Tag Archives: culture

Give me a Beat!: The Art of Beat Boxing

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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.”

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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.

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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.

 

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Juneteenth: Channeling Our Energies in Our Own Purposes.

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I think my fascination of Juneteenth has always been the fact that we are alive and well to celebrate this infamous holiday. We made it. Our ancestors lived through slavery. And if it wasn’t for their persistence and high spirits, we wouldn’t be able to see this day and build each year… 

So there’s something to think about in this small victory for ex-slaves. How did they manage to live through this experience? And furthermore, what can we do today to exemplify the strength and vigor that they had? Of course there are many answers to these questions, but I want to look at something very specific: purpose. 

During slavery, it was clear that slaves served a higher master than White folk. This is not even to get too much into religion or anything, but they knew what there purpose was and for most of them, it was being able to get through, get out, and tell their stories. Because of these purposes, Black people today are still story-telling, maintaining culture, and living life. But we are lacking in something, and its definitely purpose. 

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Do you honestly think your daily life coincides with your intended purpose? Are your talents and qualities, as a human, as descendants of this great ancestors, are actively living in your everyday lives?

Every day we do things that benefit our current state but doesn’t not replenish our souls nor purpose. We work full time jobs to make a decent living and go to school to get degrees, but do we push ourselves to ultimately make us happy? Are our natural talents and “feel goods” being worked just as hard? ABSOLUTELY NOT. 

It’s cool to be great workers for the jobs that you are currently working, and of course it’s great to be awesome scholars, but imagine if you invested that same energy in fulfilling your own purpose. Think about how free and happy your life would be. If anything, we owe it to our ancestors who built this country, and were still devoted some of their time to ensure that their energy was not fully into doing the works of their masters. Live your OWN life and serve your own purpose. Now THAT’S freedom. 

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Use this day to reflect on your energies and how you can properly distribute them. What is you purpose? What are you going to do to make sure that you live through it everyday? 

Women are Still Oppressed in the Name of Culture.

Botswana: A landmark victory between constitutional laws vs culture has kept four sisters in their home. The four women, Edith Mmusi (80) and her three sisters Bakhani Moima (83), Jane Lekoko (77), and Mercy Ntsehkisang (68), have fought for the past five years to stay in their family home.

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In many African countries, the right of the firstborn male, or closest male relative, to inherit family property – is still standard practice.Women are denied the right to inherit the family estate purely because of their gender, a custom that is upheld by some traditional leaders.However, Tswana custom prescribes that the family home is inherited either by the first-born or last-born son, depending on the community.

When the sister’s father passed away, the four women came together and took care of the expenses and upkeep of their home. Meanwhile, their nephew won the home in Customary Court of Appeal and the court ordered the sisters be evicted. The sisters stood together and fought for their home. Even though, this decision has caused tension in their family, the sisters are grateful to make strides in the new century of breaking customs for what is due to them.

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