Rap vs Hip Hop via The Hagakure.


“In the Kamigata area, they have a sort of tiered lunchbox they use for a single day when flower viewing.

Upon returning, they throw them away, trampling them underfoot. The end is important in all things.” 
― Yamamoto Tsunetomo.


When Tibetan monks create a Mandala to contemplate the cosmos, they sleep in shifts, using coloured grains of sand, painstakingly fed through a small tube onto the board below to create the picture. They do this for Three or Four days. Then once it is completed, they meditate on it, and destroy it by hand. Each monk helps to clean the board of sand to teach them the flippant nature of creation and destruction. In all things, there must be balance. In Hip Hop, there is truth and positivity in the underground, and in mainstream RAP; the negative. One creates, one destroys.

Rap celebrates death as dictated by the corporate interests that hijacked it from its roots; removed it’s message, and sold it back to it’s people. It promotes the death of thought, the traits of jealousy, division, greed, lust and hate. Hip Hop celebrates life, the complexities of daily existence, the need for change within, and the durability of the human spirit; so when it is looked as a shallow glamorization of materialism and death; any body who IS Hip Hop will get their back up and start defending. This is not needed; a million posts a day are made saying “Drake and Lil Wayne are lame, listen to The Roots and Slum Village instead”, forgetting that the people already listening to mainstream RAP, as opposed to Hip Hop; may not be mentally predisposed to accept the reality-based message that true Hip Hop brings. When you learn about the world, you learn about yourself. 

The schism between the two forms is never acknowledged. Rap and Hip Hop are packaged together in shops, on websites, award shows, news sites and TV. Placing displays of responsible thought from men like Chuck D next to women irresponsibly displaying their ass and lack of self esteem on shelves next to each other. With this in mind, I shouldn’t be shocked when I tell someone i’m Hip Hop and they don’t think: ‘Oh, he must be into at least a few of the 5 Elements that make up the culture”. Instead thinking: “He must love 2chainz and have a lot of trainers”. That’s all the information they’ve been given, so that’s all most people have to go off.

“It is a wretched thing that the young men of today are so contriving and so proud of their material possessions. Men with contriving hearts are lacking in duty. Lacking in duty, they will have no self-respect.”-Yamamoto Tsunetomo.

Recently, the lines between Hip Hop and rap are being purposely blurred to discredit the movement, and ( as always ) promote the negative aspects of the genre and bring imbalance: “EDM was encroaching on hip-hop‘s two-decade dominance of pop music, dragging club and rave culture and MDMA along with it. In many cases, hip-hop opened the door.”- The guardian blaming so-called ‘hip hop’ for promoting drugs, by name checking RAPPERS Danny brown and ASAP Rocky: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/shortcuts/2013/jul/14/why-us-pop-mad-molly-aka-ecstasy

The same paper also recently quoted 50 Cent as being a ‘high profile hip hop artist’ and linked videos to this article demonstrating RAP, at it’s most exploitative and low brow level: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2013/jul/13/gay-rap-becomes-reality. Let me be clear, homosexuality is not the issue. Everyone has a right to be what, and who they are. The music is the problem; gay or straight. Shallow, degrading music and overt sexual imagery like this plays directly into the hands of the people who would discredit the movement and sell it on to people who know no better. Most new rappers creating this bullshit either know this; and don’t give a fuck, ‘cuz they’re getting paid. Or are as clueless about the history, and culture, of the music they’re creating a bastardized version of as the suits that sign them. Thankfully, with the balance being kept from the edge of extinction by the people who support real music and overstand the art form, there will always continue to be sources of well written, positive music with a message, true to the way it started.


Remember that one is one thing and the other is the other, and tell people that, but acknowledge both. Both are equally important, without radio rap, there wouldn’t be so much drive to make real Hip Hop, so I’m glad they exist, having said that: Let them keep RAP, “We’ll keep walking through the darkness carrying our torches”.


Support independent, intelligent music. Vote with your money. Read The Hagakure.







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