Tag Archives: hip hop

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.

 

#SupremeBlackout

Hip Hop is a large piece of African American culture. In a time where drugs and poverty were ruining the black family, hip hop was a way for young blacks to let out their frustrations in a positive manner. Hip Hop saved a lot of lives by young Men and Women choosing to put down a gun and picking up a mic.

The AfroMadu team was blessed with opportunity to be apart of an amazing experience. We were able to witness how Hip-Hop has evolved, and see first hand how, the more things change, the more they stay the same. We were serenaded by songstresses and enlightened by MCs. As a Hip Hop enthusiast I was shocked and relieved that there was still so much talent playing in front of my eyes.

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The event, The Supreme Blackout, which took place at Nicholas in Brooklyn, was truly a gracious experience. In addition to amazing music there were also massages, assorted hand crafted jewelry, and organic libations. Nicholas’ themselves, are a cool shop full of clothing, incense, and a lot of Afro-Parafinalia.

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The vibe was so smooth, you could spread it with a butter knife. Our hosts for the evening were the Bi-Lingual, Duo, Negros Americanos, hailing from the hometown of AfroMadu’s founder, Plainfield, NJ. MC Elijah Black and DeShawn Supreme were the first two performers and each brought that raw Hip Hop deep rooted in personal experience.

image-12Dread Blaq is a dope songstress who rapped a little, sang a little and finished up by playing Nat King Cole on a Violin……A VIOLIN!!!! Blak Orfan are a girl duo who have that old school swagger, reminiscent of Queen Latifah and other Old School FemCees.

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Danielle Watson came heavy with that reggae vibe that just made you want to better yourself and those around you. Her cohort played harmony on guitar and had a smooth West Indian voice, that complimented Danielle in a way that you just had to close your eyes and bop to them. The show closed out with our host taking over the stage and performing songs in both English and Spanish which was incredible! Even though I do not speak a lick of Spanish the beats backing them was enough for me to musically not skip a beat.

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I left the event feeling as if I just left a church service! Feeling revived and ready for the next event just like this one! If any of our future events are half as good as this one, you do not want to miss it!!

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New Release! Neurotic Society -Lauryn Hill

The wait is over! After over a decade Ms. Lauryn Hill makes a come back with her new release “Neurotic Society”. The untempo beat wasn’t something I expected after the acoustic flow of her MTV unplugged No. 2.0 album released in ’02. But, it’s the perfect compliment to her speed rap; not to mention her bars speaks volumes to the times we are living in. The name speaks for itself, she discusses the poisons of society and levels of toxicity we are living in. From politics to psychology, she puts it all into perspective. She’s still got it and I must say she slays injustice with the blade of her poetics.