Journal of Hip-Hop, Volume I, Issue 1 Spring 2005 | ISSN 1554-4532 Copyright © 2005 Readers may quote from, copy, and distribute this work for educational purposes as long as the copyright holder and The Journal of Hip-Hop are properly acknowledged and the original work is not altered. The reproduction or transmission of any part of this publication for other purposes in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval systems, requires the written permission of Hip-Hop Matters Inc. Printed in the United States of America
Journal of Hip-Hop Volume 1, Issue 1 www.journalofhiphop.org
Food for Your Hip-Hop Soul
PUBLISHER FOUNDING EDITOR-IN-CHIEF FOUNDING EXECUTIVE EDITOR FOUNDING MANAGING EDITOR EDITOR-AT-LARGE LAYOUT EDITOR COPY EDITOR STYLE EDITOR ILLUSTRATOR ART DIRECTOR BUSINESS MANAGER RESEARCHER STUDENT INTERNS CONTRIBUTORS
Hip-Hop Matters Inc. Andrew J. Ryan Akil E. Kennedy Jeff Tate Deliya Ryan Kirian Villalta Lydia X. McCoy Shayla Herndon Aniekan Udoﬁa Fritz Doseau Jennifer Manigross Charisse Cecil Maurice Hodges Eric Tate Alicia Adams, Ray Alston, Taliya Banda, Gil Brimais, Alonzo Gamble, Sergio Gonzalez, Delia Husband, Janeen Ingram, Nyjia Jones,Vernon Kathemba, Richard Lanahan, Tee Leathers, Rich Manu, Jeff Miller, Luan Nguyen, Michelle Nadora, Erik Noel, Pho Palmer, Angelika Peacock, Ebony Utley, Ada Valatitis, Chris White, Kurt Young
JoHH welcomes letters to the editor, particularly those that comment on the publication or the works that appear within it. All letters are subject to editing for the purpose of clarity. SEND ALL MATERIAL TO: Journal of Hip-Hop Hip-Hop Matters Inc. 1718 M St #279 NW Washington, DC 20036 E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 202.841.4090 Hip-Hop Matters and Journal of Hip-Hop (JoHH) editors will not assume responsibility for loss or damage to material submitted, nor will Hip-Hop Matters, JoHH editors, staff, volunteers, or ﬁnancial supporters assume any legal responsibility for materials published in JoHH. Materials published in the journal do not necessarily reﬂect the views of Hip-Hop Matters, JoHH editors, staff, or ﬁnancial supporters. JoHH is published three times a year (Winter/Spring/Fall) Subscriptions to JoHH are available to members of Hip-Hop Matters with their annual membership. Individual copies are $25 US/$30 CAN with discounted prices for educational organizations. Founded in 2004 The Bronx | Chicago | Washington D.C.
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i am hip-hop, i am changetm
Hip-Hop Matters is a Washington DC based non-proﬁt serving the youth of
America. Hip-Hop Matters has three core operating areas: Youth Advocacy, Urban Youth Outreach, and Education. Our mission is to energize, motivate, empower, and support the youth of America through outreach, youth advocacy, urban policy analysis, educational publications and educational consulting which responsibly utilize the ﬁve elements of Hip-Hop culture and encourage proactive civic engagement. To volunteer, donate, or for general inquiries: www.hiphopmatters.org | [email protected]
People treat Hip-Hop like an isolated phenomenon. They don’t treat it as a continuum, a history or legacy. And it really is. And like all mediums or movements, it came out of a need. - Mos Def
The Journal of Hip-Hop will accept short essays, poems, grafﬁti, photo-essays, and editorials. We invite scholars of all levels: whether academically trained or self educated. Journal articles are carefully edited (in addition to a review process) to ensure readability. In each issue we will typically publish 7-10 articles of various levels of scholarship. Articles must reach a logical conclusion and primarily deal with Hip-Hop culture. Articles should not analyze Hip-Hop from the outside in (i.e. too violent, too commercial) but rather critique, deconstruct, advance and contribute to Hip-Hop culture. Before submitting, please consult the JoHH reference pages online which contain information packets to assist in your research.
JoHH conducts a strict review process. All submissions to the Journal of Hip-Hop are internally reviewed and given an initial critique by two JoHH reviewers. Articles meeting minimum requirements will undergo a second review process, involving the author, managing editor and a designate from the journal review board. Final acceptance occurs once the second review process is complete.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Founded in April 2004 The Journal of Hip-Hop presents an opportunity for writers (graphic and text), poets and artists, to critically dialogue on Hip-Hop culture. Hip-Hop, consisting of at least 5 elements: bombing, b-boying, dee-jaying, emceeing, and knowledge (of self and culture), has gone from humble beginnings in the South Bronx during the early 1970s, to a worldwide culture with a billion-dollar earning value. Emcees, our urban griots, have used rap music as oral history in recording the events of urban America. The Journal of HipHop provides a landscape to intelligently dissect, critique, attack, sermonize, or eulogize Hip-Hop culture, through the written word.
