For Those Who Can't Sleep On Hip Hop

Who DOESN’T want “Everything?” Exactly. Which is why this Sonny Digital & Chevy Woods cut is so relatable. Take a listen…

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Houston rapper Z-Ro teams up with Ricky Rozay & together they “Keep It Real.” Take a listen…

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Ludacris freestyles over Rae Sremmurd & Nicki Minaj’s “Throw Sum Mo.” Yep…Another Ludaverse.

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The Clash: London Calling
In 1981, two years after the first rap records hit the airwaves, The Clash, a punk band from England released a single called “The Magnificent Seven.” The track was a hybrid of rap, funk, and punk. The song contained political and social undertones. The Fat Back Band, The Sugarhill Gang, Spoonie Gee, Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and Jimmy Spicer all dropped records in 1979. Musically, the only thing that distinguished The Clash’s track from those first rap records was that The Clash played live instruments. The Clash was inspired by those early groups to make a record that knew no genre boundaries. I would dare to argue that the conscious nature of the lyrics, diversity in instrumentation, and delivery makes “Magnificent Seven” a bonafide early Hip Hop song. Interestingly enough, this record was released approximately a year before the iconic track “The Message” by Grand Master Flash.

Why is it that a punk band from the UK understood what Hip Hop was years before it was globally accepted as a legitimate genre, yet decades later those claiming to be Hip Hop don’t have a clue about its founding tenets: originality, positivity, and creativity? Today, record labels, artists, and audiences pigeonhole Hip Hop into being a specific sound, having limited subject matter to be delivered by artists with a narrow overall focus, style, fashion, vocabulary, and attitude.

Today’s so-called Hip Hop artists should go back and listen and learn from The Clash’s bold approach to diversifying their sound. Unfortunately, most aspiring Hip Hop artists could probably not identify a Grandmaster Flash song, and more than likely have no idea who Jimmy Spicer is. Luckily for punk music, The Clash did.

As a side, The Clash also made another track that embraced rap. It was appropriately entitled “Lightning Strikes (Not Once But Twice).” Both songs appeared on their “Sandinista” album.

by I. Vasquetelle

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Flip’s new stylistic video for “Without Warning” delivers a healthy dose of boom bap with some help from Elzhi and Phat Kat.

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