Please click
   
ARTISTS :: MUSIC :: PHOTOS :: BIZ :: LINKS :: SITE PICKS
Post new topic   Reply to topic
View previous topic Printable version Log in to check your private messages View next topic
Author Message
NRG
   Post subject: Present Magazine Show KC Hiphop Community LOVE!  PostPosted: Aug 29, 2008 - 08:12 PM



Joined: Aug 14, 2002
Posts: 2800
Location: havenhouse KCK/ 64111 Clinic 4 Life
Hip Hop Summit: Hollapalooza and KC's Hip Hop Community



Photography and Commentary
Photography by Phil Peterson. Story by Pete Dulin.
2008-08-29



It's no secret that hip hop has had a pervasive and deep impact socially and culturally, beginning in the 20th century and into this century. Dating back to the 1970s, it is a genre of music misrepresented, co-opted, and monetized by major music labels and players (following in the path of blues, folk, R&B, country, and rock). Hip hop has been snubbed, attacked, or disregarded by those who do not fully understand its impact or relate to its many messages. Still, hip hop artists from Kansas City to Seattle, Tokyo to London, New York to Atlanta, continue to produce innovative music and messages that defy formulas.


The music and its cultural cousins––breakdancing, emceeing, DJing, grafitti, and fashion––have been cast in stereotypes that signals and reflects our national preoccupation with sex and violence, fencing in the broader scope of hip hop's universe. In its genesis, words and music and imagery emanating from the cultural stomping grounds of minorities, specifically black and Latinos in The Bronx, represented a lifestyle and views outside the mainstream. This origin made hip hop a point of view from the "other" side of the street, from the edgy parts of town, that didn't fit into the format of white America's consciousness and formulaic media outlets for years. Something happened along the way that flipped the social and cultural acceptability of hip hop.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hip Hop - A Local Sampler


Reach - Can Can

Reach - Dance in the Rain

Absurd Sin/Negro Scoe - It's Hip Hop

Reggie B, Innate Sounds Crew - Whitehouse Lies

INnate Sounds Crew - Take Control

Stik Figa - Looking Good (Remix)

Stik Figa and Leonard Dstroy - 24-7

CES Cru/Joe Good - The Block (Miles Bonny Remix)

DJ Ataxic - Lab Sessions, Volume 1

Initially, a new form of creative expression emerged in the 1970s, drawing out percussion beats from funk, disco, and R&B music through the wizardry of DJs. Combined with messages delivered by emcees (MCs) in the tradition of spoken word and African griots, this street poetry or rapping developed into a stylized verse that enabled self-promotion through the power of one's voice and a microphone. Rapping engaged audiences, challenged adversaries, and allowed for entertaining improvisation that was spawned in the streets and could exist outside of recording contracts. Scratching records on turntables and producing percussion on beat boxes expanded on the vocal-heavy sound in the early years.

Artists like The Sugar Hill Gang, Kurtis Blow, Afrika Bambaata, and the seminal Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five––inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007–– battled their way onto the scene. Check that. They created a scene, produced records, and eventually secured recording contracts. Breakdancing and grafitti also evolved during the '70s and '80s as related forms of expression that became part of hip hop's foundation. The rhymes of Run-DMC and hard percussive beats of Jam Master Jay, the finesse of LL Cool J, the party antics of crossover act The Beastie Boys, and innovative styles from other artists in the 1980s further expanded the influence of and audience for hip hop. MTV opened the eyes and ears of a generation captivated by or rebellious against this evolving music form. In the late '80s, acts like Public Enemy and NWA introduced a more militant and politically-oriented message that attracted millions of fans and revolutioned the nature of what MCs put down on vinyl and cassette tapes.

Needless to say, the history of hip hop's origins and ongoing evolution goes well beyond the scope of a few paragraphs. There are far too many names to check off the list, too many sub-genres that sprung from the white-hot volcano of this art form throughout the 1990s and into the next two decades. The music, dance, art, and social expression of hip hop continues to impact contemporary culture.

