I’ve been a bit late to post up this content because of the pretty frightening goings on over this past week. I’ve seen local neighbourhoods and my community bearing the brunt of an angry bunch of looters with no sense of consequence or morality. London is my home, and will always be my home, wherever I live. Suffice to say, I’ve been a bit unsettled.
One of the arguments that have been thrown around is the usual adagio that “hip hop” is to blame. Paul Routledge wrote a column in the Mirror about rap music and hip hop being to blame for the riots – blaming the “trashy materialism” exhibited. While I agree on the point that the majority of hip hop these days is utter crap, the best argument against this nonensical article is that a glorified street culture is a result of how the youths have been treated. Professor Green by all rights, got a bit mardy and blasted Routledge. Plan B wrote an editorial in The Sun calling for more education before Britain is destroyed. Both guys from shit neighbourhoods (Hackney, Forest Gate). And both of them have some pretty angry music (Plan B’s first album is mint) but music was and is their way to express themselves and get out of the ghetto. Why is that a bad thing? I’d also like to add that Plan B and I went to the same school and I listen to a lot of hip-hop, grime and dub yet I have never felt the need to rob a jewellery store to tell them to make me a grill.
I am also not a sucka for corn rows and manicured toes.
I had a nice (albeit brief) chinwag on Twitter the other day with Damien from B-Better – a hip-hop education company, where he posed the question:
B-Better’s slogan is that hip hop is for everyone – and their motivation is self-expression.
Our aim is to further unify the elements of hip-hop through events and education. As mentioned before, through actively reaching communities, individuals and institutions alike, the understanding of hip-hop will grow.
Not only do they do some incredible work in the local community, they’re running a nationwide project called Everyday People , an internet TV series on 12 people learning to bust some (hip hop) moves. Definitely worth checking out their site for all that they do – and how you can get involved too.
Back to the main aim of this post. Scene@, part of the Swatch MTV Playground is an exploration of international style and sounds. The Scence@ platform is to show all the interesting, and different pockets of style and sounds world wide.
“Brum ‘N’ Bass” checks out the underground music scene in Birmingham, the UK’s second city. DJs, ravers and people involved in the scenes shared their stories about the evolution of the local scene and how
hybrids of dubstep, grime, techno and house are coming together in a new wave of bass heavy music.
You associate Switzerland with banks, mountains and chocolate but Jerkin’ originated in Los Angeles in the late noughties and now has one of the biggest outposts in Switzerland. And boy, can they move over in Le Suisse.
Both these Scene@’s show that, through hip hop, dance, the diversity of youth culture and community what can be achieved. It’s not the be it and end all solution. But it’s a start.