Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hip-Hop 101

Whats's going on Bull Penners?

How's life treat in ya!? Ayything good on my side lol!

So I just got home from watching "The Wolf of Wall Street" and as always, Leonardo failed to disappoint! Great fuckin movie. I recommend you go see it. It's the story that every business man, drug dealer and ambitious person should go and see. But I'm not here to write a review on a movie, as the title might have given away!

Coming home from the movies as always, my iPod was hooked up and my mind began to run like a hamster wheel! One of my FAVORITE songs, from one of my favorite artist of the last decade came on! "What song?" you ask... "I still Wana" By Pusha T Feat. Rick Ross and Ab-Liva! Holy Shit, that song makes me wanna go pick up a Kilo, bring it home, break it down, bag it up and hit the streets like Jesse Pinkman on a mission to get his house back!! Lol.

But this is not about my Hustler's Ambition.... No, in fact it's Deeper than Rap. Literally. See as the song was playing I remembered my aunt's judgmental tone when she got in my car a few months back when she asked me "So.... You consider this music?" My response? "Indeed I do!" and put the volume back up!

You see, what a lot of people don't realize is, music is Art. Just because you speak english, doesn't mean you can listen to Hip-Hop song and fully understand what the artist is talking about. Just like you can't think you're fit to step in a boxing ring because you know how to throw a punch.
There's so much going on in a Da Vinci painting that looking at it once with a naked un trained eye would be sure fire way to miss 70% of the content!
Well, a lot of rap songs are no different. You don't have to have a degree in art to break it all down, but you do need to have a keen sense of reading between the lines. And you have to be familiar with the relevance of what's going on in pop culture. You have to have a somewhat decent knowledge of history to fully understand a lot of Hip-Hop songs. It's more than just knowing what a Bugatti is and who Miley Cyrus is! At least with the kinds of songs that are more lyrical than the everyday basic level what you hear is what you get songs.

Not too sure what I mean?
Good, this is why I'm here.

Take "I Still Wana" for example: When Ab-Liva says "...Bel Biv Devoe, Push poison like a copperhead" You have to know who Bel Biv Devoe are, because if you don't know them, then you won't know that they had a smash hit single called "Poison" and if you don't know that a copperhead is a snake then it won't make sense to you when he said "Push Poison." See, just like that he referenced 2 completely different things and linked them with the word poison!
It doesn't end there, in fact that's not even beginning to scratch the surface. Jay-Z is arguably the king at referencing things from every aspect of life. Take for example when Hov said in Missy Elliot's "One Minute Man (Remix)" "I'm tryna hit you then quit you in the middle of the round like I'm Roberto Duran... No Mas!" Who the hell is Roberto Duran right? Well you see, you have to be familiar with boxing to understand that one. You have to know that Roberto Duran is an old boxer who in 1980 fought Sugar Ray Leonard (for a second time.) Midway through the early rounds of the fight Duran was taking an old school beating and yelled out to the ref "No Mas!" Translation: "No More!" He literally gave up! Lol So for Hov to say it in that verse is pretty freakin witty wouldn't you say?

I could go on forever, in fact I will Lol.
Take my homie Pazo: in his XCVI (96) Mixtape he had a song called TFAliens where he said "Plus I'm feel in like Eddie in the flick, no Prin(ce)ts when the Semi on the Hip" Do I have to break that one down too? (By the way, click the link and support my mans Music!!)
Well you see this is where we get to the more advanced levels of the course. See to fully understand this one you have to go back to the title of the project. XCVI is roman numeral for '96. All the beats used, for the exception of a few at the end of the tape are from Hip-Hop songs from the year 1996. This one in particular being borrowed from "ATLiens" by Outkast! Now on to the bars:

If you're not familiar with Eddie Murphy's 1988 movie "Coming to America" then you won't know that he was a prince of an African country and that his trusty sidekick played by Arsenio Hall was named Semi! Semi also being a term used in Hip-Hop for Semi Automatic guns. So you see the play on words. He might have said Prince, but what he meant was prints, finger prints! So did I explain that clear enough?

Anyway, it all goes to say, Hip-Hop is Art. Whether you've accepted it or not, whether you feel it qualifies as music or not, it is and will always be Art. Maybe if you are one of the people who thinks otherwise, it could just be because you simply don't understand it! And who knows, maybe it isn't meant for you to understand. Shit, I can't for the life of me begin to understand why people would ever subject themselves to listening to Reggaeton, but maybe there's something there that I'm missing as well, thus hindering me from enjoying it! Lol.

So to my aunt, or your mom, or father, of grandparents or teachers or whoever else it is that gives you a hard time and forces you to defend Hip-Hop, reference this blog post. Encourage them to open their ears and listen to the words behind the lyrics!

To those of ya who make real Hip-Hop, please keep it up! Pazo, waddup bruh!? #TFA stand up!

Stay Up, and Stay Tuned!

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