Hip hop is a genre, like jazz, that encompasses more than just music. Hip hop is a touchstone that has gained in significance and relevance to mainstream American because of the ideas, identity, social statements, and cultural shifts delivered through words, images, and notes. The fact that hip hop became a commercially lucrative form of music is both a blessing and a curse. The commercial deals of major record labels and powerful industry moguls erected a media platform and fostered a cultural fascination that attracted an ever greater audience––drawn by money, fame, power, sex, violence––beyond the core tenets of hip hop. The bottom line is that artists continue to create, find a voice, and offer alternatives that draw audiences interested in what is offered and more accessible than ever in today's media-rich online playground.

Today, hip hop is a worldwide phenomenon with MCs, DJs, and B-Boys and B-Girls on nearly every continent. From major metropolitan areas to backwoods towns, the impact of hip hop's sounds and fashion is apparent even though the original spirit of hip hop is sometimes lost in translation. Like jazz or rock-and-roll, hip hop is no "one" thing, it's agile and fluid and valid enough to be part of everything.

Kansas City boasts a healthy hip hop scene that includes fashion from SikeStyle, B-Boys like the Tiger Style Crew, and progressive graffiti by artists such as Gear and Scribe. Several collectives such as Anti-Crew, INnateSounds Crew, and Soul Providers Crew band together tight-knit groups of MCs, beatmakers, producers, and DJs. Countless individual artists from Negro Scoe to Vigalantee to Mac Lethal to Reach to the eminent TechN9ne further demonstrate the scope and diversity of the local scene. Resources such as HipHopKC and the Hip Hop Academy promote a sense of community and raise awareness of hip hop's purpose and practice.

Hip hop has risen from the streets into global pop culture, business, fashion, and academia––the HipHop Archive maintained online is administered through the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Hip hop has transformed from classic low-end videos to highbrow performing arts.

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre will kick off its 2008-09 season with Clay, running September 6-28. Created by artist/MC Matt Sax in collaboration with The Rep's new artistic director Eric Rosen, Clay is a coming-of-age story told through the humorous and insightful lyricism of contemporary hip hop music. The story follows Clifford, a boy from the suburbs who escapes his broken family environment and turns to the tutelage of Sir John, a Falstaff-like master of the spoken word. As Clifford ascends to stardom as the rap-star Clay, his world is turned upside down as his past comes back to haunt him. This production is one example of hip hop's triumphant emergence as a powerful cultural force that has made inroads with other artistic forms, contemporary social mores, and America's culture-at-large.


As a lead-in to the three-week run of Clay, local MC and hip hop impresario Reach organized Hollapalooza, a hip hop event that took place on August 16, 2008. This hip hop summit drew MCs, DJs, turntable maestros, visual artists, B-Boys breakdancing, and more. In addition to our photography essay by Phil Peterson, PresentMagazine.com surveys a number of people involved in the local hip hop scene as they explain hip hop's culture and significance based on their experience.



Necia Gamby aka NRG

Administrator of www.hiphopkc.com, mother of Joe Good (of Soundsgood)
I don't' perform and have not attemped an element of hiphop. Am wanting to learn to DJ. I support the local hip hop community by attending shows, creating community gatherings, coaching artists incrementally, and through a ten artist workshop (winter), I maintain the 64111clinic.com as our family history site during the early days of Soundsgood/Lawrence flight.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Present: Hip Hop is a cultural term with a deep history that embodies music, clothing, dance, etc. What does hip hop signify to you, personally and culturally?

Gamby: Cliché tho' it may be, "Hip hop saved my life." I have accomplished so much in a short time in my life and when I looked around for something to love and share my experience with there it was. Thanks to my sons and their love of hip hop culture and me, I was invited into this world. What I found was exhilarating, like there is a main artery in this culture and I just felt it and have never left it. I liken that main artery to the continuing legacy African Americans have made because of their presence in larger national cultures all over the planet. Because of, and/or inspite of, how these larger cultures have received and/or rejected our culture, our heritage and roots are so strong they will not be denied.

