Monday, January 27, 2014

Accolades and Bardos

As I read through my twitter feed reading dozens of burnt hip hip fans over the lost of 7 Grammys by hip hop new comer Kendrick Lamar. To be honest I'd never heard of the guy before my last AmeriCorps Term working with HS kids in a hip hop concentration class here in Pittsburgh. Mostly in the form of swooning, or something like that. I spent the better part of the weekend listening to his debut studio album Good Kid M.A.A.D City. I have to admit he definitely stands out from his contemporaries he rifts about such themes as his dreams perseverance over adversities broadcasting an energy that those in his generation can receive. There are a few tracks but those that stick out to me are namely one titled 'Bitch don't kill my vibe.' The hook reminds me of a Heatwave joint called 'Star of a Story' in the Kendrick joint goes "I can feel your energy from 2 planets away, bitch don't kill my vibe."

 When African American artist express themselves this way it validates every facet of my universe and the way I can see it.  Or at least the way I struggle to see it regardless of the obstacles that enter my airspace. It's hard you know to see the universe the way you cognitively and intuitively know it to exist. This Kendrick Lamar kid is not only on to something he has obviously has found a sweet spot in his soul. I pray and hope that this doesn't discourage his artistic journey. Because after all this is his first joint I want to see more. i mean don't get me wrong kats like Andre 3000 are more than a precursor to Lamar's galactic lyricism, and of course George Clinton is the captain to our U.S.S. Enterprise. And while I haven't heard his mixtapes in their entirety (usually more raw than studio joints, more free in a sense). His Studio work seems authentic, and I like it. I have a pretty good knack for this. His themes are different, and a juxtaposed to his contemporaries; much like the artist he lost to in the 'Best Rap Album' category-Macklemore. Whose story I also find inspiring, and is, in his own right as much an asset to the culture and genre. And if you didn't know or live under a rock, Macklemore is white and Kenrick black, which is the crux of alot of the turmoil on my twitter feed more than 12 hours Grammy ceremonies were concluded. I personally think critics who would draw lines in the sand along racial lines are not  or may not be qualified to do their job (as professionals within the genre and public life) and should find a new line of work. Art knows no bounds, and when those sound vibrations hit that small bone in your ear drum and tap nerves in your brain your skin and even culture has a tendency to melt into a slurry of love goo. A concentrate flavor of love that can only be tasted by the heart and soul. But anyway that's a blog for another day.

Through all of this I think all of us who considers ourselves hip hop fans, should all calkm down, and not take the Grammys as seriously as the Grammys take themselves. So lets all close our eyes inhale, expanding our diaphragms and slowly exhale. Press play. Smile. Love you all.

"Dream those dreams, because a life w/o dreams is black + white, and the universe flows in technicolor and surround sound."

-Reggie Ossie (aka Combat Jack)

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