I’m watching a documentary series on Netflix at the moment called ‘Hip-Hop Evolution’. It is a look at the role of hip hop and rap music in society, how it started and evolved.
I have an interest in hip hop and rap music, primarily because of the importance of words in rap and hip-hop music.
Call it street poetry, call it stream of consciousness verbal diarrhoea, call it rhyming-I make a living from the use of words, whether writing them or interpreting them-and I have always had a love for words, reading, writing.
These guys, these rappers, come from chaotic deprived backgrounds in Compton on the West Coast, from New York, from Detroit trailer parks and yet, they somehow were sufficiently interested in words and rhyming to see rap and hip hop music as a way out, as a way to get off the street.
‘The Rose that Grew from Concrete’ is Tupac Shakur’s book of poetry, written when he was 19 years old and the title reflects the miracle of some of these young lives, tragically cut short in Tupac’s case at the age of 25.
It’s a well made series of documentaries with interviews with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, and other rappers and hip hop artists and deals with the West Coast, East Coast rivalry and the violence that bubbled under the surface for many years, and the evolution from the more commercial hip hop music of JayZ and Puff Daddy back to the self-appointed guardians of the ‘true’ hip hop.
It’s worth checking out.