Sunday, November 1, 2009
“From the very beginning of its recent History, hip-hop music- or rap, as it has come to be know- has faced various obstacles. Initially, rap was deemed a passing fad, a playful and ephemeral black cultural form that seamed off the musical energies of urban black teens. As it became obvious that rap was here to stay, a permanent fixture in black ghetto youths’ musical landscape, the reactions changed from dismissal to denigration, and rap music came under attack from both black and white quarters. Is rap really as dangerous as many argue?”-Michael Eric Dyson, The Michael Eric Dyson Reader, p. 401
Reading Michael Eric Dyson’s excerpt in Revelations, sparked me to further explore his investigation into the issue as well as do some investigating myself. As I did my research I thought it interesting to understand not necessarily just the perspective and lyrical content of individual rappers, legendary or ordinary, but it became essential to understand the historical reference of hip-hop in the same way that one would study the Ghost Dance Movement, or how our ancestor’s used music and dance once captured in a foreign land under colonialist slavery.
I couldn’t help but notice the similarities in the historical movements, in the way they form and affect the spirits of the people, and particularly when it came to the reaction they received from their oppressors. Perhaps it is not hip-hop that aggression and oppression fears, but the expression of the trampled but not yet defeated soul; it is the only thing that has truly threatened power throughout the course of history.