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Sep. 23rd, 2004 @ 12:13 pm can you take the ego out of hip hop?
this is something i've been pondering for a while,
because i have an idea for a musical project
but i'm finding it very daunting and difficult
to get off the ground.

hip hop,
from its roots,
was an ego genre.
as i understand it,
hip hop
arose from the "toasting" tradition in the caribbean
and the block party culture of america's urban centers.
DJ's and MC's trying to maintain command of center stage
through audience approval.

30 years later
("Rapper's Delight turned 25 a few weeks ago,
so let's add 5 years,
but i'm sure its more),
and we now have this "tradition" of MC's
rapping about how great they are,
how rich they are,
what a bad ass they are,
and how much better their musical crew is than all the others.

even Eminem and The Streets,
who's entire appeal is being downtrodden, poor and misunderstood,
can't seem to help
but write a few tracks per album
about how freaking brilliant they are in spite of it all.

to me,
this begs the question,
can hip hop get out from under this self-referential model?
can you remove the ego from hip hop entirely?
at that point,
would it simply be rhyming spoken word set to music?

thoughts, please.
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Date:September 23rd, 2004 11:47 pm (UTC)
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actually I don't know exactly accept I know a lots of great hip hop in poetry. That there are some people that break genre stero types, but maintain inegrity. I admit that hip hop is ego based. But if it is good it's good. and most rock talks a big talk if you think about it.
Music is part ego, it's the presintation of the ego and id that gives some of it's raw primal aspects. So Yes you can take it out.
At least I think

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Date:September 24th, 2004 05:33 am (UTC)
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to be clear,
i don't think the ego this is "problem".
i'm just wondering if its so entrenced,
that it becomes almost impossible to avoid.

i realized i should have written my initial point a bit more clearly.

there's two kinds of ego here.

1) the "i'm a bad-ass" ego

2) this song is all about me, ego

the second one is more interesting,
because even for this new breed of white rappers
who don't try to be gangsters,
their songs are still all about themselves.

even Public Enemy,
who tried to rap about a global message,
slipped into self-reference quite a bit.

for me,
right now,
this is about writer's block,
i think.

but i've been listening to Soul Coughing for three days,
and i'm realizing that somehow M.D. manages
to sound like he's rapping without rhyming,
which is interesting.

i will have a break-through soon, i think.
i just need the right catalyst.
that show at AS220 brought out "this is the jazz"
when i wasn't even trying to write,
so i know it can be done.
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Date:September 28th, 2004 01:07 am (UTC)
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yeah I understand what you are saying.
it is out there
but not many if any get signed.
So they don't get to public
and in most sense that kind of ego is ingrained in the genre
at least most that isn't gets casted as slam poetry
Date:October 20th, 2004 05:15 am (UTC)
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try to understand the concept of hip hop in its entirety and you wont have to ask questions like that.

i'd like ot adress your question.. but your understanding of hip hop is so miniscule that i cant even begin.

first things first.. know what hip hop is..
eminem doesnt qualify.

also.. hiphop isnt just music. speaking of it in terms of a genre just solidifies your place among the masses of those who dont understand.. even in the slightest
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Date:October 20th, 2004 12:49 pm (UTC)
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that was -so- informative!
Date:May 7th, 2005 06:56 am (UTC)


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As it was said, Hip hop is not a music, it's a life style. Now while I don't entirly agree, because then you force the life style to sterotype itself. But my point is, anyone who has taken music inside themselfs, felt it deeper then can be heard through headphones, knows that hip-hop, no any sound which is used to exspress the pain felt so wide spread these days, can not help but become intimatly personal. And if you want to get technical, Ego meaning the highly structured set of unconscious defenses that are central in defining both individual differences in character or personality, then you see that such defensed are just a self protection instict to their fear of closness to their music. Its a vent they use, one they don't want to feal pain from. Untill mankind can overcome fear and truely love themselfs, and don't hold your breath, all music including Hip Hop will be infused with Ego. Hmm..and you thought the last post was out there.
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Date:May 7th, 2005 02:12 pm (UTC)

Re: Ego

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that's the longest and most pretentious "no" i've ever read.
gimme a fuckin' break.