Friday, November 22, 2013

Ya Gotta Rock it. Don't Stop It! - Day 22: Celebrating Hip Hop History Month 2013

Whassup Peep?

I know you didn't get a blog post from me for the last couple off days but what I've posted so far this month should be enough Hip Hop History to keep you going for a while.

But I ain't done yet! Today I want to shine the spot light on the Universal Zulu Nation. Its the 40th Anniversary of this powerful, global Hip Hop organization. It's main outlook is simple: Peace, Love, Unity, and safely Having Fun!

Big shouts out to Afrika Bambaataa and the other Hip Hop pioneers who formed the Zulu Nation.

The Atlantis (Atlanta) Chapter of the Zulu Nation is having its annual celebration coming up this Sunday. Check out the flyer below:



Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders 20 Year Anniversary - Day 19: Hip Hop History Month 2013

Whassup Peeps?

Continuing our celebration of Hip Hop History Month, I want to spotlight A Tribe Called Quest. This month is not only Hip Hop History Month and The Zulu Nation's 40th Anniversary but it is also the month Tribe dropped their classic album Midnight Marauders. So with this blog post I want focus on the element of Street Knowledge

According to The Gospel of Hip Hop, Street Knowledge is the study and application of ancestral wisdom. What Tribe did was create a piece of history using historical elements and they made a timeless album. Hiphoppas and Rap fans all over the globe could relate to the concepts on the album and they are still relevant today. 

One night, my Queen and I were up until the wee hours of the morning playing Tribe songs reminiscing about our days in college.

Big ups to Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammud, and Jarobi for helping make my college years great with this album. 

Here's a link to A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders album on YouTube. Enjoy!

****This just in. As I was listening to Pandora.com's Funk Jazz radio station, a song Tribe sampled on their first album called Inner City Blues by Reuben Wilson came on. All I could do was smile.****



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If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop, The Temple of Hip Hop, and Hip Hop's elements, check out the link below at Amazon.com:



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Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar




Monday, November 18, 2013

"Vocabulary Spills, I'm Ill" - Day 18: Hip Hop History Month 2013

Whassup Peeps?

I was rackin' my brain tryin' to figure out what to write on today's Hip Hop element, Street Language. I can remember many times where I've used slang or ebonics to communicate with someone who had no earthly idea of what I was talking about. 

One guy I used to work with even understood me to say "go home to your house" after I told him to "take it to the house". What I meant was, "your work day is over for today. Please come here to headquarters because you won't be doing anything else for today." 

So here's what I've done for the day. I found a song that describes this perfectly. Its called 
"Ebonics" by the late Big L. Enjoy!


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If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop, The Temple of Hip Hop, and Hip Hop's elements, check out the link below at Amazon.com:



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Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Street Fashion: Worlds of Curls ad (1984) - Day 17: Hip Hop History Month

Whassup Peeps? 

 I'm posting this one from my cell phone just so I can stay consistent in the celebration of Hip Hop History Month. I just wanted to touch on Street Fashion just a bit and how it has influenced the globe. I was watching a video of some London rock artists today over in Ghana and even there the effects of Hip Hop Street Fashion were present. 

I also found this video yesterday while surfing the web. This video was made in 1984 and you can definitely see thru Hip Hop influence in the clothes, the dancing, the language, and the music. Also as a little trivia, can you guess who the female dancer is in this video? I'll give you a hint. She was on Law & Order and one of the head people in charge. 

 Check it out, get a good laugh and let me know what you think.


   

If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop, The Temple of Hip Hop, and Hip Hop's elements, check out the link below at Amazon.com:



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Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Deejay Spotlight: DJ Magic Mike - Day 16: Celebrating Hip Hop History 2013

Whassup Peeps?

To celebrate Hip Hop History Month today I want to put the spotlight on DJ Magic Mike. Magic Mike has been puttin' it down for years and was a pioneer in the era of Miami Bass. Yes, I was definitely influenced by New York and Hip Hop in general from the late 70's and early 80's but since I'm from Atlanta, I was also heavily influenced by the "Southern Bass Movement". The Miami Bass sound changed the way records sounded and influenced the whole culture of Hip Hop. 

DJ Magic Mike had a few songs that I used to play non-stop especially since I had "the boomin' system" in my ride. In the south, there was a period of time when the person who had the car with the most bass was "the man!" Two of my favorites songs by Magic Mike were "Drop That Bass Part 2" and "Feel The Bass". I used to ride around the city playin' those songs on full blast.

