We live in an era where information is easily available, quickly digested and it travels faster & further than we anticipate all by the simplicity of one click.
I haven’t been writing as often as I did because for the past year I been battling with depression so my thoughts have been sporadic and in the midst of all that turmoil, I get feelings of doubting my skill set. Everyday I try and keep head up and reinforce what I have worked years at with strong tenacity and vigour, be the god of the blogs.
In my absence, I have seen many a articles depicting the stat quo of hip hop and my heart yearned to be part of the conversation but I had bigger issues to deal with. I wanted, frankly still want, to be part of the voices that speak SA hip hop to ears beyond just the heads.
We are in a very special position where a hip hop blog or site comes up every two weeks and traffic is driven on social media platforms. Tweets and Facebook posts with links are abundant and people click and share.
What is missing?
In majority of these sites, the standard layout is apparent. Download links, album reviews, interviews, event coverage, press releases and social media screenshots.
Where is the commentary? Where are the editorial pieces? Where are the opinion and views? Where are the articles analyzing the game and it’s movers and shakers? Where are articles that have a bird’s eye view of the game?
All those are few and far in between because trending news get more hits and reporting what everyone is reporting is being part of the conversation.
I am different.
I strive to spark conversation or introduce a different view or even be the one to show a holistic view.
Just as the bars we praise, hip hop in its entirety is multi faceted. It’s not black and white. You can put up download link of a song & it becomes a hit, you feel you did your bit. I will dissect what it means for that song to chart, be a street hit, be seen in corporate ads, how it affects the game as a whole when artists try to emulate the sound, what it means to the artist’s résumé etc. I go deeper than just what it is and I explore what it means.
We, as writers and consumers of hip hop, have to speak about the culture we love. It’s ins and outs, it’s intricacy, its impact on us, it’s stature beyond banging beats & dope rhymes. It’s our responsibility to take the culture we love beyond booths and digital stores. Only way we can do that, is speaking honestly about our thoughts on it.
I’ve gotten threats, I’ve gotten praise, I’ve been schooled, I’ve schooled; all this by being honest in my views about hip hop. All this has made me a better writer, a wiser consumer of hip hop and more importantly, a dedicated student of the game.
Many fear being blackballed if they speak their views. What industry are we breeding where honesty is shunned upon? What are we saying to future torch bearers of this culture? Get your keep and shut up?
I am different
All of us; execs, writers, photographers, artists, labels, promo teams, social media enthusiasts; can impact the culture we love. We say we love it, let honesty be the feature. Let our voices be loud and spread further. Let our opinions be heard by everyone paying attention whether they heads or not. Let us, the hip hop family, be honest & open with each other and others in the spirit of growing the industry.
Can I talk my shit again?!
The Sh*t Talker: SDot (@SDotJR_)