt back then.

  

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My_SP1200_Broken_Again
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56440 posts
Tue Oct-27-20 03:46 PM

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4. "honestly, i wish I took it more seriously..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

...I had a lot of fun throwing parties, Djing, going to clubs & shows, making beats, digging, hanging out in the studio etc ..but looking back, it was more like a hobby that I was obsessed with ..and all about the fun factor

..theres that Com Sense line "opportunity knocked, but he aint call before he came" ..it could have been more than just fun for a lot of people I grew up around ..then before you know it, the late 90s hit, commercial rap takes over and you're working in an office feeling old talking about the old days lol






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https://www.mixcloud.com/djchiefone/

  

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Shaun Tha Don
Member since Nov 19th 2005
17976 posts
Sat Nov-14-20 09:39 PM

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18. "In all fairness to the late 90's, hip hop had nowhere to go but up. "
In response to Reply # 4


          

The foundation was laid for it in the mid 90's with Snoop, Pac and Biggie.

Rest In Peace, Bad News Brown

  

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obsidianchrysalis
Member since Jan 29th 2003
7607 posts
Tue Oct-27-20 07:16 PM

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5. "I appreciate everyone's comments"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

It was interesting to read how hip hop affected you and to learn that people had more enlightened stances on the subject than myself.

Like Marbles said, 'hip hop was ours,' and I know for myself that caused me to be protective of it (to the microscopic degree of ownership that I had of the culture). As a young idealist, I thought it could change the world or at least make a big dent in it.

And when hip hop became as influenced by the greater power inequality as hip hop influenced it, being an active member became disillusioning. Also, some mental health conditions led to music (and much of pop culture) becoming less relevant to my day to day life.

My_SP_1200 brought up an interesting point about hip hop being a route into an interesting career. As a kid in St. Louis, the thought of working within hip hop was about as realistic as earning a living in sports. (which for a 5'10" kid who wasn't mad UPS was hiring, working in sports was the farthest thing from my mind)

It seemed there was a time that if you had good taste and a solid work ethic there were legitimate career paths in hip hop.

But it was an amazing time to watch the birth and growth of a culture that became so influential to the greater culture, even across the globe.

<--- Me when my head hits the pillow

  

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Buddy_Gilapagos
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Wed Oct-28-20 10:51 AM

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6. "The East Coast /West Coast Beef seems so silly looking back. "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

And giving the roots a hard time for working with Jay-Z.

One of my favorite moments in hip-hop is Kanye bringing together rappers like Mos Def with street guys like Freeway. Hip-hop needs more of hat.

But I do think the concept of selling out needs to come back in some form. Not for doing work to get a pay check, but for doing work that hurts our people and betrays your previously stated values.


**********
"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"

  

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spidey
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Wed Oct-28-20 04:33 PM

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7. "RE: The East Coast /West Coast Beef seems so silly looking back. "
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

...Mos Def is, and has always been a street cat...just sayin...

Integrity is the Cornerstone of Artistry...

  

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Buddy_Gilapagos
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Thu Oct-29-20 11:57 AM

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8. "I mean I know he grew up in the projects but I don't think he was slangi..."
In response to Reply # 7


  

          

or doing dirt in the streets.


**********
"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"

  

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spidey
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Thu Oct-29-20 12:05 PM

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9. "RE: I mean I know he grew up in the projects but I don't think he was sl..."
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

...so is the real sell out the one who glorifies slangin that stuff in the streets through their lyrics? If so, I'm all for bringing back the term sell out...

Integrity is the Cornerstone of Artistry...

  

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Brew
Member since Nov 23rd 2002
20245 posts
Thu Oct-29-20 01:26 PM

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10. "Meh, you know exactly what Buddy meant man lol."
In response to Reply # 9
Thu Oct-29-20 01:43 PM by Brew

          

Mos for sure grew up in the streets. As did pretty much every other socially conscious rapper we could think of.

But Mos and Freeway are not "street" in the same way. At least not in terms of how they approach their art.

So .. you know what he meant. Haha.

