World Cup of Hip Hop
Hip-Hop originated in 1973 from a legendary block party in South Bronx and grew to become what is now a worldwide culture. Unsurprisingly, the biggest global audience for hip-hop music is found in the United States. The genre is so popular that in 2019, 52% of the top 100 most streamed songs were hip-hop. Virtually every country has some kind of local variation of hip-hop with its own characteristics built from the genre's American foundation in the early 1980s to the present. As we celebrate a half-century of hip-hop culture we must also celebrate its spread around the world and its’ effects to the various cultures it has influenced.
AFRICA…Hip-hop came to Africa as dance music with DJs in the 80s but became rap as we recognize it now in the early 90s with Nigerian artists Junior and Pretty who infused local languages into their music. Then once hip-hop started playing on tv and radios, young people all over the country started getting into it and it began popping up in essentially every city. It is now such an integral part of Nigerian culture, that when searching Nigerian hip-hop there are multiple websites made by and for Nigerian hip-hop fans. Hip-hop took root mostly in Lagos, the country's capital, when Nigeria was under oppressive military control. The genre then became used as an outlet for these experiences. Uganda and Ghana also have flourishing hip-hop cultures which is indicative of every African state which all have active hip-hip influences.
Europe…France is the second-largest market for hip-hop in the world behind only the United States, so it is no surprise that French hip-hop takes a form of its own. French rappers share similar pains of growing up in impoverished, urban areas with gang culture that face racism and other forms of oppression. The adaptation of hip-hop to speak to struggle has been carried out by and large by the minority group that faces the most oppression in France: Muslim people. This makes the content of French rap incredibly similar to its American counterpart, where African Americans have used hip-hop platforms to speak out politically about their societal positioning since the genre's inception.
Politically conscious content is often produced by artists in the South of France, particularly from the city of Marseilles. In the north rappers often directly confront themes of drugs, gangs, and poverty. In addition to speaking out about oppression as well as struggles, the easy-going, boisterous, and flaunting themes of money, sex, and status are also featured in french hip-hop. Additionally, French hip-hop has a noticeable amount of African influence (emphasis on bass and drums with upbeat dance music) due to their large Sub-Saharan African immigrant population. Because of this, African French rappers will often discuss their struggles with invisibility within french society. Regardless of the heavy influence of American culture on French hip-hop, the lyrics are mainly in French. Often the only English in their songs are swear words or simply the song's title.
United Kingdom…Hip-hop in the United Kingdom is startlingly different from American hip-hop regardless of them both being performed entirely in English. A clear, immediate distinction between Americans and Britons is their difference in accent. UK hip-hop consistently features a heavy British accent, which contrasts heavily with mainstream expectations of British singing (that audibly isn't much different from American singing). This heavy accent is a key part of the genre, so much so that a sub-genre of UK hip-hop called grime is distinguishable purely by the thickness of this accent. In tandem with the thick accent, the bass in British hip-hop is central to the music and incredibly heavy.
Using these few examples it is easy to extrapolate the effects of hip-hop culture thruout the rest of the world.
What began as an American creation has touched every continent. And this article deals only with the influence of hip-hop music. Addressing the other components of hip-hop culture and their worldwide impact would require a whole separate article.
So as we begin hip-hops’ 50th celebration let us not forget the other cultures around the world that have embraced this uniquely American creation…The celebration should be and must be ‘WORLDWIDE’…PEACE
On Wednesday June 29,2022 R&B singer R.Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison following his conviction last year(2021) in Brooklyn on federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges. Charged and convicted on all nine counts the disgraced singer is now back in Chicago where he faces charges of running a years long scheme to buy back ‘sex’ taped he allegedly made with 5 underage girls. Prosecutors are also charging ‘Kelly’ and two associates including his manager Derrel McDavid with a decades long conspiracy to silence victims and witnesses.
Kelly has been imprisoned now for almost 3 years following his jailing on July 11,2019 in New York on the federal sex crimes and racketeering charges.
Now being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago his trial is expected to begin there on August 15th 2022.
The singer is appealing his New York conviction and the judges’ sentence(30years). In addition four other indictments alleging sexual abuse by him in Cook county in February 2019 have yet to be scheduled for trial.
So as the sun seems to be setting on the R&B legends’ career there really are more questions about his legal situation than there are answers and a surprising new twist in an already complicated and convoluted case.
Although he was found not guilty in 2008 on child pornography charges in Cook county the county prosecutor is pursuing charges claiming he and associates tried to ‘rig’ the case possibly generating new charges.
All of this follows the release in 2019 of the documentary ’Surviving R. Kelly’ which sparked renewed interest in his alleged crimes involving underaged girls and his sex life.
It also didn’t help that his ex-wife ‘Drea Kelly’ who was married to the disgraced singer for 13 years and has three children by him came out and detailed years of ‘abuse’ by him during their marriage. She is now being sued for breaking a ‘non-disclosure’ agreement signed during the couple’s divorce. She says now that she is concerned about the future of her 3 children who will have to “live with the legacy of shame created by their father”. “I feel my heart is in two places”, she says,”my heart definitely goes out to the survivors and the courage that it takes to even come forward fbut my heart breaks as a mother because this is now the legacy that my children will have to deal with and their childrens children”.
