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"I Am.." by Rasul

by Eric on April 21, 2007

As long as I can remember, I’ve always been an artist! Think absentminded, an alienated melancholic constantly roaming through the realms of consciousness, always looking but never finding. Think disillusioned to worldly matters, dismissive to manly responsibilities which would have had satisfied my peers and parents, an unlucky author searching for corresponding adjectives and relative pronouns, dissecting tongue and language for unprecedented perfection. I write! I write to revisit the garden of my memories, ducking the never ending blows of depression that haunt me in my sleep. I write for undefined therapeutic reasons, write because this is all I know; write because this is all I am. But more than anything, I am Hip Hop! I’ve abandoned being just a fan a very long time ago, realizing that besides my heritage, my complexion or political beliefs, this is the only notion, the only true component I can thoroughly represent. “Ollie And Jerry” taught me to move, “Run DMC” taught me to use my brain while I’m moving; “Rakim” taught me that every motion meant poetry and “De La Soul”, well, they taught me that I’m a valid part of the movement. More than anything, I am Hip Hop. When KRS uttered those words of mass confusion in the beginning of the 90′s I subconsciously questioned his ulterior motive and felt insulted in my pride. Not fully comprehending the teacher his message in a bottle, I refused to accept that one single individual could carry the cross on his back and embody the fundaments of an entire generation. Call it his uneasy premonition, a blind foresight of what a Sodom and Gomorrah our culture will turn into, how irredeemable substance will be replaced by duplicated formulas and industry dictatorships; how artist will become marionettes to their own forsaken expectations and how mixtapes will serve as replicas to magically woven albums. Or maybe, well maybe KRS had simply lost his mind…

When I signed my first record deal, the head of A&R, who had discovered our demo during a vacation in Mexico , was a huge collector of dusty records and rarities. This was someone I had hour-long conversations with about MC Poet his first baby-steps in the mid 80s, about Showbiz & AG selling an EP out of their trunk way before they made disciples soul-clap; how I stood side to side to Big Pun in the Tunnel (a club in New York), way before his “Off The Books” days, discussing the merits of female posteriors. How I beat RZA for 250 Dollars in chess on the stoops of my Brooklyn home, how I had slapped Jeru silly at his own concert in Munich Germany because the man had disrespected a lady-friend or how I had discussed the evolution of “Illmatic” with DJ Premiere after a show and how I had to tell the man, Nas had taken the title of his album from an old Tragedy song. We although talked about the demise of Hip Hop, how he prouded himself of finding a collective, my group, who in his eyes, fulfilled a long lost legacy of virtues. He lamented about current releases, the way the essence was going down the drain and how he hardly found any new music worth to listen to. He had clearly stopped to listen. He had stopped to embrace the novelty that our culture was evolving and reaching for new heights, branching out to corporate enigmas of ring tones and product placement. Much like my old friend, I was living in a time capsule but for merely different reasons: I was an artist looking for newness, hoping to find perfection within snares and chopped sound bits, longing to elevate my allegories to inevitable psalms. I was seeking innovation and to a certain degree, I was hoping to prove my old pal wrong of how a Sean Carter is indeed an inspiration, how Clifford Joseph Harris Jr. will remain a rebel to his own cause and how Andre Benjamin is a genius to his own rights! So I stopped listening too. I stopped listening to all the old and started to analyze the new and down that very thin line, I lost my infantile hunger for good music…

Before I knew what torrent files or file-sharing meant, I strongly believed that good music will always prevail- I still do! I have a lot of time these days, a luxury I use to sharpen up my senses. In order to write, you have to read and therefore, I study Orhan Pamuk, the winner of the 2006 Noble Prize in literature; reread Noam Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent” and Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” but most of the time, I write. The internet has been an obvious source for eulogies, a musical flow of voices with subjugated powers and their perceptive narratives of bitter ingenuity. Hip Hop sites are rarely a satisfaction and most Blogs are forums for madmen with no remorse. When I stumbled upon “When They Reminisce…..” a couple of weeks ago (and all the other sites with similar heroics and great intensions), I suddenly started to remember again! For once, I was more than grateful to find my lost Poor Righteous Teachers- or the stolen Nikki D album. I started to remember “Be A Father To Your Child” as my everyday principle, “Silent Treatment” as the reflection of my sorrows or Extra Prolific’s “Brown Sugar” as the brainchild to my standard pick-up lines. How every Friday my man Lu would cut a mixtape with the latest 12″ for our 70 km drive to the next “real” Hip Hop club, only to get drunk to “Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down”, neglecting every hint of a one night stand because the DJ made the fatal mistake to play “Slam”. I start to remember all the songs that made me the man I am today. I started to remember that KRS was very right in all his means: I am Hip Hop.

As an artist myself, I am not going to discuss the ground principles of file-sharing. I run my own company and although this issue may hurt sales in general, it is my obligation to find new possibilities to advance my products and exploit the digital hypothesis to my advantage. I will never bitch like all the big labels that have abandoned artist development like an old pair of slippers and are now reaping what they have sowed in their pasts. Like I said before, I believe that good, detailed and profound music on all levels will always prevail. Eric headlines his site with “Hip Hop Classics and Rarities For All You New School Heads” and that’s exactly what he is doing. He is sharing his memories, his treasured adolescence and unsung recollections with those who wholeheartedly believe The Game’s N.W.A tattoo is nothing but a fashion statement. He is sharing out of print jewels that need to be remembered and sincerely, there is nothing wrong with that. And every now and then, an old soul will stumble upon this site and will start to remember. He will feel saved and somehow ratified, strangely authenticated in all of his gestures. He will begin to understand and finally, he will stop to battle his demons for forgotten affirmations, spreading his wings of freedom and he will realize: He is Hip Hop…-words by Rasul

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DJ KITSUNE » Shared Thoughts: I Am (by Rasul)
September 21, 2010 at 2:51 am

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