Here's DJ Magic Mike below mixin', cuttin' and scratchin' live on a YouTube video. I've also included "Drop That Bass Part 2" so you could feel what I felt back in the day....and still do now!!! 

Check it out and let me know what you think...


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If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop, The Temple of Hip Hop, and Hip Hop's elements, check out the link below at Amazon.com:



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Let's Make It Happen!!!



Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar

Friday, November 15, 2013

Style Wars - Day 15: Celebrating Hip Hop History 2013

Whassup Peeps?

Since my last post on Graffiti Art, I had a chance to watch the Hip Hop movie classic Style Wars. For years I heard about this movie yet I never saw it. Thanks to the good folks at Google and YouTube I was able to watch the whole movie online.

Style Wars is a documentary on primarily Graffiti Art but it covers the core four elements of the Hip Hop Culture. I learned a lot of information that I didn't know about. I wish I would've seen this years ago.

What was really ill was the day after I watched it, I heard an emcee in Soundsci by the name of Oxygen make a reference in his lyrics to bombin' and Phase at the Hop Stew Mix Show Concert.  That was Hip Hop History in full circle.

Here's the full movie courtesy of YouTube. Enjoy!


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If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop, The Temple of Hip Hop, and Hip Hop's elements, check out the link below at Amazon.com:



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Let's Make It Happen!!!


Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Beat Box - Day 14: Celebrating Hip Hop History 2013

Whassup Peeps?

Keeping on the daily posts about Hip Hop History Month, I wanted to spotlight a Hiphoppa that's highly underrated but well paid. A lot of people don't give Timbaland his due props. He's not only a super producer but he's also a excellent human beat box. He's even put beat boxin in many of his songs.

Here's Timbaland doing a set during the Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail Tour where he starts off beat boxin and creates a music track using his skills. Enjoy!


 

If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop, The Temple of Hip Hop, and Hip Hop's elements, check out the link below at Amazon.com:



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Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Emcee - Day 13: Celebrating Hip Hop History 2013

Whassup Peeps?

I know I'm getting this post out kinda late but trust me, I've been thinking about it all day. I started back at the beginning yesterday by going over the 9 elements and today its time to highlight emceeing again for Hip Hop History Month.

According to The Gospel of Hip Hop, "the emcee is a Hip Hop poet who directs and moves the crowd by rhythmically rhyming in spoken word." It also states, "emcees also deliver lectures and other forms of public instruction."

Today, I can't in good conscious NOT discuss emceein without shining the spotlight on the Teacha, Blastmaster KRS-ONE. Since 1986, he's been practicing and demonstrating the element of emceein according to both definitions listed above.

Before I toured the West Coast with him in 2003, I saw several of his live performances, attended several lectures, and even read a book he wrote called "The Science of Rap" (big ups to James Wright) for loaning me his autographed copy. I owe you a life time of thanks!).

Here is the Blastmaster performing some of his classics "The MC", "Outta Here", "Sound of Da Police":


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And if you're really down to learn some Truth and Metaphysics about Hip Hop, check this video out. Its long but if you really want to get an idea of what REAL Hip Hop is, this lecture by KRS-ONE breaks it down.


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If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop, The Temple of Hip Hop, and Hip Hop's elements, check out the link below at Amazon.com:



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Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 12 - Celebrating Hip Hop History 2013 - How To Defy Gravity

Whassup Peeps?

If you've been following my blog for the last few days, you can probably see a connection to all the elements of Hip Hop Culture. If this is your first time coming here, the element are as follows: 


  1. Breakin
  2. Emceein
  3. Graffiti Art
  4. Deejayin
  5. Beat Boxin
  6. Street Fashion
  7. Street Language
  8. Street Knowledge
  9. Street Entrepreneuralism 
I'm going to go back to element #1 and that is Breakin. I'm gonna keep this one short and sweet today. I'm posting a video clip from the classic Hip Hop movie Beat Street where The New York City Breakers were battling The Rock Steady Crew. Watch it all the way to the end and you'll see these Breakers do some amazing things....and that was way back in the early 80's. The second video shows what Breakers are doing in the present day. 


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If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop, The Temple of Hip Hop, and Hip Hop's elements, check out the link below at Amazon.com:



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Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar



Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 11 - Celebrating Hip Hop History 2013 - Ya Can't Knock Tha Hustle

Whassup Peeps?