----------------------------------------

"Fuck aliens." © WarriorPoet415

  

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Orbit_Established
Member since Oct 27th 2002
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Mon Nov-02-20 09:34 PM

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11. "An aside, this is really important point being brought up here"
In response to Reply # 10


  

          


And tied to the point of the post about what has happened
to the culture

Somewhere along the way we started to equate being
ignorant/crime/etc with more "street"...and that was
the beginning of the end.

There are few rappers more "street" and "authentic" than
Mos Def.

EARLY Hip-Hop understood that.

It got lost somewhere, and its a shame.

  

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spidey
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Tue Nov-03-20 03:31 PM

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13. "RE: An aside, this is really important point being brought up here"
In response to Reply # 11


  

          

Sure is a shame...anyway, go Biden!

Integrity is the Cornerstone of Artistry...

  

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Brew
Member since Nov 23rd 2002
20245 posts
Tue Nov-03-20 04:57 PM

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14. "That's a really, really great point."
In response to Reply # 11
Tue Nov-03-20 04:59 PM by Brew

          

And I'm sorry for unintentionally playing right into that trope/stereotype. I did not mean to be derogatory or patronizing in any way by using that verbiage (or, more specifically, co-signing Buddy's usage of that verbiage); but you're 100% right, and to that end there has to be a better way for me and others to articulate the difference between those two artists' approaches and artistic visions. No question.

----------------------------------------

"Fuck aliens." © WarriorPoet415

  

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Orbit_Established
Member since Oct 27th 2002
52822 posts
Wed Nov-04-20 01:48 PM

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15. "All good, I was just making a related point! No apology necessary!"
In response to Reply # 14


  

          

>And I'm sorry for unintentionally playing right into that
>trope/stereotype. I did not mean to be derogatory or
>patronizing in any way by using that verbiage (or, more
>specifically, co-signing Buddy's usage of that verbiage); but
>you're 100% right, and to that end there has to be a better
>way for me and others to articulate the difference between
>those two artists' approaches and artistic visions. No
>question.

All good

  

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Orbit_Established
Member since Oct 27th 2002
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Mon Nov-02-20 09:35 PM

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12. "Good post, thanks everyone for the thoughts (may chime in ltr n.m)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          




----------------------------



O_E: "Acts like an asshole and posts with imperial disdain"




"I ORBITs the solar system, listenin..."

(C)Keith Murray, "

  

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jimaveli
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Wed Nov-04-20 01:55 PM

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16. "We were impatient and spoiled"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

The money was going to come. And then with it, the snakes and vultures.

Also, it led to stuff like Common and Mobb Deep getting 2+ videos for their albums. This was amazing to be around for.

But instead of making sure we threw as much love as we could at the stuff we liked, we spent too much time bickering about what we didn’t like. And it wasn’t about the quality of the music or the emcee. It became a conversation about ‘topics’. And from there, the hoodwink was on. Then innanet and Napster hit and folks decided it was cool to never pay for music and it was REALLY over with for a good while. And the bickering was ridiculous.

It is now insane to remember that Kanye showed up and said ‘I’m going to work with everyone who I think is dope. And I’m gonna desegregate acts that folks have separated into different boxes’. And it was a rebel yell. So many dope ass rappers got boxed in and out before that and I am still embarrassed that I was around when it happened. The regional bias was out of hand too. And we did it to ourselves. Damn shame.

Now, it’s a beautiful mess. There’s something for everybody. And dudes can find their lane then ride in it until their wheels fall off. Curren$y for instance. This is great. But there’s good azz rappers who will be unknown forever. Roc Marciano for instance. And I don’t know if any rapper can ever be big enough even if they make the best stuff. Ie: Kendrick is amazing but folks will complain if he doesn’t tweet enough for their taste.

