When thinking and writing about Hip Hop, most often veer into appendexical thought, bringing up the rapper’s origins, family, place of birth, how he or she died, etc. It seems to be that appendexical thought does nothing to develop the art form, and comes out of a strategy for journalists to make some money out of an understanding of an art form that is not as much of a signifier for progressive revolution as rock and roll or pop (a form of rock), the two main expressions of the left-liberal to quote Slavoj Zizek. I propose this philosophical pamphlet a new way of thinking about Hip Hop, but also a galvanizer being that it is a pamphlet.
Lab Sample: Prima Donna, Summertime ‘06, Hell Can Wait, by Vince Staples
Preliminary: Hip Hop that hallucinates. Produces a state that is the opposite of grace, but that is a grand style of living, as made evident by the feeling that one is “pumped.”
Research Material: Spotify, the internet
Hip Hop pours out of an attempt at revolt to end American oppression, and its side effects. The revolution was first and foremost a revolution in the way that the American economy functions, given the Marxist-Leninist leanings of the Black panther party and socialist, communist, and leftist foundations of the black radical tradition that came after W.E.B. Dubois use of sociology to help blacks i.e. early socialism.
The degree zero of every revolution with the intent of changing a socios, a partnership, is an attack on dominant ideology: the revolution must find adherents and must produce thought that makes sense to a populace. For blacks, and for other minorities (hip hop begins its as proletarian expression deeply grounded in black radicalism but that of American “minorities,” as according to Jeff Chang’s book Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop) this attack is on the primacy of the Anglo-Saxon every day. That every day, which is a take on time and space and how to live notions of time and space (culture,) is mocked, degraded. What’s left is then nothing for let’s say “15” (time + space + culture) was reduced viciously to nothing, especially for young minority members who joined gangs. Note: first Hip Hop party dj’d by Kool Herc was an attempt at making peace between different gangs.
So, Hip Hop is born out of an attack on the Anglo-Saxon every day, which is rooted in a very traditional take on time and space as civilization: that it is stuck where it is, and slowly ticks for our flanerie, like most western cultures do. This every day is backed by heavy ideology, taught in schools. Einstein’s theory of time and space, that it is a continuum, attacked this old take on time and space. Hip Hop does not claim that time and space is a continuum, but its aesthetic is rooted in the fact that in time and space, whatever it may be (hip hop is rooted in an attack and not in a new enlightenment, which it should be) that humans can follow and please themselves to culture that goes faster than normal, a continuity of rhythm and of breaks (a stop and go,) along to a fluidity of verbal poetry.
So, from an attack came an aesthetic, and then a great phenomenon: an appreciation of that aesthetic. Others began to rap, make hip hop, and listeners poured their time into listening to this new rapid, groovy, stop and go, along with the fluidity and agility of an MC. What was being appreciated, however, was an electronic outpouring of an attack on an everyday, that sometimes itself attacks the everyday.
So, Hip Hop is not rooted in materialism, defining the dialectic, etc., but in producing art that flows out of a degree zero attack on Anglo-Saxonery in American society. It is not rooted in producing a new understanding of the world. It is also not rooted in producing a new reality for our society (that would take attacking the economy, and reforming the society to be a non-racist one, as the black radical tradition has emphasized.) It is rooted in producing new material.
So, Hip Hop produces new material. The construction of new hip hop rooted in old hip hop is a materialism. Thus, a scientific understanding of Hip Hop that also is an adherence to dogmatic versions of it, is also a materialism. However, this scientific understanding does not yet play a great role in producing new hip hop.
So, Hip Hop is not an attempt at producing a utopia by attacking a heterotopia. It is, for the most part, proletariat (given origins of most rappers) materialism born out of fighting for dear life.
Front / Back
Hip Hop = Hallucination!
Read all about “it”!
This is the track!
(in red, in white, in yellow, in black)
* The following is reverie / philosophy
Every single time that you or I listen to any sort of music, the potentials in human life, of the human being, that mysterious being, has been revealed.
It might come as a planned revelation, or an unplanned revelation.
Matter in general is a mystery, given that, unless for the Qur’an, or the Bible, etc., human living has not come with a reference book. Note: all writing we know of that serve as reference writing for human life came centuries after the beginning of human life.
Philosophy claims to reveal the human to the human, and so does science. It does it through words. According to many music listeners, including myself, in a song, because the human has been revealed, so has humanity: time, the use of space, and even music itself. The human has been revealed in a way that most do not understand however, through the organization of sound.
This revelation is an event when it marvels: an attention-grabbing revelation.
The revelation of a direction forward, of what one can do with one’s time and have a whole bunch of event, the pop music revelation, is an event that thrills millions. It’s especially the case when the listener in question is contemplating what to do with one’s presence, physicality, or how to go about identity, motion in a world of strangers and few friends. Music does this when the revelation fascinates: it asks to come along down something that no one, not even a musician, really understands.
Music, for now, ends up revealing a direction, but quite simply reveals “when it hits you.”