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April 28, 2013

So recently I went to Rapathon in Harlem and the event was dope.
The event was based on rappers being able to rap for at least 90 straight seconds and not curse. I’ll be honest, right there they had
me. Rappers not cursing or using the “N” word?
Pure amazing. Rap is always portrayed as guns, drugs, hoes, and violence- and to a certain extent there isn’t much else to it besides cheap marketing and sales ploys to keep ignorant fans buying shit they don’t need and wishing for a life they won’t get. It isn’t that living the high life is impossible, it’s that the fans are given a false representation of how to get to the top.
Okay, I’m done- I’m climbing off my soap box. Enough preaching.

Folks I was in love with this event. It had a great cause and was aimed at helping the local community not lining pockets. The talent was there for sure. There were some young teens and some grown-ass men. Grey hair, wheel chairs we had it all- no pun intended I just had to rhyme a lil lol. The talent was broken in to two categories: male and female. And each category had roughly 5-7 people on stage at a time. Even the DJs were switched to match the gender on stage. Now this separation seemed odd to me at first, possibly unneeded. But as the show progressed I realized that male voices carried and projected differently and as such there was greater cohesion on stage by matching the voices by type.

As for the emcees they were dope!
Even the token white boy was cool lol. He had some skill and a lot of heart and even though he was off beat it was ill.
The show for me was stolen by Conan aka @conan42fly. His energy was infectious and his delivery was fierce. His rhyme style was sick and his raps were refreshing. And as I readied to leave later on (the rapping was to be consecutive for about 24 hours!) I stumbled onto what really moved me- Conan was there with someone more than a label mate- His Mom!
I was blown away when I discovered that this lady who had also performed briefly earlier was his mother who went by the stage name Scarlet Heifer. It was such a dope revelation. It had nothing to do with talent, or pose, or delivery or marketability. It was seeing the tradition of real hip hop being passed on literally from one generation to the next. My parents weren’t in to rap and didn’t appreciate what quality hip hop meant to me then or what it means to me now. And as Hip Hop has grown and progressed there has been more of a regression in quality and family values it would seem. The correlation may be lost on many but I always assume that there is some there. Its just to raw, to real. Now I’m not saying hip hop kills homes but it speaks on the times and what is occurring, particularly in our inner cities and our youth. As such seeing this family that had not only embraced hip hop but passed the love of it and the passion to partake in it on to the children was awesome. Nowadays parents and kids are at a huge disadvantage as the disconnect has grown. There are a hundred ways to reach each other and now more than ever dialogue seems dead.
But seeing this proud mom and her wildly artistic son in the same space- both performing and sharing a hobby/career speaks volumes about the true power of hip hop.
Hip hop isn’t a punchline.
It isn’t a marketing tool.
It is an art form.
It isn’t a marketing tool.
It is self expression at its finest.
And when it isn’t denigrated by cheap punchlines and artists who sell out for a few bucks it can bridge the gap and move generations to not only spend time together but grow and enjoy civilized discourse.

You might say I read to much into this one section of the event I covered.
I say you’re wrong.
Real hip hop exists and it has fans and families involved. Hip hop is a language all onto itself and when I saw one family partaking as one unit I knew things would be better- both in our communities and my beloved hip hop.

Shout to the Curtis, Raz Townsend, the supporters of Rapathon, Shampoo aka @shampoo_ynvs, and Conan aka @conan42fly.


From → Real Hip Hop

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