Whatever the outcome of the new trial in Chicago it is clear that ‘R. Kelly’ will be spending the rest of his life or a good portion of it behind bars state and federal unless his appeals are successful.
Now a new twist in this sordid tale…a former victim aspiring singer ‘Jocelyn Savage’ says she is ‘engaged’ to R.Kelly.
In a letter to a judge dated June 13th, before he was sentenced in New York she shared that she and the singer are ‘engaged’ and asked the judge to be ‘lenient’ in sentencing him. “My name is Joycelyn Savage, and I’m R. Kellys’ fiancé”, she says in the letter. “I’m writing this letter in support of Robert in advance of his sentencing,so I can explain to the court that I am not the victim that the government has portrayed me to be.” She went on in the letter to describe her relationship with Kelly as “amazing” and called him the “best thing that ever happened to me”
Jocelyn’s parents meanwhile believe that their daughter is still under the control of R.Kelly and expressed reservations about the ‘engagement’. Her family wishes to ‘reconnect with her to get the full story. They have not had much contact with their daughter since she left to be with the singer years ago.
So while no one knows where this story goes it is so far a lesson in life…’the higher u rise’ the ‘deeper u can fall’…
I personally can’t judge ‘R.Kelly’. I have always loved his music however and still do.
He was after ‘Marvin Gaye’ and ‘Luther Vandross’ the heir to the ‘R&B throne…now it seems his fate is one in which he will be sangin’ the ‘prison blues’…for a long time.
Michael T Smith
to 30 years
AGENT CARSON GOES ON TO SAY IN THIS EXCLUSIVE BROADCAST OBTAINED FROM ‘. KTLA in Los Angeles march 9,2022…that as the ‘FBI’ got close two the ‘killers’ they discovered that two lapd cops had possibly been involved and at that point the investigation was , in his words,”shut down”…the two ex cops were identified as ‘Raphael Perez’ and ‘David Mack’ who worked for ‘Suge Knight’…this is not fiction… so I will stop right here and just let u watch this ‘highly’ informational report…PEACE AND LOVE FROM ‘DISCO DADDY’ the ‘father of west coast hip-hop and ‘ HIP-HOP BLVD…
The FBI agent speaking and naming the ‘trigger man’ is retired agent Bill Case’ naming names but saying the lapd word has the same information but shut down the investigation after the fbi discovered that 2 lapd officers were involved and Biggies’ estate filed a 400 million dollar lawsuit against the city…It would have destroyed the lapd…and would have seriously set back police relations with the Black community as well as having more lawsuits associated with the case filed…a huge financial disaster…for its’ part the lapd says the case is still open but robbery/homicde will not comment on the fbi story… for those of you not familiar with the case ‘rap’ superstar ‘Biggie SMALLS’ was killed in an ambush at the Peterson Automotive Museum in ‘Los Angeles on ‘march, 9th,1997…six months after ‘Tupac Shakurs’ death in ‘Las Vegas’… Six months after Tupac Shakur’s death, the Notorious B.I.G. was killed in Los Angeles. For many years his death was a mystery. According to retired FBI agent ‘Phil Carson’,there is not just one assailant, but a cover up. “All the evidence points to Amir Muhammad. He’s the one who pulled the trigger,” Carson told The New York Post in 2021. “There were plenty of others who helped orchestrate it [and] allowed him to pull the trigger.”
Carson alleges Smalls’s death was “the biggest miscarriage of justice in my 20-year career at the FBI.”…“I had evidence that LAPD officers were involved, and I was shut down by the LAPD and city attorneys inside Los Angeles,” said Carson, who worked with film producer Don Sikorski to produce the movie City of Lies, which profiles Biggie’s death.
KNOW YA HIP HOP: Jay-Z, The Fearless Four And Upper Manhattan’s Spin Easy Roller Rink
Greg Tate, Celebrated Hip-Hop Journalist and Cultural Critic, Dies at 64
DJ JAZZY JAY 1st Annual Festival
Grand Puba, Brand Nubian, Showbiz & AG, Divine Sounds, Diamond D, TyDre & Arnstar, Petawane, The Great Peso Fearless 4, Gros Dinero & Bubba Early
DJ's on the One's & Two's:
Kool DJ Red Alert, DJ Grand Wizzard Theodore, DJ Scratchmasta Jazzy G, DJ Premier, Divine Sounds, DJ Ultamate.
MC Stik E, Maria Serrano, Violators Unlimited Radio, Debra Coco, Happy Original Pioneer.
HIP HOP BLVD HEALTH MEETING 2019
Hip Hop Blvd's Founder, Al Pizarro, sits down with Host Rhina Valentin to discuss his Hip Hop platform and the overall mission to preserve and educate the public about the positive aspects of Hip Hop. Clip from Bronx-net