Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hip-Hop is Art and This is Why

I am an advent fan of hip-hop. Rabid almost, and I will defend it until I die. So when I hear about experiences that help elevate the hip-hop expression, I like to share it. A friend of mine shared this post with me. It’s the Portland Cello Band performing a rendition of Kayne West’s “All of the Lights”. The video proves that “All of the Lights” is not just a simple beat, but an orchestration. West tells a story with his piece. He crafts movements that inflict not only a mood, but also develops a theme that is both recognizable and subtle. The song builds to a climax, and crashes against you. You can hear the ease which he utilizes his instruments, allowing each to contribute and nothing seems misplaced.

What the band does is showcase the ultimate musicality of Kanye West’s ballad. It reflects on the universality of his work, and hip-hop as a whole. The band strips down "All of the Lights" to the melodies and chord progressions. In the lost of the drums, you lose some of the impact the song has, and a bit of the Hip-hop aesthetic. Also in hip-hop you ultimately need both vocals and rhythms to understand the artist’s complete purpose. However, what this interpretation does is showcase the underlining melancholy of the song, which you might miss in listening to original. The cover parallels the blues of Kayne's personal life, and deepens my overall understanding of what this album represents for him. It touches (pardon the pun) a chord in my own life, which is the purpose of any piece of art.  For all of these reasons and more you should watch this video.

Lastly to the people of Egypt, Good Luck on your quest for Freedom.
 Oh Yeah Black History Month. Ummmm Heres a quote from James Baldwin.
I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.

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