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The Importance of Hip Hop In Our Culture-review by Sherri Rosen Publicity, NYC

What prompted this blog piece was a book a friend suggested I read called “Hip Hop & Philosophy Rhyme2Reason, edited by Derrick Darby & Tommie Shelby, Foreword by Cornel West.

This white girl didn’t have a clue about the origin and philosophy of Hip Hop and Rap. Always had the curiosity, and finally took the time to read this amazing book.

The book opened up my mind and my world to understanding this important part of our culture. Such an amazing addition to our culture of richness, something new and alive, a way of taking injustice and putting into the music.
“They show and prove that rap classics by Lauryn Hill, OutKast, and the Notorious B.I.G. can help us uncover the meaning of love articulated in Plato’s Symposium. We see how Run-D.M.C., Snoop Dogg, and Jay-Z can teach us about self-consciousness and the dialectic in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. And we learn that Rakim, 2Pac, and 50 Cent knowledge us on the conception of God’s essence express in Aquinas’s Summa Theologica.

From project recreation centers to outdoor street parties fully equipped with DJs, MCs, fat speakers, graffiti artists, and breakdancers, hip hop came from the streets. So did philosophy. Not from the streets of NYC but from the streets of ancient Athens.

As quoted by Cornel West “hip-hop music was created by talented black urban youth in the USA that fused New World African musical forms and rhetorical styles with new postmodern technologies. Like the blues, spirituals, and jazz-the greatest art forms to emerge from the USA-hip-hop music expressed and enacted Socratic parhesia (bold, frank, and plain speech in the face of conventional morality and entrenched power.) The basic aims of hip-hop music are threefold–to provide playful entertainment and serious art for the rituals of young people, to forge new ways of escaping social misery, and to explore novel responses for meaning and feeling in a market-driven world.”

There’s also a beautiful chapter (2) in the book called “Ain’t (Just) ’bout da Booty: Funky Reflections on Love which was by Tommie Shelby. It’s beautiful. The entire book brings it on down if you want to take the time to read it, understand it, and it’s not a requirement to even agree with it. But it’s important for you to realize how much this music has added to our culture.

I highly recommend reading it.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 at 2:03 pm and is filed under Clients, Friends and Colleagues, Industry News, Press Releases, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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