Lets Enter The Mind Of A Hip-Hop Head Living In Our Commercial World
You have just entered the mind of a true hip-hop head, living in a commercial world. I have been called a “hip-hop head” more than a few times in my life. Even though people would sometimes say it in the way of making fun of me for knowing every word to a hip-hop song that no one else around me has even heard of, I always took it as a compliment. I felt proud to be called a hip-hop head because I felt like when I played that song that they didn’t know, I felt like I was giving them a gift. The gift of hearing something different, that maybe they could relate to in their own way, since that’s not provided to us through main stream radio. I felt that I was passing on the gift that the artist had given to his or her audience, including me, that I was helping them get the word out, since that song, if I was listening to it, probably wouldn’t get love from the radio, like I said. Being a hip-hop head in a commercial world is like being part of something deeper and more important than the generic brand of music they play on the radio. It is a culture, not just a sound, complete with it’s own form of artwork, it’s own form of dance, it’s own way of dress and much more that runs deeper than just auditory or visual stimulation. It expresses many points of views and it isn’t all black and white there are gray areas. It isn’t always polished and shiny or wrapped up tight in a pretty package. Lots of times it’s gritty and it’s raw, and that’s how life is, therefore it is a way of life. Being a hip-hop head is a blessing, because if you’re a hip-hop head, you always have a song or an artist who has been through what you’ve been through. If all you’ve been through is money and cars and women, well then, congratulations, but you’re probably not very interesting. If you’ve been through more than that though, and you have seen a more abrasive side of life. If every ending isn’t happy where you come from, and you’re a hip hop head like me, then you are blessed too, because there is a song to get you through every trial and tribulation deeper than just guns and jail. It doesn’t matter what your grind is when you hear real hip-hop, because real hip-hop allows you to listen to something that relates to your real self, not only your imaginary self where you have to always be a flashy superstar.
When I was dancing in the club, (I quit two years ago. I didn’t take being the oldest of five lightly- there were lots of bills to pay with that many kids) and all the girls wanted to play mainstream music, I had to hear the same song over and over all night, blare out of the jukebox. I could not wait to get up and do my set, and pick a song that I could relate to. I would have to cross my fingers every time and pray that they had the one that I was feeling that day. Whether it was Gangstarr, “Nice Girl, Wrong Place” or Nas, “Black Girl Lost”, or “Poppa was a Player”, Wutang, “I can’t go to Sleep”, Pastor Troy, “Visa Versa”. That’s just to name a few of the songs and artists I was able to dig out of that old jukebox. I was lucky to even be able to find those songs there, as it was a predominantly white club. The club owner usually only spoke to me about my “music selection”, telling me that it’s “not what people want to hear”, or that “This is not the type of clientele we want to attract”… I would challenge him and say, “And what type of clientele would you be speaking of?” as the girls behind me on the stage would continue bouncing around to another round of “Bubble Gum” music. I was routinely threatened that my music would be taken out of the jukebox. I didn’t care. I always played a song that he forgot to take out. Being the hip-hop head that I was, I always found a way around it. Hip-hop heads are resourceful. We’ll always have something up our sleeves to listen to that will help us make it through the day. I could go on forever, if I haven’t already. Being a hip-hop head in a commercial world is a welcomed challenge in my life and in the lives of those who provide us with real hip-hop, as they have to be more crafty in how they go about getting the word out.
As a hip-hop head, I am grateful to be provided a platform to express my views without being judged, because as I said before, true hip-hop doesn’t judge. I am blessed to have a place to go everyday to hear real hip-hop, as opposed to the over-produced, cookie cutter music that is provided to us through people who are focused only on making a “Club Banger” to get rich quick. Big Noise Radio is that place. Here, the cultures many ways of expression are put out there for all to enjoy and relate to. It provides true artists with an audience that appreciates their talents and ability to keep it real. Artists, who, lots of times do not get the recognition they so dearly deserve and have earned. Here, it is understood that it’s not so easy to find honest music that we, as hip-hop heads can relate to in this commercially entrenched world. There are no requirements here. You don’t have to own a big shiny chain to be here, or do the same dance that everyone else is doing, nor do you have to be rich with designer clothes. You don’t have to look like a supermodel, or have a mansion, or drink Crystal (unless you really want to). Matter of fact, you have just stumbled upon a place where the actual idea of being yourself is in style more than anything else after all, that is what being a true hip-hop head is about…
Article: Emily Davis
Image: B Malik