Beatboxing: The Art of Urban Vocal Percussion. i.e. imitating drum sounds and beat patterns using your lips, tongue, mouth, throat, and voice.
The Art of Beat Boxing itself is a language spoken among the artists one might think of beat boxing as a type of Hip-Hop dialect. To the naked ear the rhythm and beats sound like mere patterns, but to an artist it speaks volumes. The beat itself becomes the message; in place of lyrics and bars there are methodical symphonies of vocal percussion. Artists such as Biz Markie and Slick Rick used the art of Beast Boxing as an Urban strategy to connect with the youth of the time. In times of sociopolitcal warfare Hip Hop and it’s various genres and forms has take on a movement of it’s own a tool of positive propaganda. Now in days beat boxing has taken to the streets of the underground back to where it originated. With the tainted system of the industry artists find themselves housed by the world of Spoken Word. In an age of technology and a digital generation one might ask is the art itself forgotten? As young people have we lost focus of what is most important to the art and activism of the Hip Hop movement? Activism to Hip Hop is what Language is to Beat Boxing. The language of beat boxing is not only heard, but it is felt. You can feel the vibration of the artist as it’s energy commands your body to sway and your head to nod. Beat boxing is a revolutionary form of language that should be brought back into the spotlight. In the words of Assata Shakur,
“Hip Hop can be a very powerful weapon to help expand young people’s political and social consciousness. But just as with any weapon, if you don’t know how to use it, if you don’t know where to point it, or what you’re using it for, you can end up shooting yourself in the foot or killing your sisters or brothers. The government recognized immediately that Rap music has enormous revolutionary potential. Certain politicians got on the bandwagon to attack Rappers like Sister Soldier and NWA. You’ve got various police organizations across the country who have openly expressed their hostility towards Rap artists. For them, most Rappers fall in the category of potential criminals, cop killers, or subversives.”
Think of the movie Men and Black II when Will Smith and Biz Markie are in the mail room having a conversation. Beat boxing is more than iust an art it is a part of our history and a method of self liberation and expression. What is understood sometimes does not need to be explained.
Beat boxing revolutionized the Hip Hop movement by creating a new language. There are no words that can explain what is being explained, but it is understood. With that being said, eye implore you as the reader to look back at the footprints left for us and reconnect to the heart of the movement. As young activists we have to continue the legacy that was left for us and rediscover self.