Starting with talking drums in African villages to a worldwide hip hop culture, you only have to look listen and move to that some drum beat to hear our messages and still I rise. Maya Angelou said it best I think, "What I see everyday, everywhere, in black culture is oppress me, deny me, ignore me, use me, hate me, wish me dead, and still I rise."

That is the message I hear, and the sheer joy of this realization, "and still I rise," makes the heart soar hence gospel, jazz, rhythm and blues, soul, funk, hiphop, love of self, and one life whatever the disrepair and much more. All this creates that main artery that continues to feed us through it all.


Present: What messages and sense of identity do you want to communicate based on your connection to hip hop?

Gamby: Celebrate, communicate, and live yourself out loud. Find expression and share experiences from your uniqueness with the world. Search your soul for your truth and don't ever stop. Share it through whatever medium feels and fits you, be it visual, movement, musical, vocal, stylin', building community, or whatever. Do it out loud.


Present: There is plenty of misunderstanding about hip hop and what people think it is. What are some of those false associations?

Gamby: There is a book in answering this question Pete. Mostly. just look at our national culture and what it reveres, then apply those values to hip hop and you get gangster rap for suburban kids, you get presidents vilifying images created by lyrics and videos that are produced by the big five gate keepers of success. OMG , it's a mess really. Add in the news media's addiction to all things hyped ( gotta sell sell sell), mix in years of poverty and very narrow channels of successful ways out of poverty for black Americans and on and on. Different day, same shit. Finish it off with capitalism, greed, co-opting, and slavery, and you have an inkling of how hip hop got to where it is right now.

One observation is that hip hop started out being about reppin' your area, crew, etc. Big biz came in with opportunities for getting paid and blam, crew no more, reppin' your hood meant less, nowhere to belong meant your DJ was gone, your breaker affiliations gone, same with graf affiliations. The tribe/crew broke apart. To me, the real power of hip hop was and continues to be affiliation, crews, tribes, and villages. In a word: community. Regions reppin' their unique flava.


Present: From my perspective, the essence of hip hop isn't just a performance, slogans or slang easily spit out, or provocative ideas attacking from the status quo. It seems that for those people truly into hip hop as a personal form of expression and way of life, it's not a mere posture or look. It's something that is part of daily life no matter what your zip code is, and that ideas and words that spring from daily experience filter into the mainstream through the various expressions of hip hop (music, fashion, graffiti, etc.) and other cultural dialects. Do you agree? What are your thoughts? Can you share any examples of how encounters and experiences from daily life inform your outlook in relation to hip hop?

Gamby:

From my perspective, the essence of hip hop isn't just a performance, slogans or slang easily spit out, or provocative ideas attacking from the status quo.
I agree with your perspective in this regard.

It seems that for those people truly into hip hop as a personal form of expression and way of life, it's not a mere posture or look.
I have seen this to be mostly true until it began to become mainstream. Hip hop is almost fifty years old now. For those just entering the culture without any historical perspective, it is easy to adopt the superficial, media-, and comsumerism-driven aspects of our culture.

It's something that is part of daily life no matter what your zip code is.
Hip hop culture is a zipcode unto itself now; that is why it can be a worldwide culture, ideas and words that spring from daily experience filter into the mainstream through the various expressions of hip hop (music, fashion, graffiti, etc.) and other cultural dialects. I agree that by now so much of what hip hop has brought as true expression is now mainstream. I think this happening is in someway responsible for the "keepin it real" need many heads have. What many often miss is that expression of your unique perspective––Do 'You'––that is what is driving the elements of hiphop. So if the trendmakers are co-opting a look, word, visual style, music, or beats, then that is not hip hop. That is our consumer-based capitalistic system doing what it does best, selling us on something as if it is real. Saying it is real does not make it real in terms of origin. Superficial things tend to not ring true.