I hope you're enjoying and learning as much about Hip Hop History month as I am. Today we're going to touch on Street Entrepreneurialism. According to The Gospel of Hip Hop, Street Entrepreneurialism is "the study and application of fair trade and Hip Hop business management." 

It goes on to say "Street Entrepreneurialism...focuses on the Spirit to be self-employed, inventive, creative, and self-educated. It is this Spirit; the Spirit of self-creation, the urge to create and sell one's own talents, discoveries and inventions that is encouraged by these teachings." 

There are countless examples of people like this in the music business including Russell Simmons, Master P, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Luther Campbell (aka Uncle Luke or Luke Skyywalker), Ludacris, Too Short, etc. We can also include clothing companies like Ecko Unlimited and FUBU. 


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Mello Melanin, Eddie Meeks, Jon Doe aka Prophetix
Photo courtesy of SoutheastHiphop.com

I remember my early years of trying to break into the music business in the late 80's and early 90's. I was in several groups and it was very difficult for us to get a record deal. We made countless demos, performed in the same amount of talent shows and dealt with rejection over and over. We eventually decided to form our own company called Asylum Entertainment to produce and sell our own recordings. 

In this Spirit of Street Entrepreneurialism, we were forced to learn the music business not only as artist but as businessmen too. It was not all glorious. We got jerked on our very first project but we learned from it and kept going. We found some investors and pressed up some vinyl records, CD's and tapes and begin to sell them as Too Short would say "Out da trunk". 




This method of doing business allowed us to travel to places and perform with artists we would've most like never have performed with such at KRS-ONE, The Roots, and Talib Kweli. As a matter of fact, Ludacris (who also demonstrated Street Entrepreneurialism), was the FIRST Deejay to play our vinyl record on live radio when he had his Future Flavas show on Hot 97.5 in Atlanta, GA. He was known as Chris Lova Lova back then and his co-host was Poon Daddy (who is still part of his Distrubing Tha Peace camp to this day). 




Ludacris (formally known as Chris Lova Lova) and Poon Daddy
Photo by Rolling Out Magazine


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The list can go on for eternity of hustler and self-starters. It is the Spirit of these Hiphoppas that make them Hip Hop! 


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If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop, The Temple of Hip Hop, and Hip Hop's elements, check out the link below at Amazon.com:



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Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar




Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day 10 - Celebrating Hip Hop History 2013 - Street Knowledge

Whassup Peeps,

Its been a pretty good week for me. I've discussed, witnessed, and made Hip Hop History several times which falls right inline with today's element of the Hip Hop Culture, Street Knowledge. According to The Gospel of Hip Hop, Street Knowledge is the study and application of ancestral wisdom. It also states "Street Knowledge is the accumulation of Hip Hop's cultural self-awareness" . 

I was involved in two events that demonstrated Street Knowledge and I could even say Street Credibility. 

First, I had the privilege of attending a show last Thursday presented by The Hop Stew Mix Show. The headliner was my longtime friend, little brother, and teacher, John Robinson aka Lil Sci of Scienz of Life. Also holding down the mic was Soundsci, Ekundayo, StaHHr, and Teabag Da Herbalist. We were also blessed by some quick verses from J-Live (who killed the freestyle) and Big Rec. Turntable duties went to DJ Doug Boogie and DJ Fudge




Mello Melanin and John Robinson aka Lil Sci (Scienz of Life)

When I stepped into The Basement Club in East Atlanta Village, I immediately knew I was at a Hip Hop Concert. I was greeted by DJ Pocket and Count Bass D. Then John Robinson, J-Live, U-George, Tone aka Audessey,  Yamin Semali (Amdex), StaHHr, Ekundayo and so on. These are all established conscious Hip Hop artists. 

Even though we are all from different parts of the country and had come to this point from different walks of life, we all speak the same language and share the some of the same insights (aka Street Knowledge). This knowledge allows us to move and exist using similar "techniques, phrases, codes, and terms" to "survive within inner cities" (The Gospel of Hip Hop - page 122).

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Mello Melanin and Benzino (The Source Magazine, Love & Hip Hop Reality Show)

Two days later I'm at my day job and I run into Benzino, one of the founders of The Source Magazine. The story is crazy but its another great application of Street Knowledge. Some of my co-workers were chatting and making a fuss about Love and Hip Hop reality TV show star named Benzino being in the building. 

I've never watched the show so the name went in one ear and came out of the other. I stayed in my "cubicle" area and continued to work. I even gave one of my co-workers my cell phone so she can take a picture with him. Then she came back from taking the picture with him and said, "Wow that was COOL. Thank you for letting me use your camera phone to take a picture with Benzino." 

