This NPR interview with Todd Boyd discusses his book H.N.I.C.: The Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip Hop. Boyd writes, “I would suggest that you might get a better read of what’s going on in the world of Black people today by listening to DMX on It’s Dark and Hell is Hot than by listening to repeated broadcasts of Martin Luther King speeches”. His book is describes how Hip Hop music picked up the torch of the Black Power movement. Not only does Hip Hop carry on but expands the movement’s goal of political equality. From the interview,
“I think what Black Power did and what hip hop would pick up on later, was move away from the sort of passive sense of suffering, ‘We shall overcome’. Hip hop is much more active, much more aggressive, much more militant”.
“Hip hop is inherently political, the language is political,” Boyd says. “It uses language as a weapon — not a weapon to violate or not a weapon to offend, but a weapon that pushes the envelope that provokes people, makes people think.”
From the organizers of the #BARS Workshop,
The #BARS Workshop is a lab series created by artists Rafael Casal & Daveed Diggs, to serve as a space for artists to investigate the intersection between contemporary verse and Theater. The first session of #BARS concluded in June 2016, punctuated by the release of the first installment of a video series called the #BARS MIXTAPE MUSICAL MEDLEY
NPR interview with Kendrick Lamar speaking on his 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly, the motivation behind his music, and the various interpretations and meanings taken from it. The conversation sheds light on the experiences and perspective Hip Hop artists create from, on the materials they use. Speaking on his lived experiences used for his art, Lamar talks on the environment he grew up in saying,
“You grow up inside these neighborhoods and these communities, and you have friends, friends that you love, friends that you grew up with since elementary. And you have their trust, and you have their loyalty. So it brings influence. So no matter how much of a leader I thought I was, I was always under the influence, period. Most of the times, when they were involved in these acts of destruction, I was right there.”
Another Kendrick Lamar conversation but this time with legendary Hip Hop producer Rick Rubin. Their conversation touches on process, artistry in Hip Hop music, and materials for music creation. From the video, Rubin says “Even if you don’t agree with what someone is saying but if they’re saying it and you know that they believe it you resonate with it on some level, you don’t have to agree with it to respect and then appreciate it’s just human expression”