What are your thoughts? Can you share any examples of how encounters and experiences from daily life inform your outlook in relation to hip hop?
This question is confining in a way so I will jump to the end of it with this thought. Hip hop culture said, "Do 'You.'" This has been one of the most enduring messages I've heard. So, everyday I ask myself. 'Am I doing "me" which causes me to reflect into myself as I make my offerings to the world outside of me. Am I being authentic in my expression, be it caring for my foster sons, giving a massage to a client, supporting local hip hop by attending a show, making a meal, whatever it is.

Tim G. aka DJ Skeme
Hip hop, soul, funk, neo DJ/Co-founder of Urban Synthesis Radio podcast network, and member of Soul Providers crew.
www.myspace.com/djskeme
www.myspace.com/urbansynthesisradio
www.usrradio.com


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Present: Hip Hop is a cultural term with a deep history that embodies music, clothing, dance, etc. What does hip hop signify to you, personally and culturally?

DJ Skeme: Hip hop embodies a culture that represents freedom of expression through four main elements of art: grafitti, djing, mcing, and breakdancing. These four elements are the backbone, but the culture is not limited to these four. Other forms of expression have included music production, clothing, speech, poetry, congregation, etc. The benefits of hip hop fundamental to me have been unification across age, gender, and race. Another has been identity. Members of the hip hop generation can usually identify with one another and bond for their love of the culture.


Present: What messages and sense of identity do you want to communicate based on your connection to hip hop?

DJ Skeme: I basically want to communicate unification of common ideals in hip hop with other members of the community. Such ideals are racial equality, justice, non-violence, honor, and true appreciation of the arts.


Present: Plenty of misunderstanding exists about hip hop and what people think it is. What are some of those false associations?

DJ Skeme: Examples of misunderstandings of hip hop include universal bad behavior, racial division, a hatred of law, self-centeredness, and flamboyancy.


Present: From my perspective, the essence of hip hop isn't just a performance, slogans or slang easily spit out, or provocative ideas attacking the status quo. It seems that for those people truly into hip hop as a personal form of expression and way of life, it's not a mere posture or look. It's something that is part of daily life no matter what your zip code is, and that ideas and words that spring from daily experience filter into the mainstream through the various expressions of hip hop (music, fashion, graffiti, etc.) and other cultural dialects. Do you agree? What are your thoughts? Can you share any examples of how encounters and experiences from daily life inform your outlook in relation to hip hop?

DJ Skeme: I agree with your perception. Hip hop affects me daily because I basically need it. I listen to it at work and use it as stress relief and a learning tool. Hip hop music through radio shows and mixtapes allow me to understand what is going on through different communities worldwide, which helps me understand my position as an African in this state in time. Hip hop can be used as a reference to the past, a time capsule, and an eye to the future through the spoken experiences of artists. Depending on the region the music is from, it also helps me relate to the culture of the region and what to look out for when I am in those regions.

WOW. I never thought about how impactful it was to me till I had to express it.

Royce Diamond
Rap artist (MC), producer, and engineer. I have worked on projects with local rap artists such as Approach and Smoov Confusion to some of the industry's most revered artists like Crazy Bone, Sin Dawg of Cypress Hill, and Def Jef.
www.myspace.com/roycediamond


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Present: Hip Hop is a cultural term with a deep history that embodies music, clothing, dance, etc. What does hip hop signify to you, personally and culturally?

Royce Diamond: In my personal life, hip hop has provided me with social and cultural tolerance while offering me an outlet where I could truly express myself openly in an environment free from judgment and social criticism.

Not speaking for anyone else, I think "hip hop" signifies a collective who have chosen to express themselves through artistry at the highest levels available to them, regardless of social criticisms or consequences.


