Michael Eric Dyson: The Smooth Preacher On Beatbreaks

Michael Eric Dyson weighs in on Nas, Barack Obama, Fox News, and lets us know that he will be deconstructing Nas’s debut record Illmatic in his new book. Personally I feel this book is well needed because more recently hiphop has taken a turn for the worse when it comes to lyricism (no disrespect to newer school MC’s like Elzhi who is in a league of his own). The need to look at hiphop from an intellectual lense is readily welcomed due to current day trends witnessed in the dumbing down of the music and lyrics.

Illmatic was probably one of the most seminal hiphop records to come out in the 1994 along with Biggie’sReady to Die“………………

I can still remember the first time I heard the record to this day and what it meant to me as a black man in Canada coming up in the 90’s. Nas’s lyrics painted a gripping picture of conditions he had experienced living in Queensbridge, New York and brought me so much closer to his world. His cinematic tales rival that of some of the greatest film makers so much so that even Martin Scorcese or Stanley Kubrick would have a hard time trying to top his work of art. Illmatic in my opinion was more descriptive and telling than any movie out at the time. The backdrop for his brilliant rhymes was carefully crafted by New Yorks finest beatsmiths such as Pete Rock, Primo, Large Professor, Q Tip, and LES who have all gone on to become hiphop legends. The end result was sheer and utter musical bliss. I look forward to the Dyson’s book because I see hiphop as being in the same realm as Jazz or Blues. It is a modern day continuation of various African derived art forms, from the tradition of griots in the Africa past and present, to playing the dozens America, to rude boys in Kingston toasting over bass heavy riddims, its all one. As time passes on there will be more books written describing the brilliance of true artists such as Rakim, RUN DMC, LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, NWA, Public Enemy, Tupac, Biggie, Cool Herc, The Grandmaster Flash, The Rocksteady Crew, and of course the countless others who’s brand or largess might not have been as big as Jay Z but still shaped and molded what we now know as Hiphop.

Here are some goodies for the heads.

Check out hiphopisread blog for a download of the original Illmatic samples.

Also check ohword for a deconstruction of Illmatic with audio samples to boot.


~ by rshabazz on September 3, 2008.

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