Tuesday, January 31, 2012

To Evolve…

Charles Darwin was a brilliant man, all things considered. He was the person who first spoke of “survival of the fittest” and the concept of evolution. On the surface you would merely think that it’s only applicable to the animal kingdom. And on the surface that looks to be right. Certain animals died out or became extinct because they were ill equipped or chosen by nature for extinction. Other factors for that are deforestation, hunting, and other things. But those are not important to the point here.

Survival in this world is always been about EVOLUTION.

If you are unwilling to change, you will not grow. I learned from my mother that when you stop learning, stop growing you die. This is a truth I carry with me as if a talisman of blinding light. Now this nugget of knowledge is applicable to almost anything that you can discuss or ponder over in your spare time. Even thinking made me ponder this question:

Why couldn’t that theory be applied to hip-hop?

It could.

As you can more than likely tell I am a hip-hop purist. I have loved hip-hop for as long as I could remember. I loved the gangsta influence of the West Coast, rapid fire spitting of the Midwest, the storytelling and grittiness of the East Coast, and the bass and drawling delivery of the South. But with all those things that I love I always figured that if each region didn’t continue to grow their place in hip-hop would die. I am glad to say each region seems to be becoming more, each at its own speed.

But more than that I want to talk about how certain artists are forcing hip-hop to continue growing and evolving beyond its origins in the 1980s.

Hip-hop has taken a strong grasp on education. It made me smile when I first heard that legendary producer 9th Wonder not only heads his own label and produces the soundtracks of a culture but educates as well. More to the point he is a college professor in North Carolina. Another producer, Mississippi native David Banner, is working on getting his Master’s degree. Quite a marvelous thing to hear, right?

Ballet has even gone hip-hop. Founding OutKast member and Dungeon Family alum Big Boi presented a ballet at the FOX Theater in Atlanta, GA entitled BIG.

The thing that most appealed to me would be hip-hop sneaking into movie scores and soundtracks. The most obvious examples of that would be these:

-Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Vol. 1 was basically driven by the work of hip-hop artist/producer The RZA.

-N.E.R.D. member Pharrell Williams composed all the music for the DreamWorks Kids film Despicable Me.

-Will.I.Am did the same for another DreamWorks Kids film Madagascar 2: Escape From Africa.

In light of these examples I wonder what’s next. I pray it is original and I pray it is soon.

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