The Hip Hop Years: Feature Length Documentary On The Music

The Hip Hip Years is a documentary I have been itching to watch for sometime. This film extensively goes behind the scenes on the history of Hip Hop music with hints of the culture from old footage from back in the day. Many pioneering voices have been brought to the forefront to tell the insightful story about the music of Hip Hop such as Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Caz, Grandmaster Flash, DMC, Ice T, and Kool Herc. It is definitely a must see video for young heads to peep, to learn more about their roots in the Hip Hop culture.

I believe we need more films showing the origination of our music especially where the DJ is concerned, and how the DJ relationships was first with the B-Boys and the party people. We also need more documentaries showing the DJ being the leader and organizer of rap groups before the MC  became a diva and went solo. This is important for the simple truth that the DJ must be reunited with the MC to resolidify and rebirth Hip Hop music back to the streets and its roots. It is time for rap music to die and Hip Hop music to retake its rightful place from the clones.

There are too much diluted, bastardized music out there that loosely throws the word Hip Hop as a marketable moniker to sugar coat its hollow content. There are too much glamorized hood imagery being marketed to appear “street”. When in fact, it is just exploitation of what the ghetto is not, to sell a thug fantasy to a sheltered consumer. It is even more absurd to see someone from the hood idolize this garbage and never really learning or living real Hip Hop culture. It is just artificially flavored breadcrumbs being trailed from artificial recording artists creating an artificial Hip Hop audience.

There are two personalities in this documentary whose success turned the recording industry upside down on their heads and embracing what executives want to be called Hip Hop music, thanks to the entertainment vehicle of music videos. Namely this credit goes to the two biggest names who unknowingly caused the corporate rap music mutation: MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice. These two performers were loud, glittery, energetic, and flamboyant to see on stage and video. No rhyme skills at all but you did not need a brain to gaze at loads of fluff and dancing. They were entertainers and that is all the recording industry needed to sell, during a period when Hip Hop music and culture was at a more sophisticated form of consciousness and rebellion. No, they were not really Hip Hop but they were always associated with it in the marketing departments, and the rest was history.

What do you expect during a time when the recording industry was using models lip syncing over the vocals of people who were not visually acceptable to mainstream marketing? Now a days, they have visually acceptable people performing and singing “enough” just to package the face in videos, magazines, and commercials with a little dash of digital voice enhancements. Do I really have to say Autotune?

Enjoy the film!

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