Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wu Wednesday

Some old school stuff from Atmosphere, throw back to about '95... "in case you ain't noticed, Rhymesayers celebrating their 20 year anniversary by trying to embarrass me. ear blister..." -Slug

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wu Wednesday

Ok, so this isn't a Wu-Tang clip, but it is a really dope freestyle and worthy enough of a #WuWednesday post, Enjoy...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Graffiti is not an Element

About a decade ago, I remember having a discussion/argument with a good friend of mine regarding the elements of hip-hop.  Well, it was about one element specifically, graffiti.  I remember arguing that graffiti should not be an element of hip-hop.  He did not take my point with any seriousness and came down on me for being dumb or to that effect some how.

It all started when I specifically remember reading an interview with an old 70s writer and he explained that they would go into the yards during the day time and put on the radio and listen to what is now classic rock.  I started to think about that and piece together other points.  I came to the conclusion that if rap really didn't come into play until the late 70s and graffiti started in the 60s and didn't blow up until early 70s, how are they related?  I further concluded that if rap is done while someone DJed/scratched.  An MC would host the rapper and DJ while a BBoy breakdanced in the crowd, where does graffiti fit into that?  Background, maybe, but this is not done or can be intertwined into the music event.  Graffiti picked up popularity when the other elements really started to get going as well.  Yes all elements originated from New York City's boroughs in some of the poorest neighborhoods.  However this was just coincidence.  Graffiti picked up popularity in the late 70s because this was at the same time when New York was doing a major clean up.  All the trains and walls were buffed and most of the old writers walked away.  This is when the new writers seized their opportunity and took advantage of past knowledge and reinventing it and doing bigger and better.  There were no rappers rapping while a graffiti got up in the yards.  There were no MCs or breakdancers getting down when a writer was bombing his neighborhood.

After this debate with my friend, I kept it as a small theory of mine that graffiti should not be an element of hip hop for years.  I didn't discuss it with many people(almost no one) as this is not a popular idea, in fact I would imagine not many people would have even thought it.  If they did, they're not discussing it either.  After years of silence I feel I finally have some what proof to back it up.  In the book, 'They Call me the Godfather of Graffiti' a book of SEEN's personal collection and steps through the years in the graffiti culture
.  He made comments on his images, where he started, how he got there and so on.  About half way through the book he says, "I've always listened Rock music like BLACK SABBATH, THE DOORS, LED ZEPPELIN, JANIS JOPLIN, JIMI HENDRIX and some American oldies...".  He continues on to say, "In the movie STYLE WARS, I'm the only artists didn't have Hip Hop play during my segment.  And that was no coincidence, it was totally deliberate. In all honesty it bothers me that Hip Hip and Graffiti are related.  I understand that both arts came from the streets of New York and that many wrtiers were involved in the Hip Hop scene as passionately as they were in graffiit.  But there were just as many of us not involved.  in fact, Graffiti came way before Hip Hop..."


Finally!  I'm able to feel vindicated and have the words from graffiti's biggest legend to back up my own opinion.  I feel I make a strong case, not that it will change anything.  Graffiti is now and forever associated with hip-hop but I'm passionate about graffiti and love its culture.  Respecting its past and understanding its history I feel is important.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wu Wednesday

In honor of Wu Wednesday, here is a clip from the Wu performing live on David Letterman.