<i>Other Music from a...</i> Different Kitchen <$BlogRSDUrl$>

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Monday jumpoff's | Where You're At reviewed | F-ck George Lucas 

Posting on Sunday since I'll probably be out of commission for most of Monday:

You can RSVP for the Mos Def/Ali Shaheed (ATCQ) album listening party tomorrow tonight at Table 50 in NYC here.

Also, every Monday my peoples at Room Service present:

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I skimmed through Diplo of Hollertronix's Florida album real quick at Halcyon last week. It wasn't really killin' me but the track "Diplo Rhythm" feat. Sandra Melody, Vybz Cartel & Pantera Os Danadinhos is crazy. They really need to drop a 12" on that joint if they haven't already. (mp3 snippet via

I've already said I think the Kweli album is aight (the obvious attempts at songs and collabs for x-overs sales, notwithstanding) but others are sh1tting on it (see #4) pretty heavy.

And besides continually f-cking with his classic trilogy and making it worse every time he does, here's another reason to say "F-ck George Lucas" Me? I'll stick with the bootleg Asian DVD's, probably mastered from the laserdiscs 'cos they look pretty good (?), that I got three years ago, thanks. Frankly most younger kids think the LOTR trilogy is better anyway and you know what, even though I grew up with Star Wars, I think they might be right. (Caffeine Low)


I've been reading a copy of UK music journalist's Patrick Neate recently published book Where You're At: Notes from the Frontline of a Hip-Hop Planet. Part travelogue, part academic social history screed, Where You're At is the end result of Neate's tour around the world in an effort to find the essence of hip-hop in a world where this music and culture have unquestionably gone mainstream.

I haven't finshed the book yet (I'm about a third of the way through) but at the rate I read books I figured I'd better post about it now before it became irrelevant. At times Neate is on point and makes great observations. At other points though he betrays his outsider status despite being a long-time fan and participant in the culture. Neate is at least astute enough to be open about his own shortcomings from the get and admits the book is guaranteed to "vex" readers at some point while they read. Even so seeing him describe giving someone a pound greeting as "touch[ing] knuckles", misusing the term coochies instead of hoochies and using the incorrect (and dated) term 24/7/52 were all still pretty cringeworthy.

On the other hand, after finishing the book last night and today while traveling, his chapters on South African and Brazilian hip hop are incredible. In both Neate paints a vivid portrait of how these two countries have taken hip hop and adapted and fused it with their own social and cultural traditions. The latter chapter will resonate strongly with anyone who saw the movie City of God (which obviously came out after he visited and wrote about Brazil since the film is never mentioned and the neighborhood is only mentioned directly once) when reading his discussion of the relationship between the Funk Balls and Favelas (amongst other elements) and hip hop in Brazil.

One of Neate's overall themes is wondering out loud whether the worldwide growth in hip hop needs to be coupled to a worlwide networking of it's participants to learn from others' efforts at using hip hop for social change and perhaps to unite these indivdual efforts into a single worldwide one that can become, in a paradigm he borrows from Alvin Toffler's Powershift book, a "global gladiator" of expression for the unexpressed.

It's a little pie in the sky when you step back from the book and think about it but, on a smaller scale, here are some side questions to consider: what role might hip hop bloggers from around the world have in such a movement and is it odd to consider that almost all, if not all, of hip hop oriented blogs that this site is linked to and that are linked to each other are American? Do international bloggers not want to communicate with their North American counterparts or vice versa? I for one don't know about many, if any, non-American/Canadian hip hop blogs but, given the intrinsically stateless and networked nature of the blog format, does this mean Neate's argument for a unified worldwide hip hop social movement is a non-starter out the gate if it doesn't even work in the "blogosphere"?

Getting back to the book though, at once both personal, often coming off feeling like a blog, and universal and erudite (but don't let the faux academic footnotes scare you off) Neate's take on modern hip hop culture as it continues to become even more global, corporate and mainstream is still worth a read for those who have witnessed this amazing evolution from it's early stages and for the purists and traditonalists who probably could do with seeing one their own getting his preconcpetions skewered.

You can buy Where You're At online here. | Fore more info, click the official book website here.
Speaking of books, is Jon Stewart's book America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction as good as his TV show?

And finally, I'm not trying to turn this site into a porno blog but, fellas, I had to put you up on this (reg' may be req'd to access this link).

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