Saturday, 25 September 2010
Hip Hop is...
Dead? Yes, quiet frankly, the vast majority would agree with this view, and if you are one of them, prepare yourself to witness the resurrection. The re-birth, like Lazarus, rewarded with new life and set free to rise to higher heights after many years embridled with poverty, an overwhelming lack of richness, but now Hip Hop has been given new life through UK Based Rapper Mangaliso Asi. I first caught a glimpse of the South Africa born rapper at a live show called SpreadLuv, in Camden, and was considerably surprised. Well crafted verses, hooks that will stay in your mind, which you will suddenly find yourself singing them on the way to work and a production that would make J Dilla nudge and whisper to angel "This kid is good".
Asi, through his music, aims to awaken the dormant consciousness of the masses. Tackling issues that most rappers, particularly in the current generation, would shy away from. Issue's that are as much of a problem today, as they were when Hip Hop had reached its apex, such as HIV/AIDS, poverty, exploitation and capitalism. His song Whispers of a Revolution, captures this well, with lines like "these are desperate times, with HIV outbreaks and national poverty caused by bankers mistakes", how could you argue otherwise.
One element that does surprise is the musician's versatility, in style, range and content. On the one hand, smooth tantalising vocals, with the aid of neo-soul singer Cherri Prince and laid back melodies captured in the song Looking Through You, whilst on the other hand, you have the hardcore, hard hitting I Don't Give a F**k, which is more intelligent than the title would have you believe.
Another track that deserves honourable mention, and is a personal favourite of mine, is I Choose You, which tells of a passion, a love story whose flame should, for the sake of the art that is hip hop, burn eternal.
If Hip is the knowledge, and Hop is the movement, then this is truly Hip Hop.
All these tracks and more are available on mixtape album Heartbeat of the Street, available for download for free,for a limited time only, on http://mangalisoasi.bandcamp.com/
Check the musician on facebook, youtube, twitter and myspace (.com/mangalisoasi on all relevant sites) and stay up to date with upcoming events.
For now I leave with you a preview. Enjoy.