Home of random thoughts, misguided musings, wicked words and the men who make them.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sorceror Series: Manhood in the age of Hip hop

I alway think of Hip-hop as my little brother.
I was finishing up grade school by the time Sugarhill Gang could be heard on the radio. I remember Kurtis Blow's "the Brakes". I remember listening to battle albums between Sugarhill Gang and the Treacherous Three. I remember memorizing everyword to every new hip hop song. I remember walkiing to the mall with friends as a teenager and trading up positions as we rapped the words to Roxanne/Roxanne by UTFO. Hip hop has always been one of those cultural experiences where I can say I was there from the beginning. I remember watching Rocky Shelton take three cats in a breakin' battle in the lobby of the gym after a Basketball game by busting a Suicide move at Woodlawn High School. I've watched hip hop evolve. I've watched it grow and get rich. I've watched the artform survive in the face of popularity and commodification by the entertainment industry. And hip hop watched me grow up. But hip hop s my LITTLE brother. So when i watch a culture, the American culture consuming the POP representation of it I am disturbed by how mature men and women idealize and idolize the actions of performers half their age. The media creates a reality wherein the richest and most culturally relevant black men are all under the age of twenty-five. So what does a maturing man look to for manhood. When does entertainment and inspiration become distraction and self-destruction. When do I turn off the television and define my own reality as a man becoming. Hip hop started out in the park, now everybod's trying ta spark. Or hip hop started out in the heart. Like any art once it has a worth to a larger machine it becomes a product. Never confuse the product with reality. Cause I love my little brother, and I dig some of the stuff his kids are doing, my little cousins, but its a business and its a tool and its an escape sometimes. So I walk on. Thinkin' about what I loved, love, will love till I die. But it can't define me to others who don't know me. Cause see hip hop was my little brother.


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