Yo Dre I got something to say… gotcha lol, this post isn’t about Straight Outta Compton (There are a 1,000 blog posts/articles for that), although you should see it because it inspired me beyond belief!
This post is all about hip-hop and how this summer has made me fall in love with my favorite genre all over again. I must admit there have been seasons when I just can’t vibe with the artists who are considered hot or I feel out of touch with artist who usually speak to me. However, this summer I realized things I’ve never really considered before. I’m beginning to understand why hip-hop inspires me and why it’s as influential as it is. I’m also beginning to empathize with artists who have “changed” because of fame or “stayed real,” despite the risk of loosing their soul (mind, will, emotions) in the mainstream.
Real MC’s are prophets (Encouragers, foreshadowers), story-tellers, voices that aren’t afraid to bare their hearts, perspectives and mind. As a believer I relate hip-hop music to being a long-winded testimony. As a Ghanaian American I am reminded of my ancestors who taught their people with words. Now, I’m not referring to the Whip or Nay-Nay although those songs are needed to unwind…I ‘m referring to the J-Cole’s, Wale’s and Kendrick’s who are fighting for their music to relate.
Growing up and to this day my favorite rappers have always been Jay-Z and Kanye, loving them for reasons I couldn’t articulate until now. In all simplicity I’ve been a Roc-a-fella turned Roc Nation fan because of their stories. Jay-Z couldn’t get signed so he started a label, Kanye from the suburbs refused to be place in a box. I hear the stories of these two and it moves me, compels me, reminds me of what I can do.
I remember meeting Drake before the release of Take Care and his passion towards music. We spoke about school and he encouraged me to follow my dreams, so cliché yet so attainable. He took the time to see little ol freshman me, that night Drake earned a fan for life and my college career was never the same.
Although I have no aspirations of becoming an MC lol, I can identify with what it means to be artistic with a dream. I understand how it feels when everyone is choosing conventional careers and you’d rather read to become the next Anna Wintour or Sheryl Sandberg. I know the internal work that happens before anyone recognizes you, or before you even recognize yourself.
Obviously I don’t condone every song and I believe discernment always comes into play, but I also know the same God who blesses Yolanda Adams blesses Beyoncé. All I’m saying is we’re real people, with real insecurities that may not pass if we allow them to remain. Needless to say, music matters, hip-hop matters and it ain’t going away (Word to the Game, BARS lol I’m done I promise).