That's when the name clicked. I said, "Did you say Benzino?" She said "Yes". I said "I wonder if this is the same guy I'm thinkin' about." So I went out into the lobby and I asked him, "Are you Benzino?" He said, "Yes". I said, "From Boston". Again, he said, "Yes". I was like "Okay. I'm Hip Hop man. I know you from The Source. I ain't never watched the show. I know you from the magazine." He was like, "Word" and he dapped me up not once but twice. 

Years ago, I had a subscription to The Source. I believe since I approached him using my cultural self-awareness, it was like talking to an old friend. Two Hiphoppas talking to each other and recognizing each other as REAL Hip Hop!

Like Ice Cube said, "It was a good day!"

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If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop, The Temple of Hip Hop, and Hip Hop's elements, check out the link below at Amazon.com:



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Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Day 9 - Celebrating Hip Hop History 2013 - "Whassup Yo?"

Whassup Peeps?

I Am Hip Hop! Therefore I live, move, and have my being in Hip Hop Culture. I think, walk, act, and talk Hip Hop. I just didn't start being this way yesterday or last month or last year or even 10 years ago. I've been Hip Hop since I was six or seven years old when I was first exposed to Hip Hop. My dialect has grown from being Hip Hop. I know how to use and not to use certain words or phrases because of Hip Hop. It might sound crazy to some people but Hip Hop actually saved my life.

How you ask?

There are times where I've had brushes with the law and I mean simply doing dumb, young, people stuff. I was never a hard core criminal and was never caught or caught up. I was doing what I perceived to be "cool" at the time. Listening to Hip Hop music in the late 80's and early 90's did something to me subconsciously and eventually I became conscious. I can attribute some of my growth to Street Language

The Hip Hop element of Street Language according to The Gospel of Hip Hop


"is the study and application of street communication. Commonly referred to as Black English, Urban Slang, and Ebonics. It is Hip Hop's urban language and linguistic codes - the verbal communication of the streets.
Advanced Street Language includes the correct pronunciation of one's native and national language as it pertains to urban life. In addition, advanced Street Language deals with one's communication skills even beyond what one says.
Street Language is not always spoken words. Hip Hop's Street Language includes Beat Boxin and certain street codes that may not be communicated in words at all.
Still Street Language (as it pertains to the spoken word is Hip Hop's effort to free itself from the confinement of standard language and standardized views of reality.
English (for example) does not have enough words or definitions to describe how we (Hiphoppas) feel about the World. This is what makes our Street (slang) Language so important to our state of freedom.
Our speech publishes to others the thoughts and perception of OUR minds. Street Language helps Hiphoppas interpret THEIR World THEIR way."

On a comical note, I found a clip on Youtube.com where Miss Jocelyn had to translate a young man's Street Language.



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If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop, The Temple of Hip Hop, and Hip Hop's elements, check out the link below at Amazon.com:



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Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar

Friday, November 8, 2013

Day 8 - Celebrating Hip Hop History Month 2013: Check Out My Gear

Whassup Peeps?

Using fashion to express one's self is nothing new. Fashion can be used to signify a person or a whole culture's ideology. According to The Gospel of Hip Hop, the element Street Fashion is the study and application of urban trends and styles. The Gospel also states: 


"Not only is fashion a very ancient for of communication, but our expressed consciousness was (and still is) also represented in the way in which we adorned, colored, and dressed ourselves."
Some examples of Street Fashion include LL Cool J's Kangol hats, Run-DMC's Adidas, Slick Rick's eye patch. Its not necessarily the actual clothing item itself that was important. It was how they expressed themselves while wearing them. Even something as common as a bandanna has been transformed by the Los Angeles street gangs such as the Crips and Bloods as a form of expression. 

In more recent years, urban designers such as FUBU, Karl Kani, RocaWear, and Phat Farm have captured the spirit of the Hip Hop Culture and created brands that are recognized world wide. 

Here are some pics below of the Hip Hop element Street Fashion: 


Rock Steady Crew - Photo courtesy of Stok La Blog



LL Cool J - Photo courtesy of Beastiemania.com



Run-DMC - Photo courtesy of TV Tropes



Cross Colors (As worn by TLC) - Photo courtesy of TheBoomBox.com



Sean Jean (As worn by P. Diddy and Son) - Photo courtesy of visionaryartistrymag.com


Wu Wear (As worn by Eminem) - Photo courtesy of vtghype.com


Ecko Unlimted - Photo courtesy of ioffer.com



Rocawear (As worn by Jay-Z) - Photo courtesy of bet.com

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If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop, The Temple of Hip Hop, and Hip Hop's elements, check out the link below at Amazon.com:



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Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar




Thursday, November 7, 2013

Day 7 - Celebrating Hip Hop History Month 2013: Gimmie a Beat!

