WATCHING How Hip Hop Changed The World on Channel 4 on Friday night made me realise how much influence the genre has had.
The show, which included hilarious snippets from Tim Westwood professing that 21 Seconds To Go was the UK’s “greatest record of all time”, charted the rise of hip-hop from Grandmaster Flash and the birth of the DJ, through to gangsta rap and the East Coast West Coast dispute, before settling on the idea that hip-hop made a president out of Barack Obama.
It was a compelling argument, and I was ready to believe anything after being treated to the sounds of Public Enemy, Rakim, MC Hammer, De La Soul, Run DMC, Kool Herc and Notorious BIG for the previous two hours.
If music is the vernacular of the human soul (Geoffrey Latham), then the rise of hip-hop perfectly illustrated the struggle and liberation of the black American soul.
And where America led, we followed.
England now has its fair share of hip-hop artists, with a huge scene in London that has dominated the singles chart for the past few years.
Names like Dizzee Rascal (who was once interviewed on Newsnight, Paxman suggested he should run for Prime Minister), N-Dubz, Tinchy Stryder, Tinie Tempah and Professor Green have all had massive success.
See the Lancaster Guardian (18-08-11) for full story.