The following are a series of posts to Twitter by producer/MC Q-Tip, offering perspective as to why HipHop culture stays on guard for inauthenticity. The posts, in all of their unedited glory are, together with typos, etc., eloquent and articulate.
[Q-Tip is a member of A Tribe Called Quest, Native Tongues and the Universal Zulu Nation as well as a solo artist and producer of other artists.]
HipHop is a artistic and socio-political movement/culture that sprang from the disparate ghettos of NY in the early 70’s
Coming off the heels of the CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT and approaching the end of the Vietnam war it was a crossroads 4 America
specially for blacks in the US our neighborhoods were PROLIFERATED w/a rush of HEROINE
our school systems here in NY dungeon traps with light for learning
blk men some of whom didn’t return from tours of duty n the ones who did came w/war baggage (agent orange, addiction, ect..)
these men had families but due to these events and throw into the mix the public emasculation…
they proved to be handicapped parents. The surrogate parents? The STREETS
the streets of gangs, crimes, and the hustlers coddled us and swept us up
but! Being a spirited, rhythmic & expressive people music art dance outlined our existence
it proved a way for us to exhault to scream to dance to laugh and find OUR VOICE
we weren’t at the time skilled musicians as kids. We had records, turntables, ideas and INGENUITY
being natural chemist we took from whatever was availed to us and we created something mighty and special
we cut breakbeats back n forth we took a hybrid of Jamaican toasting along w/ radio jock rap( hank Spann, Gary Byrd, ect.) and
we put our rap down..
it was a neighborhood thing really. Black and Latino Kids were carving out their space and it became infectious
eventually Keith Cowboy coined the phrase hiphop . Yrs later the first rap record was recorded and now we r moving
but during these strides this country still had the monster of racism and racial insensitivity breathing and ruling
believe it or not young black n Latino lives specifically weren’t acknowledged in mainstream American culture unless Ofcourse..
the convo was abt gangs , being criminals or uneducated. And hey! Like I stated early our families were rushed our schools
sucked and we were left to put devices to survive
but HIPHOP showed that we had DEPTH, fire, and BRILLANCE
the music was undeniable! It moved from NY N became national and even GLOBAL
hiphop now was FOR EVERYBODY!! All of those who cld relate to the roots, the spirit, the history, the energy.. It reached YOU
it touched your spirit n took u up. We magnetized you! That’s what BRILLANCE does
now u are fulfilling your dreams … BUT!
you have to take into account the HISTORY as you move underneath the banner of hiphop. As I said before
hiphop is fun it’s vile it’s dance it’s traditional it’s light hearted but 1 thing it can never detach itself from
is being a SOCIO-Political movement. U may ask why … Well
once you are born black your existence I believe is joined with socio-political epitaph and philos
based on the tangled and treacherous history SLAVERY alone this is the case
it never leaves our conversation… Ever. WeAther in our universities our dinner tables our studios or jail cells
the effects still resononates with us. It hurts… We get emotional and angry and melancholy
did u know president Clinton was the ONLY PRESIDENT to apologize for it?
did u know that remnants of slavery exist today thru white privilege? When certain “niceties” r extended your way because of
how u look? Isn’t that crazy? I say this 2 say u are a hiphop artist who has the right 2 express herself however she wishes
his is not a chastisement this is not admonishment at ALL this is just one artist reaching to another hoping to spark insight
into the field you r in. I say this in the spirit of a hopeful healthy dialogue that maybe one day we can continue
I’ve been on twitter a long time and this will probably be my last series of tweets pretty much but
I’m Kool with it as long as I got to share this w u. Zzzzzzz’s up! Peace!