Present: What messages and sense of identity do you want to communicate based on your connection to hip hop?

Royce Diamond: Hip hop is the urban art community's adopted language and voice of a chosen few. As an MC and producer/engineer, my goal is to offer a professional sound, with superb musical production that encompasses socially relevant lyrics. By doing so, I think the hip hop community will stay tuned into our political climate while offering a platform to voice the concerns of the hip hop generation to all levels of government.


Present: There is plenty of misunderstanding about hip hop and what people think it is. What are some of those false associations?

Royce Diamond: I believe that the demonetization of hip hop artists and the music they create is by far the most hurtful to the culture of hip hop. The biggest misconceptions about hip hop culture I feel stem from the MTV platform that confuses hip hop with big business. Hip hop has no officially elected spokesperson, yet the latest video or reality show appears to be the generalization by the majority of the population for the culture. You can read globally every time Snoop Dogg is arrested for marijuana, but when Russell Simmons (a hip hop mogul) tours the country with self-help books little or no attention is given in these same major markets that reach the masses. This is just one example of confusing entertainment with culture.


Present: From my perspective, the essence of hip hop isn't just a performance, slogans or slang easily spit out, or provocative ideas attacking from the status quo. It seems that for those people truly into hip hop as a personal form of expression and way of life, it's not a mere posture or look. It's something that is part of daily life no matter what your zip code is, and that ideas and words that spring from daily experience filter into the mainstream through the various expressions of hip hop (music, fashion, graffiti, etc.) and other cultural dialects. Do you agree? What are your thoughts? Can you share any examples of how encounters and experiences from daily life inform your outlook in relation to hip hop?

Royce Diamond: I completely agree. Part of me is disgusted with how popular hip hop has become while the other part of me is happy for the progress. This new progress, if used wisely, could provide the hip hop community with money for education, political recognition, and more importantly, a voice for issues important to us.

I may not agree with what every artist says, but because of hip hop, people who ordinarily would not associate with the hip hop community are now waiting in anticipation for their favorite artist's next collection of thoughts. As a writer, everything that happens to me and around me globally impacts hip hop as I know it. Even time itself has a sound that can be heard through hip hop.

Miles Bonny
Singer, trumpeter, producer, beat composer, and member of INnate Sounds Crew
MilesBonny.com
INnatesounds.com
www.myspace.com/milesbonny


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Present: What does hip hop signify to you, personally and culturally?

Bonny: Personally, it's the other half to my jazz interests. It is the music that embodies a feeling of newness with an understanding of history, a feeling of raw and real expression.


Present: What messages and sense of identity do you want to communicate based on your connection to hip hop?

Bonny: Hip Hop in its best representation is a true reflection of the artists mind. For the participant, a personal release of feeling without bounds. Regarding myself, I'll let others create my connection to hip hop. I just do what i feel.


Present: What are some false associations about hip hop?

Bonny: That it is mainly about starting violence. To think of hip hop as a bunch of people talking about killing people is to view movies as all about knives and screaming white women.

Reach
I'm an MC (one of the four original elements).
www.myspace.com/reach

Featured in PresentMagazine.com: Reach - Riding the Beat on His Latest Release


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Present: Hip Hop is a cultural term with a deep history that embodies music, clothing, dance, etc. What does hip hop signify to you, personally and culturally?

Reach: A full range of self-expression. Hip Hop is a way of life. It's everything from my style of dress, to the way I speak, to even the way I think. It has influence over my life's philosophy, the way I interact with the people I come into contact with, and my personal politics.


Present: What messages and sense of identity do you want to communicate based on your connection to hip hop?

Reach: Hip Hop is my way to communicate the themes I was raised with as well as those I've developed along the way. My brand of hip hop music is reality-based so it represents my failures and flaws as well. It's basically a real look at my life and everything it entails.


