History Theory of the Bang: Part One
posted by February 19 at 11:44 AMon
A hiphop that aspires for the national stage is a hiphop that must dilute its substance. We can see an example of this in Black Eyed Peas: the substance of their hiphop at the local, LA, level is not the same as their hiphop at a national level. And the group made the transition from one to the other with the understanding that a local form of hiphop can not survive in that state on the national stage. So, a truth: you can have static and innovative hiphop at a local level; you can only have static hiphop on a national level.
Also, the transition from rapper/DJ mode to the rapper/beat market system results from the movement that leaves the local for the national. Hiphop, then, can not in all honesty (or in a state of honesty) be national; its home can only be local. Even a group like Common Market, which focuses on global issues and parallels its political views with those of the global justice movement, is still local because the political views the duo represents dominate the liberal and progressive discourses of its city or region.
Finally, hiphop can not happen in an arena; it is a music for basements and clubs. The national and mega concerts empty the music to such an extent that, as is the case of Kanye Omari West, it is not hiphop anymore.
The principles: keep local and keep the crowds small. Only listen to local hiphop (by local, I mean hiphop that is made with the local in mind), and stay away from mega shows. Think of the local as a storefront church; and the national as a megachurch.
The more you apply these principles, the closer you will be to the truth of hiphop. And hiphop, like all other cultural practices, has its truths.
(In the image is Jace of SLP)