8 The Commercial Commodiﬁcation of Hip-Hop by Chris Payatagool 16 A Brief History of Grafﬁti, 1965-2000 by Justin Longo 24 Hip-Hop Meets Music Video: The New Millenium Minstrel Show by Josh Sefﬁnga 42 Hip-Hop, Ghetto-centricity and the Commodity Fetish by Peter Anderson
7 Hip-Hop Timeline Selected Events in Hip-Hop History 10 Photojournalism Exploring Wildstyle 22 “Rap Music as Equipment for Life” by Andrew J. Ryan Poetry 30 “Mainstream vs Underground” by Mark Crosby 31 “Hip-Hop Ain’t Ready” by an urban public school teacher 32 “I Don’t Understand” by Shayla Herndon 34 “Pass the Mic” by Keyanna Stone 35 Artist Spotlight Tyson Hall Lyrical Analysis 48 Ras Kass “What Part of the Game” View from Masada 50 Last Emperor “Underground” Music, Magic, and Myth 52 Jean Grae “No Doubt” Attack of the Attacking Things...The Dirty Mixes 54 Cee-lo “Decisions, Decisions” DJ Muggs Presents...The Soul Assassins 56 Editorial “Hip-Hop Confusion: And This is For?” by Panama Jackson 58 Book Excerpt: To The Break Of Dawn: Blues Culture & the Origins of Hip Hop, by Jelani Cobb Book Reviews 66 Unbelievable: Life Death and Aftermath of the Notorious BIG 68 Is There a God on the MIC:The True 50 Greatest Emcees 69 Street Conscious Rap 70 Comic Strip True School Illustrated by Fritz Doseau 74 Ed.U.Tainment Tupac Shakur: Keeping It Real vs. Keeping It Right by Andrew J. Ryan 87 Coming From Where I’m From Spotlighting organizations using Hip-Hop to engage youth
About The Logo
The Journal of Hip-Hop (JoHH) logo represents the ﬁve elements of HipHop. The four primary elements which deﬁne the culture and the ﬁfth, knowledge, which educates the masses on the history and responsibilities of Hip-Hop. With knowledge on top, emceeing, deejaying, writing (populary known as grafﬁti), and b-boying (or breakdancing) are all represented on the JoHH logo.
88 Editorial “Upturning the Children’s Table: Hip-Hop Generation Attempts to Claim Leadership” by Todd Steven Burroughs 90 Through the News Wire Quotes from various news sources on Hip-Hop 92 “Brothers of Struggle” by Jeff Tate 96 Classic Album Review by Daryl L. Francis Curriculum Spotlight 98 University of Maryland at College Park, Dr. Jessica Nembhart 98 Trinity College, Dr. Gail Waldu 99 Temple Universiry, Prof Will Boone 100 “Of Hip-Hop and Education” by Akil E. Kennedy 102 Hip-Hop Survey Results from a survey conducted by Spring 2003 Hip-Hop course at George Mason University by Deliya Ryan 106 Factwords (Crossword) 108 Bibliographical References 109 Contributors 110 That’s My Word “Satisﬁed” by J-Live 112 Lyrical Libations
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
I grew up on Noble Avenue, about 4 blocks from the Bronx River Projects where Hip-Hop ﬁrst organized in the late 1970s. I was nine years old and in my room, when I ﬁrst heard Criminal Minded. It was 1986. For the ﬁrst time there was a music speaking to me. I grew up on Hip-Hop. I have a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (Binghamton University), a Masters in Engineering (George Mason) and I’m working on a PhD in Public Policy. For the past 6 years, I’ve worked full time as an aviation researcher (NASA/FAA stuff) while taking classes and teaching (everything from statistics to multimedia and of course Hip-Hop). Why a Journal of Hip-Hop? The idea for a journal came from my Spring 2001 Hip-Hop course at New Century College, a school within George Mason University. It was a one credit course (now 4), requiring 2 short essays and a research paper. Since that course, I’ve kept electronic copies of every student paper . . . they were that good! Community outreach (I work with a Hip-Hop non-proﬁt called the Midnight Forum) and teaching courses on Hip-Hop has always been my escape. I read Dave Chapelle’s XXL issue: “Become the change you want to see,” he explained. Then Chapelle funded a free concert in Brooklyn last September where he brought together some of the top names in Hip-Hop for a beneﬁt concert. I soon learned Stax Records did a similar concert in Watts in 1972, giving back to the community and culture. I did say I worked in aviation . . . “Individual success means nothing, if the community, as a whole, is going nowhere.” - Malcolm X Common said it a little differently on “Age of Aquarius”: Time to build // As far as building I’m the doorman, opening doors // My blood I expose on the ﬂoors // Tell them the game ain’t only to score How It all Started I’ve known Ak (the executive editor) for almost 20 years . . . this journal began evolving back in the late 80s on Noble Ave and Parkchester in the Bronx (and secretly in Rogers Park – Chicago). It’s now 2005, Hip-Hop is coming of age. Hip-Hop has created a dope soundtrack, but music only preserved the calm on the Titanic. In the words of Reggie Noble: ‘Time 4 Sum Aksion!’ Dru Ryan
JoHH dedicates this issue to the memory of Amadou Diallo, a brother who died in the struggle.
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