This is a real, real interesting bit of audio. I found it in DJ P-P-P-P-P-Premier’s Crooklyn Cuts mixtape series, which by the way are definately worth checking out, and features a 5 minute poem, spoken word, from Greg Tate giving us his interpretation of what Hip Hop is. It’s thought provoking, and I’d urge Hip Hop lovers to give it a listen at least, and then draw your own conclusions. More info and a transcription after the jump…

Greg Tate – What is Hip Hop

I don’t know much about the source of this, like the context that this was delivered in, or much about Greg Tate in fact other than he is well respected in Hip Hop circles (and The Source even dubbed him the Godfather of Hip Hop Journalism). But really, that’s fairly irrelevant. I just think it’s worth sharing. Deep thought delivered with humour and charisma.

This is the transcription, sourced from here.

Buddha blessed and boo-ya blasted
These are the words that she manifested
A grim little tyke in a black pleather raincoat
She stepped to the mike and said,
Repeat after me, there is no such thing as alternative hip-hop
So Boo in the blue silk hoody pops up
Hey baby you’d be a good-looking a man if you worked at it but what the fuck you know about hip-hop?
Why he go and say that?
She said, I know hip-hop like I know your mother.
Your mother so hip-hop I seen her laying pipe in Alaska
Your mother so hip-hop she yelled ho ‘fo I even axed her
Your mother so hip-hop she thinks biz markie’s cute as shit
Your mother so hip-hop she told you, time to get off your dick
Next time you speak to your mother, send her my best

Buddha blessed and boo ya blasted
These are the words that she manifested:
Hip-hop is inverse capitalism
Hip-hop is reverse colonialism
Hip-hop is the world the slaveholders made, sent into nigga-fide future shock.
Hip-hop is the plunder from down under, mackin all others for pleasure
Hip-hop is the black aesthetic byproduct of the
American dream machine, our culture of consumption, commodification, and subliminal seduction
Where George Clinton warned us about Madison
Avenue urge overkill, the pimping of the pleasure principle, hip-hop embraces the pleasures of the pimping principle
Hip-hop is the first musical movement in history where black people pimped themselves before the white boy did
Hip-hop pimped the funk before the white boy and heavy metal too
Hip-hop is the perverse logic of capitalism pursued by an artform
Like capitalism, hip-hop converts raw soul into store rack commodity
Like capitalism, hip-hop has no morals, no conscience, and no ecological concern for the scavenged earth or the scavenged American minds it will wreck in its pursuit of new markets
Unlike Sigourney weaver’s nemesis alien, hip-hop is not the other man’s rape fantasy of the black sex machine gone berserk.

Hip-hop is James Brown’s pelvis digitally grinded into technomorphine.
Hip-hop is dope-know-logy, the only known antidote for prime-time sensory deprivation
There is no such thing as alternative hip-hop because the only alternative to hip-hop is is dead silence and we all know such silence signifies a lack of breath
There is no such thing as good hip-hop or bad hip-hop, progressive hip-hop or reactionary hip-hop, politically incorrect hip-hop or hip-hop with a message.
Its either hip-hop or it ain’t. Shit
hip-hop is beyond good and evil, hip-hop is beyond life and death
hip-hop was dead but hip-hop reanimated
hip-hop does not live on YO! MTV Raps
hip-hop currently resides beneath the noise where all the fly girlz and boyz use hip-hop as a form of telemetry telepath and telekinesis
hip-hop is how you say I love you to a hip-hop junkie
hip-hop is your password into the cult of hip-hop infomaniacs
You know hip-hop when you see it
You may not see hip-hop before it seizes you
hip-hop is not what it is today but what it could be tomorrow
hip-hop ain’t shit but everything is hip-hoppable mad flava beatable
hip-hop is pumas and a goody today but why not leather fringe and sequins tomorrow?
If hip-hop wanted to be that corny, who could argue with it but a muhfuhkuh who was faded?
What’s hip-hop today could easily become passé
Arguing with hip-hop about the nature of hip-hop is like arguing with water about the nature of wetness.
Like Bunny Wailer said, some tings come to ya, some tings come at ‘cha, but hip-hop flows right through ya

hip-hop is so far gone up its own ass you can’t even speak on it unless you follow the trail of hip-hop’s intestines out the lower end
hip-hop is the rattlesnake that bit off its own tail, then listened to the death rattle warning the head that it was swallowing up the body.
hip-hop is what happened when the black community became the
Bermuda Triangle and lost track of itself on the radar screen of Reaganomics.
hip-hop is the blip that boom-bipped then turned up to crack, black is back all in we’re gonna exterminate our own next of kin

Pink people wanna know if other pink people like hip-hop how can it still be hip-hop?
That’s like asking, if black people like
Dirty Harry is he still Clint Eastwood?
Hip-hop is beyond black nationalism.
hip-hop is not hung up on counter-supremacy because it reigns supreme like all the other dope fiends
hip-hop is half black and half Japanese
hip-hop is digital chips on the shoulders of African lips
hip-hop is black Prozac
hip-hop is if you can’t join ‘em, beat ‘em, if you can’t beat ‘em, blunt ‘em
hip-hop is black sadomasochism
hip-hop is where the hurting ends and the feeling begins or is that the other way around?
hip-hop Is how we rip off the nad aids and pour saltpeter on the wounds
hip-hop is Ralph Ellison, who once said the blues is like running a razor blade along an open sore.

If it wasn’t for black English and hip-hop I wouldn’t have no blues at all
hip-hop is my black cat moan
hip-hop is my black cat scan
hip-hop is all I need to stop
It’s time for my medicine
Time to face the music again
Buddha blessed and boo-ya blasted
These are the words that she manifested.


Previous post

Tha Soul Circle - Dust

Next post

Oddisee - People Hear What They See (Album Review)