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Halloo! When I found out I could go to med school with a Humanities degree with an Ethnomusicology emphasis, I almost peed myself. Here's to me holding it in.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Annotated Source

I am going to finish the rest of my annotated sources. I have 6 left. Here's to the countdown.

As I may have mentioned, learning about hip-hop is fun and essential to understanding any minority group in the modern world that is linked to the internet. I've been looking at two of the biggest artists in hip-hop, guys who are familiar to anybody interested in the scene. I've done quite a bit of research on Lil' Wayne, and now I've been going through interviews and books by/about Jay-Z. Jay-Z is the old man in the industry, the big boss who sits on half a billion personally and still produces records that kids put on in the cars and the clubs. He's been with hip-hop since its golden days in the 80s, growing up in Brooklyn and playing the crack hustle game until a short while after his first album came out at 26 in the early 90s.

The interesting thing about these two dudes, one old and one new, is that by tapping into these rich sources of information (the internet is full of interviews, documentaries, and books like the one above) I can take the temperature of the whole industry. These next few annotated sources will be from interviews with and books about Jay-Z, focusing on reflections on the industry and the art.

Here are two sweet quotes from the Jay-Z essay book that suffice for now:

Hip hop… serves as a force, particularly for minorities, of creating a new identity – but also a new rhetoric to augment the identity, a new lingo, new symbols of identity that have become part of a metamorphosis of black and brown youth, who have become part of a crescendo of lifted voices that stretch from the cotton fields to musical stages, from activist rallies to presidential inaugural receptions.

Hip hop… is this younger generation’s way of comprehending and dealing with life’s changing reality. The birth of hip hop gave rise to a primacy of education, cultural awareness, and consciousness, as well as to insight into inner-city doings and sufferings. The current generation of hip-hop artists is dealing with the ideal of achieving importance through fame. As they serve in such cultural roles as gurus, teachers, and worldly philosophers, they provide patterns of inquiry that help us deal with the need to matter, the quest for historical impact.

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