Present: Plenty of misunderstanding exists about hip hop and what people think it is. What are some of those false associations?

Reach: People see hip hop as the bane of American society and the root of all that ails this country. Hip hop is simply a mirror for what's happening in society-at-large. We're a materialistic, hedonistic, and misogynistic society at our core. Hip Hop is bound to share to those themes.


Present: Can you share any examples of how encounters and experiences from daily life inform your outlook in relation to hip hop?

Reach: Art does imitate life. I think my daily experiences are perfectly suited for the messages I try to put across with hip hop. Be that my everyday struggle to live and survive the daily grind, or my bouts with fatherhood at a relatively young age, or my pursuit of equality for black people in America. Those issues are near and dear to my heart and honestly have no choice, but to be reflected in my music.


MilkDrop
MC and representative of The Soul Providers Crew, based in Kansas City, Missouri. I am first a fan and follower of the hip hop culture.
www.myspace.com/soulproviderscrew
www.myrawkus.com/milkdrop
milkisrhymingmilkischilling.blogspot.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Present: Hip hop is a cultural term with a deep history that embodies music, clothing, dance, etc. What does hip hop signify to you, personally and culturally?

Milkdrop: Hip hop to me is a part of my existence. Without sounding too cliché, I live and breathe hip hop in my daily life. Listening to and creating hip hop music is a release for me, a way to escape from anything negative because it gives me a chance to share pieces of myself with people from all over, who, in turn, can grow and learn from my experiences presented in my music, and take them with them in their lives.


Present: What messages and sense of identity do you want to communicate based on your connection to hip hop?

Milkdrop: I want to create music that is honest and relatable to all people, and also to show people music that is timeless and enjoyable. There are many pieces weaved into what is hip hop culture is, so I will always try to show that there is definitely room for all people to be included.


Present: There is plenty of misunderstanding about hip hop and what people think it is. What are some of those false associations?

Milkdrop: False associations would be:

That all hip hop is negative and/or misogynistic towards women. That hip hop music and the culture influence people in negative ways. That hip hop performers can’t be organized and professional in their endeavors. That hip hop events lead to violence. That emcees are driven by materialistic things instead of the love for the artform. That graffiti isn’t art.

Luke aka Topp Boom, Symbol Heavy
Symbol Heavy is a Kansas City-based record label focused on hip hop and disco.
www.symbolheavy.com


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Present: Hip Hop is a cultural term with a deep history that embodies music, clothing, dance, etc. What does hip hop signify to you, personally and culturally?

Topp Boom: Hip hop to me means making something out of nothing. You don't need any instruments per se. Hip hop started out as a real experimental art form, saying rhymes about yourself and your DJ over two of the same disco records being played back and forth. Very basic but effective.


Present: What messages and sense of identity do you want to communicate based on
your connection to hip hop?

Topp Boom: I'd like to help make hip hop become more accepted to the older generation. There is still a lot of misconceptions about the music. The earlier hip hop seems to transcend better, but at least there is variety.


Present: There is plenty of misunderstanding about hip hop and what people think it is. What are some of those false associations?

Topp Boom: That is takes no creativity and it isn't a valid art form. But with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five being inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, I see that changing.


Present: Can you share any examples of how encounters and experiences from daily life inform your outlook in relation to hip hop?

Topp Boom: I try not to get too philosophical about hip hop. Just like a jazz guy lives jazz and rock guys live rock, same with hip hop. Some of the first hip hop acts dressed like The Village People. So, I don't think dressing a certain way makes you hip hop automatically. I do think people should do their history on the art form before they become heavily involved in it.
 
 View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website  
Reply with quote Back to top
Display posts from previous:     
Jump to:  
All times are GMT - 12 Hours
Post new topic   Reply to topic
View previous topic Printable version Log in to check your private messages View next topic
Powered by PNphpBB2 © 2003-2004 The PNphpBB Group
Credits

 
Sponsors