“I will never again play anything that does not have social significance. We American jazz musicians of African descent have proved beyond all doubt that we are master musicians of our instruments. Now what we have to do is employ our skill to tell the dramatic story of our people and what we’ve been through.” -Max Roach
Thaswussup. And as Fela Kuti put it: music is a weapon. Music is a powerful weapon. Music heals, teaches, inspires, fuels movements, recharges the soul, boosts morale, accompanies you, keeps you the fuck alive some times…
That being said: no wonder it gets defunded from public schools and undervalued. With a strength like that… You can change society.
In my own life time: there’s a reason the Parent Music Resource Center went after hip hop so fiercely in the 90s. Hip hop was communicating a message, class/racial grievances, brutish realities, asking questions, and agitating the oppressed. It was [the latest form of] music from the Black community that spoke to police brutality.
And it was spreading like wildfire.
And no doubt, it’s still around. But over the years it’s been hijacked and corporatized into a message that’ll help keep any [capitalist] ruling class in place. A sexist message. A divisive, homophobic, classist, individualistic, materialistic message.
And some times just downright fucking dumb shit that doesn’t even rhyme or have rhythm/soul.
So hats off to the emcees and hip hop artists around me who’re keeping consciousness alive in hip hop. In Denver, cats like: Soul Pros, 2MX2, Molina Speaks, Mike Wird, Cavem Moetavation, Mane Rok, Basheba Earth, Ill Se7en, and I’mma throw Debajo del Agua in that mix cuz we’ve rocked it with all these cats…