You’ve tasted this?
Fuck The Money
As per the French theorist Nicolas Bourriaud, many of our modernities can be defined as yearning explosion, or a release of energy. Hip Hop is best when it explodes me then (before the song) into me now (wow!).
Fuck The Money. Like that of all rappers, Rapper Talib Kweli’s free album Fuck The Money claims to not only be Hip Hop but also explode our perspectives on explosion (be great.) Furthermore, also claims to seems to want to explode our reluctant accepting of the capitalism that defines the individual realities that we lead and leave us with rhythmic, unburdening, existence.
No. It’s a commendable effort that could have been that much better, if it was the product of serious thought and not a fascination with a tough slogan and Hip Hop’s ability to speak like few musical genres to pathos. It’s the case for most Hip Hop: it’s produced for recognition.
11 songs. The album itself either sounds money, or like the expensive electronic production that we are used associating with big money songs. “Money Good” is this album’s best song. It sounds like a mix of acoustic and electronic instrumentation and the rap and instrumentation meld together like an actual composition. “Nice Things” is a great and loud listen, featuring the fast, ‘conscious,’ rap that Talib is now well known for. He, like most rappers, throws us punchlines that he weaves together into a moral statement, and it’s the songs morality that resonates the most and might even pass for political. “Echoes” features great rhythm and great production that is ambient and dream-like. The album gets smoother as it progresses and Talib is much better at being smooth than he is at being loud. “Baby Girl” is an example of this and in it we hear a Talib who sounds like young rapper J Cole.
It’s Hip Hop culture to sit amazed at who has produced an album’s songs and I would not recommend listening to this album that way. Look at the name of the producer after listening to the song and let song affect. Then, the songs’ limitations and strengths will become apparent.
In the end, has “it” exploded? Have I now proclaimed “fuck the money.” No. I, personally, have not. The album seems to have been strung together and offered for free, so “fuck the money,” for Talib, except that he gets exposure from it.
Human, I explode when I do, as I explode listening to Jean Michel Basquiat’s art. It fails at explosion, though it succeeds at being Hip Hop.
Philippe, short for Jean Philippe, everyone’s employer, was not ecstatic about his employee’s new album. If his memory was correct, he remembered that he had not participated in the weekend’s protests. Furthermore, his definition of political music was acoustic, guitar, music. Beat machine protest meant that he had fallen behind.
Princesse de Metternich wore her dress at the ball so well that Eugenie copied her.
The Princesse, however, was not only a well-dressed woman. She also loved music and especially Franz Liszt, who she corresponded with. Music, as much as style, was in vogue. As it’s the case today.
She’s now dead.
Statis: it’s normal that boys and girls now rap this way. It is not questioned.
There is this malaise that the black community feels that others who do not associate themselves with the identity “black” also feel. One of the many reasons for this malaise that is also a malaise of others is that life as a western concept pushes to engage with the world in a tiring way.
Nonetheless, we homo sapiens must persist. Neanderthals came to be extinct because they could not survive; the same must not be said about us, especially given that sapiens means genius.
Solutions are found through mathematics. Given that Jean Cocteau was right by considering poetics higher mathematics, math + math = 2(math) or more of a solution. So, the answer to that question can be solving Hip Hop culture, through Hip Hop inquiry (i.e. “who’s your favorite rapper?”.) In other words, if Hip Hop interests you, it can be the perfected with serious, intellectual, or even revolutionary mathematics (it being a malleable object.)
The following are 6 ways of going about positing Hip Hop, keeping in mind that the unwritten, lurking, 7th and most important is Anthropocene.
- The Historical: Hip Hop worked miracles in the past on the human psyche and on communal living. The Historical method is quite simply listening to old Hip Hop by yourself or with friends. The Historical method also means considering Hip Hop cultural history and its being part and parcel of a general History: the history of migrations, of cities, of commitment, of selling out, and of other acts and indecisions.
- Hip Hop as barometer: Hip Hop is a great barometer of how this society is working in favor or is disfavor of Black americans. Your questions can be answered by listening attentively. For example, why are there so few rappers born in the middle class? Why is such rapper from this area rapping something bleaker than such rapper from this area? Why is West Coast Hip Hop sometimes comedic whereas Southern rap is dead serious? What are women’s role in Hip Hop? Why are Christian churches now jumping on board the Hip-Hop bandwagon?
- Hip Hop as bazaar: As if silk merchants of the middle ages, Hip Hop musicians, especially producers, are better versed than anyone else in other music and great at applying it in their own music. Hip Hop can be a music that can lead one to other music (idioms) and other perspectives. Hip Hop thus hosts the comments of all people of all races and most nations. Hip Hop can fine tune your entry way into others, whether it be through other idioms or how others think about music, and things as miscellaneous as another’s definition of freedom or vice.
- Hip Hop as commentary: Listening to Hip Hop as commentary can sharpen one’s own critical skills. Critical skills are essential to survival. The rapper is a communicator par excellence and to do so successfully must appeal to the pathos and ethos of a population. Hip Hop as such will help you in terms of delivery of your criticism.
- Applying philosophy to Hip Hop: Philosophy is in one word wisdom. Some philosophers today will tell you otherwise but anthropologically speaking it’s impossible to prove that a philosopher does anything different than a southern man om a patio explainin’ the world to a daughter or a son. Many philosophers can be applied to making sense of Hip Hop. For example, Nietzsche’s concept of a “grand style”, from his books Ecce Homo and The Gay Science, fits Hip Hop perfectly. In a nutshell, Nietzsche tells us that the “grand style” is the highest level of feeling power and which Art he believes helps us attain it. Does Hip Hop help one attain a “grand style”?
- Hip Hop as anthropological case study: Anthropology is the study of the human. In America, we are great fans of sociology (a lot of us can state percentages) but few of us read any anthropology. Anthropological inquiry can help you define what Hip Hop is ultimately, in terms of the production of sound, and in terms of the production of myth, and thus what living is. Even thinking about Hip Hop language, from an anthropological perspective, can be pretty telling.