On April 3rd, 2010, a group of like-minded writers, bloggers, poets, emcees, producers, and hip hop heads participated in an exciting and vibrant summit, "If I Ruled The Blogosphere". This dope collection of artists and viewers were able to share their views on hip hop culture and how the blogosphere is being utilized to the advantage of the Hip Hop Community. This gathering was sponsered by Words Beats and Life, a Washington, DC-based hip hop organization designed to bring unity and a voice to the world of hip hop, especially the impressionable youth of the inner city. I am very proud to be a new member of this budding organization, and I was definitely looking forward to having my 40 year-old voice heard, not only from a writing standpoint, but from the vantage point of a person that has seen hip hop grow and mature into the driving musical and cultural force it is today, be it positive and negative. Unfortunately, circumstances that I will not discuss at this moment prevented me from experiencing this important event from a birds-eye view. One thing I can safely say about myself as a man is that I take VERY seriously the preservation and advancement of a culture and movement I can proudly say molded me into the person and man I am today. I was highly disappointed in missing the panel discussion and networking opportunity afforded by "If I Ruled The Blogosphere", a clever play on words conceptualized by Kurtis Blow and advanced by Nas.
The panel for the April 3rd event consisted of a cross-section of individuals contributing to hip hop culture by various means. Diverse personalities such as Oddisee, an underground emcee and producer from the DC region, Dallas Penn, part of the Internets Celebrities collective, FMWJ, originator of http://www.rappersiknow.com/, and Meka from 2Dopeboyz. These individuals shared their thoughts, opinions, views, and voices pertaining to using the internet as a tool to network, market, and advertise. Because hip hop has been a driving force in my existence for the better part of three decades (I know, I'm dating myself), I found, and find, this type of forum to be educational and vital to continued growth within the culture. I say this because without dialogue and discourse inside the sometimes volatile hip hop world, the music and ideas will become stale and stagnant. One of the true principals of hip hop, in my honest opinion, is to innovate and move forward, while still maintaining a connection to the past. Blogs and internet presence are some keys to moving in a positive direction, because the current nature of the music industry is dictating change. You can see it by the dwindling album sales, for the most part, on Billboard and Soundscan. Not to say that music sales are the end all to the be all, but it is quite evident that artists need to look at other tools to advance their collective crafts.
Thanks to Words Beats and Life and the many individuals responsible for putting together a beautiful and informative summit. Busboys and Poets, a popular District meeting place for poets, musicians, and progressive individuals, was the location for "If I Ruled The Blogosphere". More examples of this type of communication and dialogue are needed in order to lay a solid groundwork for the future of documenting and advancing the culture. Below you will find video links to the panel discussion. Anyone interested in sharing their views and opinions, feel free to hit me back. I will definitely respond and open the lanes of discussion about hip hop, poetry, politics, sex, relationships, whatever it may be. KRS-One has often been quoted as saying that "HE IS HIP HOP", and I don't disagree one iota. I feel the same way, because hip hop is not just music, beats, swagger, bravado, but a melting pot of everything that makes me the person that I am. I welcome the opportunity to discuss, because at some point that discussion will be food for thought that will later become writing material. Shout out to Vimeo for having this summit posted.
http://vimeo.com/11111388 PART 1
http://vimeo.com/11113408 PART 2
HipHop Bloggers "If I Ruled the Blogosphere." pt 2 from Words Beats & Life on Vimeo.
HipHop Bloggers "If I Ruled the Blogosphere." from Words Beats & Life on Vimeo.