Forum: General / Hip Hop / Hip Hop - Advanced

Discord in hip-hop: Why Michael Jackson is NOT hip-hop... (karma: 2)
By Invent
On Sat May 21, 2005 10:29 AM

This is a little something I wrote based on a conversation I had with a friend about why Michael Jackson is not hip-hop.

I'm waiting for other to apply to the advanced section and start posting. Because there are a few holes in this that lead to why MOST of what is in the mainstream (including Usher and Ciara) cannot be classified as hip-hop... but I was too lazy to add that in here and will when the time comes.

Discord in the world of hip-hop.

One of the main ideas of hip-hop is unity. However, in today's times, there is a rift in the hip-hop community. This rift is between those are purists of the culture, and those that are in-tune with hip-hop as we see it today on television and hear on the radio.

It is true that everyone needs to come together, and in a way settle out their differences. The things is, people who are from the old school, and those that live hip-hop by its foundations, they can and they DO accept hip-hop as it is today. But it's viewed as a separate branch from the tree.

It is not recognized as true by the purists because those that are involved with this other form of hip-hop choose not to respect the original forms and the true essences of the hip-hop culture. That is what is keeping things from progressing.

Purists DO have respect for people doing the video dancing type stuff, becuase PARTY dancing is a part of true hip-hop culture. But when people are taking from the foundations and not giving credit or dues, then those not giving credit are disrespecting the culture and losing the respect of those that love the culture.

You only show respect to those that respect you... correct?

Many people make the statement that Michael Jackson is part of the hip-hop culture. That he's a hip-hop artist, that he does hip-hop dancing, and that he brought the culture to the public eye in the 1980's. None of those statements are true. I am about to prove why they are not true.

MJ is and always was part of the POP culture. Ever hear of Sam Cooke? Did you know he was the first Pop artist? He was the first to cross the racial line and have his records purchased, virtually, by everyone. HE began the tradition of simplified music, mixed musical styles, and massive sales across the board.

Sam Cooke was a singer of the 1950's. A crooner, who espcially appealed to women. That tradition carries on to this day. This is a tradition that MJ is a part of.

Now here's a question that NO ONE asks today:
"What is hip-hop music?
What defines something as
hip-hop music?"
Can you answer these two

Okay. I'll answer what i just asked. Look to the roots of hip-hop, as a culture. It started with DJs mixing together the breaks of funk tracks. Then they took those breaks and turning them into beats. Into dance tracks if you will. Then, in the next step, the MC was added. NO WHERE in the history of hip-hop, did singing get put in as an element. Especially, R&B type singing.

This may be a little exclusive, but you have bboying, graffiti, DJing, and MCing. THOSE are the elements. SIMPLE rhymes were the vocal art of hip-hop. Jackson 5 was a pop group that based their music off of R&B and popular music. MJ continued that. The beats changed surely, but the elements didn't. You can use a so called hip-hop beat and put Ashanti singing over it, but does that make the song or ashanti hip-hop?

It's just like singing an opera song to a hip-hop beat... does it suddenly make opera hip-hop, or turn that opera singer into a hip-hop artist?

Now!!! Here comes the fun. What about his dancing??
He does various styles of dance, ranging from jazz to tap, ballet, etc. And he is known to do popping and locking. Does he do breakin' or lockin'? He never really locks, only uses locking movements. Doesn't do any bboying.

Now in terms of hip-hop dancing, we all say there's house, party dancing, bboying, locking and popping. The thing is party and bboying are the 2 TRUEST forms of hip-hop dance. Popping and locking are BOTH FUNK styles. They stem out of funk music. Surely, MJ does a lot of popping. Pop-n-Taco was his teacher.

Yes, popping and locking are now parts of hip-hop dancing. But just because you DO the dance, doesn't mean you are a hip-hop head. Is Brittney Spears hip-hop because she does hip-hop inspired dances? What makes a popper or a locker hip-hop?

The difference is that you CARRY the mentality and the message. You live, breathe, eat, sleep, and make love to hip hop culture.

The same goes for ALL elements of hip-hop. You can do them but you're not doing them unless you ARE them. You aren't a hip-hop head unless you KNOW and BELIEVE. So that is the difference between someone who is and isn't hip-hop.

Most important, is holding and believing the ideals.

Some people say you need to have grown up on hip-hop. A lot of the younger people today grew up on the WRONG hip-hop. But if you're open minded (a key aspect of hip-hop) then you can learn it and love it and become it.

Assad "Invent" Conley
Funkacidal Maniacs Crew

3 Replies to Discord in hip-hop: Why Michael Jackson is NOT hip-hop...

re: Discord in hip-hop: Why Michael Jackson is NOT hip-hop...
By iH0p
On Sat May 21, 2005 10:42 AM

although, "You can do them but you're not doing them unless you ARE them." you may need to clarify that a bit.

but otherwise, very well said

re: Discord in hip-hop: Why Michael Jackson is NOT hip-hop...
By Invent
On Sat May 21, 2005 10:50 AM
"You can do them, but you are not doing them unless you ARE them."

Many people just go through the motions... especially popular artists. They don't take the time to learn the foundations, they don't really practice (or else they'd be getting better, and not maintain the same level of dancing their entire career), and they don't immerse themselves in the culture.

Fact of the matter, is that all of the hip-hop dances have their own "sub" cultures. The popping world has a community, the house world has a community, the bboying world has a community... etc. And NONE of these artists today are a part of it.

These artists that everyone is calling hip-hop that are not... they don't (as I said) CARRY the mentality of a hip-hop head. They don't spread social awareness, they don't promote being intelligent. They don't give a real, true message through what they are doing.

And the thing is... for dancers, it's almost IMPOSSIBLE to convey complex thoughts like these merely through their actions. There is no vocalization in dance. That is why I am taking the time to write all of these messages. Is because THAT is how I can VOICE myself and VOICE the meanings of the hip-hop culture.

None of the "hip-hop" artists today do that.
re: Discord in hip-hop: Why Michael Jackson is NOT hip-hop...
By Invent
On Sat May 21, 2005 03:39 PM
If anyone would like to quote any of this material, please email me first, as this material is my own and is copyrighted.


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