>The post asking posters to ID 'overground' hip hop stars in
>De La's Itzsoweezee video took me on a mental trip.
>
>It was so cool to get nostalgic about that time where there
>was more of an authentic claim to 'true' hip hop. It was an
>innocent time.
>
>But then a memory of myself strongly disliking the song at the
>time because it wasn't edgy enough came to mind. (inwardly I
>shamefully bowed and shook my head at my inner 19-year old.
>kids, back then...)
>
>And that made me think of how seriously I and hip hop overall
>took the music.
>
>I was deep into 'real' hip hop. KRS, Gangstarr, The Roots,
>Common, Tribe, De La, OutKast were my musical gods and I
>looked down on others who worshipped what I thought of as
>Golden Calfs.
>
>Yes, I still listen to all of those artists but over the years
>I just don't take the music or my sense of taste that
>seriously or assign a false level of importance to it.
>
>On a cultural level, hip hop was literally life or death at
>times. Take The Roots for example.
>
>They had enough street cred to hang on at the table of
>outcasts in the rap lunchroom but they were/are about as calm
>and refined as an act could have in hip hop at that time. And
>even they had to watch their back against BIG for making a
>video that *tangentially* referenced *a* video that BIG did a
>little ways from the 'What They Do' video the band put out.
>Didn't call out BIG's mom. Didn't take money or cheat BIG out
>of royalties. Just a video that mocked him flaunting his
>success. Crazy to think about/
>
>That doesn't even reference Biggie and 2Pac literally losing
>their life over some stuff said on records. (the situation was
>more complicated that simple beef, of course. but hopefully
>the point of a non-violence incident leading to two deaths
>makes sense)
>
>THEN, the thoughts of how severe the claim of 'sell out' was
>in hip hop. Or the Rawkus/Def Jux vs commercial battles at the
>turn of the century.
>
>At one time in the 90s the claim could make a career
>stillborn. Does the concept really exist now?
>
>Back to The Roots. Remember how much flak The Roots got for
>being the *backing band* of Jay Z? Thought didn't step out of
>a Bentley wearing ice with fly girls on his arm. ?uest didn't
>have a drum kit with women from 80's hair bands surrounding
>it.
>
>All of this to say that while we all wish for a time when the
>music had more urgency and fierceness, to be honest, it should
>have never gotten to that point in the first place.
>
>To think that Biggie wasn't able to spend any more time with
>his wife and kid because 2Pac heard some false rumor and said
>some disrespectful shit on a record.
>
>Or Pac never got a chance to be a Congressman or Mayor or be
>deeply involved in politics because of some asshole who owned
>a record label.
>
>I'm rambling here but I wonder what you all make of our
>relationship to hip hop culture back then and our take on it
>now as almost/actually middle-aged adults.

  

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stone_phalanges
Member since Mar 06th 2010
1565 posts
Wed Nov-04-20 09:50 PM

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17. "On second thought: AN EMPHATIC YES!!!!!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

You guys took (and currently take) hip hop FAR to seriously. It's not a social movement, it's not supposed to free us from anything, and it's not supposed to be an accurate portrayal of ANYTHING. It is music it is supposed to be rhythmic sounds meant for your ears to enjoy. Period.

Just chill out. Listen. Enjoy. Or don't.

www.anwarmorse.com
Stone-phalanges.deviantart.com

  

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Garhart Poppwell
Member since Nov 28th 2008
17886 posts
Sun Nov-15-20 04:22 PM

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19. "according to the founders of the music and culture this isn't correct"
In response to Reply # 17
Sun Nov-15-20 04:23 PM by Garhart Poppwell

  

          

but go off though

__________________________________________
CHOP-THESE-BITCHES!!!!
------------------------------------
Garhart Ivanhoe Poppwell
Un-OK'd moderator for The Lesson and Make The Music (yes, I do's work up in here, and in your asscrease if you run foul of this

  

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Garhart Poppwell
Member since Nov 28th 2008
17886 posts
Sun Nov-15-20 04:47 PM

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20. "I don't about "too seriously" but folk get ridiculous at times"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

past and present

__________________________________________
CHOP-THESE-BITCHES!!!!
------------------------------------
Garhart Ivanhoe Poppwell
Un-OK'd moderator for The Lesson and Make The Music (yes, I do's work up in here, and in your asscrease if you run foul of this

  

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