Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Hip Hop Culture Is LIke A Homeless Emcee

I sort of spontaneously combusted when I discovered D-Nice's blog at the start of the year. He was trotting out these amazing, beautifully composed (i.e. visually) "True Hip Hop Stories"; interviews with hip hop legends that mostly may have fallen off the radar a bit. My initial post had clips from Master Ace and Dana Dane.

I remember feeling some pride thinking I was going to help unleash a beast on to an unsuspecting internet population. I mean it's like a hip hop head's wet dream (next to a film version of "Secret Wars" using real-life rappers as the heroes and villains). And I'm definitely happy to see D's still doing his thing.

But I'm sort of amazed and given pause to see the clips aren't doing bigger numbers. The joint with Buckshot of Black Moon broke into the six figures, but many more are sub-10K. I don't know, I just don't see how it gets anymore hot-like-fire than this. And it is what it is, but gives some perspective on the *hip hop space* and overall bottom-line impact. A few years ago, if in the position, I would have thrown mad bankroll at this thinking we were sitting on a goldmine. Maybe a few years ago with proper packaging, distribution etc, it would have been.

AnyD, here's Special Ed.

Word. But I was refreshed on this series because I saw a clip of a new school dude (via rap radar), and the kicker is he's homeless. The Homeless Emcee. And I've long been a fan of trying to access the homeless sensibility/situation for content. There's comedy, tragedy, drama, human condition. All that and more.

But here's the emcee:

Now that's probably gonna be too dark and gully for most (I had been thinking a lot more sketch comedy, "Pimp My Box" or something). But still. Dude's a thinking man, obviously. And that's the ultimate point. The best "freshest" content accesses how people think in situations we haven't thought about. The triumph of The Sopranos or The Godfather movies is dramatized verisimilitude for italian mafia life. I bet the homeless have enough thinking people, and culture, to support a hit series or two. Unfortunately, he's a rapper not an actor, so he might be able to drop some hot mixtapes, but I don't know if it's gonna get him off the street.


  1. Anonymous7/07/2009

    The triumph of The Sopranos or The Godfather movies is dramatized verisimilitude for italian mafia life

    This is true, but there's also aspirant and upwardly mobile elements that The Sopranos-meets-homeless people wouldn't satisfy. We want the fantasy, not the nightmare.

  2. I love "I got it made". I just wanted to say that.

  3. anon: The Wire for homeless might be good. (brings up value debate of ratings vs. critical acclaim.)

  4. D-Nice's blog is NICE!! I love the photography also :D

  5. That interview with the homeless emcee was pretty interesting. He's really smart, he knows what's going on around him.

    I dunno. It's interesting. Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Remember, KRS One was a homeless emcee sleeping out of an old meat locker in the Bronx. He had to jam the door slightly with a brick so he will not suffocate in it. Today he is a legend for being literally from the streets. I love the transformation of D-Nice from ho-hum emcee to solid photographer and videographer.

  7. Q Ball: KRS was homeless. great recall there.

    now that you've mentioned it, when he started he was sort of a platonic ideal of what the perfect "homeless emcee" cachet/profile might be: that sense of educated because had nothing else to do but read books. and the reckless abandon of literally having nothing to lose.


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