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The Banana Slug: Page 2

KRS One on the origins of hip hop

Jun 6, 04:01 PM

This historical account is mind blowing. It is an extremely important cultural analysis that I urge you to explore, right now!

The nuanced views expressed by KRS One is that Hip Hop is an international community that transcends its portrayal. Hip Hop embraces freedom and justice as inherently valuable, while riches and military might, both glorified in modern society, are self-perpetuating the elite governors of the masses. Rap is not the same as Hip Hop. Hip Hop is judging others by the content of their character and expressing unique views. “Hip Hop’s principles are Peace, Love, Unity, and Joy.” Here is a little timeline of positive influences of hip hop as credited by KRS One that I am composing as I watch:

James Brown —> DJ Cool Herc —> Bruce Lee —> Martin Luther King, Jr. —> Afrika Bambaataa —> Grandmaster Flash + The Cold Crush Brothers —> Cowboy of the Furious Five (“throw your hands in the air,” “Say hoooo,” etc.) —> Grandmaster Caz and the Cold Crush Brothers

The rest of this post is an organic mixture of paraphrasing/quoting/reflecting on the rest of KRS One’s lecture.

A large paradigm shift occurred when Hip Hop’s popularity and its associated potential for a voluminous cash revenue stream attracted the attention of corporations. For example, some of Grandmaster Caz’s original rhymes were stolen by his manager and recorded in Rapper’s Delight which sold millions of records, with no references or credit given to Grandmaster Caz. Big Bank Hank literally and ignorantly called himself by Grandmaster Caz’s nickname “Casanova Fly” in this song, because he blindly copied Grandmaster Caz’s rhymes word-for-word, generating $10 million of profits (of which Caz received none). And thus, rappers were born.

Many record deals were sought by the corporations, but, under the leadership of Afrika Bambaataa, the authentic artists refused to sell their art, until Kurtis Blow signed with mercury records, “disobeying the culture” and setting an unfortunate precedent. It became a battle between culture and money. “Rap music begins on theft.” And then the difference between rap and hip hop became apparent, as the same difference between money and culture, rappers versus emcees, selling out to corporations versus facilitating community.

And so here we are, in 2014, with the same problem. People want to get rich, and a small minority will achieve this, but wealth in well-being is more important. “How much does it really cost to get a good night’s sleep?” “The best things in life are free.” “If you can eat and be full for $5, why spend $50?” Rappers rely on corporations as their culture in return for large cash rewards for their performances. True Hip Hop emcees make $10 look like $100 and refuse to sell their soul to slave owning record companies. Hip Hop is efficiency and collaboration as a reflection of true value.

Rappers who only perform for extremely high fees can only be afforded by corporations. This is because their bills are higher, they are not as efficient as Hip Hop artists. This means they are poor, in debt to their corporate overlords. They must maintain a lucrative appearance (it’s probably part of their contract) and this makes them extremely poor in lacking self-autonomy.

“If you aren’t satisfied with a little, you won’t be satisfied with a lot.” Accessibility is important in rendering one’s services for payment because everyone looks for a bargain. Hence, KRS One is always hired by practicing an Afrika Bambaataa economic plan: $10 a head. “Be excellent at what you do and then give it away for cheap.”

“Hip Hop began when one person complimented another one and that is the beginning of wealth.” Poverty is believing that we don’t deserve to have wealth. When two people in poverty turn to each other and after one of them spits a rhyme, the other responds “that was garbage! You are whack.” both of them stay in poverty. However, if the other responds “YO THAT WAS HOT! DO it again!” And the first one does it again, the development of ideas cycles into fruition. Affirmation of self-expression is how wealth starts, and that is exactly how Hip Hop started. It is also how friendships develop. And it’s how real marketing occurs, when friends endorse their homeboy authentically.

And so the key to success is ownership. Understand who you are, and name yourself. This is your new identity, and will define how circumstances and situation will respond to you. Then own yourself, autonomous. Strive for excellence and achieve it. Life is not material. Life is not money. Life is circumstances and situations. How can you control a situation? It starts with a name. What you call yourself is what you draw to yourself. Don’t name your album Criminal Minded if you don’t want your DJ to get shot.This paragraph is pure quotation/paraphrase, shout out to KRS One for the ideas represented

Shout out to my man J cause HE IS THE GREATEST EMCEE ALIVE. HE’S THE ONE. He’s going to be a famous rich community-enthused and impactful emcee, this I know. All my homies are raw, J is no exception. With that, I would like to wish you, authentically, best wishes for a great Weekend and here’s one really worth hearing:

Happy Friday!

Matt Musselman

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Today is election day!

Jun 3, 09:40 AM

I almost forgot that today was June 3. We got this far so fast, I’m still not sure how that happened. Thankfully I ran into a friend on my commute to work today and she reminded me that today was election day! I will be sure to stop by my polling place after work, on my way home. Maybe I will meet some people in the neighborhood.

Cellular Respiration takes macronutrients and changes them into usable energy in the form of ATP. Semi-relevantly, I take my ideologies and examine the political landscape to make specific decisions regarding whom will receive my vote. OK maybe those are two completely unrelated concepts, however, try to synthesize them if you want to feel like I feel right now :)

Matt Musselman

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Current Goings On

May 26, 11:13 PM

Here’s how I’ve been leveraging my time lately:

  • Taking two FREE courses on Coursera, one is on international politics (The Changing Global Order offered by Leiden University which, founded in 1575, is the oldest university in the Nethlands) and the other is on clinical anatomy and physiology (Vital Signs: What your body is trying to tell you offered by the UPenn School of Nursing ). I am thinking about enrolling in the Signature Track for these courses which essentially entails paying $50, verifying your identity, and having a more authentic certificate after course completion. I think this might motivate me to stick with it and complete both courses. I believe both end in late June so I would only have to dedicate myself to about 4.5 more weeks of legitimate, academic focus. Finna do that!!!
  • Painting with my beautiful girlfriend. Spontaneous art is the best way to art. Verbing peaceful phenomena such as art is also a productive activity I am proud to implement at this time.
  • Volunteering at St. Anthony’s Foundation last Friday was an incredible experience. Extremely positive vibes from many, many individuals from extremely diverse backgrounds. I went by myself to volunteer after hearing good things about this organization and I met some really awesome volunteers as well as St. Anthony’s staff who had worked really hard to help organize a sock drive w/ the Bike Coalition. And the PEOPLE who come together and interact with one another over a free meal are my favorite part.
  • Watching this recent lecture by Noam Chomsky on US Foreign Policy. Learning more about US history by beginning the first book of the U.S.A. Trilogy and talking to people.
Matt Musselman

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Can't predict the future, but here we are. That's fosho.

May 4, 06:26 PM

Here’s some music for you to enjoy. Yes you, my anonymous stranger friend living behind the electronic curtain of HTTP. Because music is a medium of communication that is left to its interpretation after its transient playing; during the moment of live listening, it felt in the unique present and makes for quite an experience. Try it right now!

And speaking of fosho, here’s something that can speak to every last one of us….

Matt Musselman

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Humanity's relationship with technology

May 4, 10:48 AM

Think about the relationship humanity has with its invention, technology. Think about how it affects the ever changing relationship of humanity with itself. And watch this video.

Interdependency is a word rarely mentioned. Interdependency is, in general, significantly more relevant than many seem to realize or acknowledge.

Matt Musselman

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