Archive for Hip-Hop
Rap artists expanding their brand to record labels, clothing, alcohol, jewelry and soft drinks is not a new concept, it has come to be a natural progression. On November 16th we will witness another expansion of the Rap game with the launch of Jay Z’ s highly anticipated novel “Decoded”. This novel sets out to decode the meaning behind a selection of his song lyrics, 36 of them to be exact. As a Jay Z fan, I am intrigued to learn the meaning behind some of the song lyrics, but I’m not sure how I will feel once I have said knowledge. Will the songs hold the same excitement and curiosity or will they now be watered downed? In a sense, I equate it to the experience with a new girlfriend, do I want to know all of her secrets or should some things be left unsaid? Sometimes the unknown is what keeps us intrigued and wanting more, will this book give us too much? Only time will tell I suppose; nevertheless, anything that inspires young people to read is a good thing.
As a genius marketer he has built sufficient hype surrounding the release including: collaborating with Bing to produce a worldwide interactive scavenger hunt game with pages of the book; planting codes and excerpts of the book around New York City, and even Gucci’s flagship store has produced a window display with printed parts of the booked displayed in the lining of a leather jacket. In addition to the hardcover release, Random House will publish “Decoded” as an eBook, as well as an interactive iPhone/iPad application that will include exclusive video and customizable content.
Here’s an excerpt from “Decoded:”
“When I first started working on this book, I told my editor that I wanted it to do three important things. The first was to make the case that hip-hop lyrics-not just my lyrics, but those of every great MC-are poetry if you look at them closely enough. The second was I wanted the book to tell a little bit of the story of my generation, to show the context for the choices we made at a violent and chaotic crossroads in recent history. And the third piece was that I wanted the book to show how hip-hop created a way to take a very specific and powerful experience and turn it into a story that everyone in the world could feel and relate to.”
Bouncing Cats, by Director Nabil Eldkin, depicts the life of Uganda Youth creating a better life for themselves through hip hop. Focusing on the B-boy culture, Breakdance Project Uganda (B.P.U) was created offering free workshops to empower, rehabilitate and heal the community. Founded by Uganda B-boy Abraham “Abramz” Tekya and enlisting the help of world renowned B-boy Crazy Legs (Rock Steady Crew) the two traveled throughout Uganda teaching three times a week and impacting the lives of more than 300 kids. Rounding out the film is narrative from Common; as well as, interviews by Mos Def and K’naan. Currently only screening in LA, but with enough buzz maybe a great addition to Beats, Break in Culture this summer at Habourfront (July 9 – 11). Watch the trailer.