Article by DesiHipHop.com Contributor – Tashdid “Horus” Ghani
What is Hip Hop? It’s a style of music usually based on rap and often includes elements of other styles such as funk or rhythm and blues. Now if you trace back to funk and rhythm and blues, those fellas pretty much fought slavery through the love of music. Artists such as Muddy Waters used to work the plant down in Mississippi but, boy, he had so much power in his music. A big city like Chicago couldn’t stop him from breaking the separation between blacks and whites. Chuck Berry had so many fans who were predominantly white folks that the organizers would fence the middle out to separate whites from blacks. And this is the man who used to live in his van and eat sandwiches even in the height of his peak to avoid going into establishments owned by Caucasians. But it took that one man to duck dance and play his guitar and speak his soul for the two separated crowd to break all the fencing and dance together as one.
I know in today’s time it doesn’t seem applicable. But for the pioneers of rap it was pretty damn well applicable because them as minorities were put into poverty stricken areas to live a life of turmoil not by choice but by the evils of inequality, and that is where they found their voices and their flow. They mixed the streets with literature and created madness which penetrated the hearts of generations with soulful poetry. This was also practiced by many Beat Generation writers such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg who pin pointed the Cancer of the society and how to break free from it. Just as Public Enemy did in their song ‘Give it Up’, where they demand the youth to drop the idea of guns and pick up books. There is nothing swell about being gangster because that is what the establishment wants.
Yet I visit a site like this as I was requested by a friend and I heard a few rappers. Yeah they have flow alright but where is the soul? Yeah, they have words and syllables but where is the clarity? Yeah, you have hooks and melodies but where is the message? Where is the poetry? Where is the inspiration? Where is the sugar to sweeten up the bitterness of everyday struggle?
The separation isn’t between communities anymore, it is between countries, and Desi rappers should have a lot of inspiring material to sweeten up all the bitterness around them. The political regime in countries such as Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan is completely self-destructive and you guys as modern day poets have your index finger on the detonation button, with words, with clarity, with the soul which will not only make a song but will beat to the heart of our existence. And thus bring forth harmony. So here I will disclose 5 steps on how to become a poet possessing crazy wisdom, knowledge and divine clarity from being an imitating virgin loser downloading beats from soundclick, adding a mediocre flow to it and dressing it with nursery rhymes and posing to be a rapper.
Look around you, write down what you see.
Look around you as simple as that, look outside of your window. If you see a riot is breaking lose write about that riot that is happening. A song in its essence is a piece of literature, a story is told the best when it is lived. It is easy to write fairy tales hence why Walt Disney is so damn rich. But the music you are making you aren’t selling it to kids you are selling it to the struggling populace of over-educated under-appreciated people, who don’t give two damns about whores and cars. So resonate with what is around you because that is around everyone. An aspiring entrepreneur who’s product is himself. Make your life believable, rather than interesting. If you make your life believable it will become interesting to others. Don’t sell to people what you are not.
Look within yourself and give the world a piece of who you truly are.
Look within yourself and articulate the rawness that is in you. You want more money? Talk about being broke if you are there is no shame in that, almost all of the world is in your shoes. You want freedom? Talk about that, everyone in this world is captivated by capitalism. Go back to the roots of what rap truly meant to the people who started it. They themselves wanted to be free from all the jeopardies that came from being human. And face it guys now it is worse than ever because they tell us we are free but we truly aren’t. Can you feel the essence I am on about already? Truly dig within yourself, portray what you stand for, not everyone has a sob story like most of the rappers do. Who needs a damn sob story for Brahman’s sake, NO ONE!. You just need the truth, there are too many fiction rappers out there who like to create their own diligence but then again fiction can only connect you to Pinocchio people who are nothing like you. So look within yourself and truly write about what you stand for and attract the people who resonate with you. You will probably get a million fans that way, because trust me no matter how different we are the struggles are predominantly the same.
Write about your own reality, not someone else’s.
I just can’t stress enough on how important this is. Being a poet myself in the early stages it was so hard to write from within about your own reality because you would hear all these fakers rap about half the crap they don’t stand for. And it was appealing like I said it is way easier to write fiction because you don’t have to live it. But then again fiction is good when you are a movie director or a script writer or something because someone will live that fiction for you. But it isn’t good when you are an aspiring poet. If you are coming from a broken home or your family is super rich write about exactly that. Whatever you stand for if you are an atheist in a Muslim community and you cannot be heard write about exactly that. There is no need to hide your true identity because you are writing just so people hear your voice. Why give them a fictional impersonation of you? Makes sense? Moving on.
Flow is important but so is the message.
I hear a lot of cats ranting gibberish to beats to make their sound special. Hey there is nothing wrong with a good sound. Download fruity loops up the tempo to 200bpm and just twist your tongue and make the noise rarararara, WALA you got a damn good sound from that don’t you? Forget all that nonsense. I still remember those cats Bone Thugs and Harmony, boy did they have flow, they had flow on top of flow which made them go flow overload, damn. But then again they also had incredible lyrics, Krayzie bone says in that song crossroads ‘’while you are laughing we are passing away’’. That is a strong message and it is real because he is talking about one of their friends who passed and no one cares about it cause of his race. Mix flow with real lyrics you have a masterpiece like the crossroads. Flow is important in rap just as the shamans drums is for a ritual. But what good is the shamanic drums if the ritual has no purpose. You get the analogy? So before you tweak a Lady Gag song to 200bpm just to go RARARARA. At least make sure you are sending a prayer to the sun god Ra. Message always comes first and sometimes the song title is just not enough. Don’t Gag upon this seriously.
Find your divine clarity.
Be clear at what you stand for. There is a thin line between a poet and insanity and in-between you find divine clarity. We were all insane at some point to take up the hard task of articulating thought patterns into words, words into an idea and the idea into a song. But if you are good at doing it be completely insane to the point where you provide the audience with divine clarity. Where every word falls like ice shards leaving a chilling mark on the listeners eardrum or the listeners consciousness where you become that aspiring poet with divine clarity. You really need to stand out in today’s world and there is no other way to stand out then truly be who you are. Because you see so many rappers just imitating eachother and I am sure most of them won’t even read this article because they don’t possess the power to read originality. Hell who am I to judge. But I know for a fact an article as such won’t pose to them as some sort of an awakening. But you are reading it so truly stand for who you are because there are thousands of them imitators and it is easy to become one of them but you’ll have to take a shot of bourbon with Hades to become only one you. And damn that is special, because the journey will map out to the reader or the listener of who you truly are, they will understand your struggle, they will appreciate your mirth and that is divine clarity.
Now I know I said a lot of things and I don’t mean to hurt anyone. I don’t really write for blogs or anything unless I have a message to give out. And the message is fight the separation between our species that is going on in this world by truly standing for who you are, not a phony rap kid talking his fantasies and not getting any recognition. You will only get recognition if you show the world your true self and remove the veils of J cole albums and Kanye West and all that crap. And truly live as you, give a powerful message out to the world which might bring unity once and for all. Which the pioneers of rap struggled so hard for. And as rappers and producers you guys should stick to their plan and make it manifest, rather than shift of to the gibberish phony rap which is so commercial now. Now if you ain’t down with what I am saying I don’t care because I’ll go down on your girl and she might like it. How hippity hop was that?