Whassup Peeps?

Last night I was trying to figure out who could I showcase for the element of Beat Boxin. According to The Gospel of Hip Hop. Beat Boxin is the study and application of body music and body language. There are many people in Hip Hop History who have performed and mastered the element of Beat Boxin. 

Today to celebrate Hip Hop History Month I like to recognize someone I consider a master and to this day is still performing the element of Beat Boxin, D.R.E.S. Tha Beatnik. 

D.R.E.S. is a Human Beat Box and has hosted countless shows in Atlanta, GA and all over the country and beyond. He is a great example of someone who is living the Hip Hop lifestyle. He could easily fall under some of the other Hip Hop elements including Emceein, Street Fashion, Street Language, Street Knowledge, and Street Entrepreneurialism, 

Check out D.R.E.S. Tha Beatnik rockin' on stage live with The Roots. Enjoy!



If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop, The Temple of Hip Hop, and Hip Hop's elements, check out the link below at Amazon.com:



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Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar
www.RapBeatCreator.com

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Day 6 - Celebrating Hip Hop History Month 2013: Hey Deejay!

Whassup Peeps?

Today in Hip Hop History Month we acknowledge the element Deejayin. According to The Gospel of Hip Hop, Deejayin is the study and application of Rap music production , cuttin', mixin, and scratchin, as well as on-air radio broadcasting.

One of the amazing things about Deejayin is how Deejays took an appliance like a turntable and turned it into an instrument. So instead of just using the turntable to just play records, Deejays used it to cut, mix, and scratch records to create other sounds and rhythms.

One of my favorite scenes from the Hip Hop movie "Wild Style" is a scene where Grandmaster Flash is cuttin', mixin, and scratchin some records on 3 turntables while Hip Hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy looks on in pure delight.

Check out the link from Youtube below:



If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop, The Temple of Hip Hop, and Hip Hop's elements, check out the link below at Amazon.com:



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Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar
www.RapBeatCreator.com



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Celebrating Hip Hop History Month 2013 Day 5: What is Graffiti?

Whassup Peeps?

I have to be honest with myself and you too. Although I do know plenty about the culture of Hip Hop, there is one element I need to brush up on and that is Graffiti Art. According to The Gospel of Hip Hop, Graffiti Art is the study and application of street calligraphy, art and handwriting.

I do know the history of Graffiti Art goes back to ancient times and begins with hieroglyphics and cuneiform. Modern Graffiti Art can be seen on murals and other types surfaces. In the essence of time and attention spans, I have included the Wikipedia link on Graffiti Art bellow:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graffiti

I have also researched some history on Youtube.com that you can check out too.


If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop, The Temple of Hip Hop, and Hip Hop's elements, check out the link below at Amazon.com:



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Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar
www.RapBeatCreator.com

Monday, November 4, 2013

Celebrating Hip Hop History Month 2013 Day 4: Big Daddy Kane

Whassup Peeps?

Continuing to drop knowledge during Hip Hop History Month, I move on to another element called "Emceein". Emceein is the study and application of rhythmic talk, poetry, and divine speech. One of the best emcees that ever touched a mic was Big Daddy Kane.

Check out Kane's flow on his classic song "RAW":


If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop and The Temple of Hip Hop check out the link below at Amazon.com:



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Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar
www.RapBeatCreator.com


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Celebrating Hip Hop History Month 2013 Day 3: Michael Jackson

Whassup Peeps?

Since I've been banned from using Facebook at my 9 to 5 gig (more like 6 to 6 but that's another story), I have taken to using my blog to promote Hip Hop History Month. This morning some of my coworkers and I were have a conversation about Micheal Jackson

I mentioned to them that Micheal Jackson's name is listed in The Gospel of Hip Hop as popularizing one of the 9 elements called Breakin. Breakin is the study and application of street dance forms. The style of Breakin that the King of Pop used was primarily a technique called Lockin. 

Here is the Michael gettin' down in one of my favorite videos, "Smooth Criminal". 



If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop and The Temple of Hip Hop check out the link below at Amazon.com:


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Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar
www.RapBeatCreator.com