The HeART of Hip Hop: Reviving Her Pulse

     It is because of the Beat and the Break-Beat that Rapping has spawned and it is through the Beat that Hip Hop has survived. With the Pop market depriving Hip Hop of lyrical variety in mainstream media and while it suffocates a louder creative voice in today’s Diplomatic Sound System, the beat of her songs acts as the IV to revitalize the essence of percussion and harmony in music and life. Although commercial “Hip Pop” continues to distort radio waves with Auto-Tuned vocals and monosyllabic word play, the progressive rhythmic sounds at the foundation of this cultural movement will always be HEARD regardless of lyrical content.

     This is not to say that content quality as far as writing is concerned is not in desparate need of a sound check but the diversity of sound combination that is being produced is groundbreaking and cannot be silenced. As raw instrumentals are mixed and mastered with Old School and New-Age techniques (scratching, Beatboxing, vocal synthesizers, layering etc.) Hip Hop’s creative freedom is immortally evolving and her auditory intellect is being amplified. Possessing masterminds of sound such as J. Dilla, Flying Lotus, Timbaland, The Neptunes, DJ Premier (just to name a few) at her finger tips, Hip Hop is adapting and advancing at a remarkable speed (c = (dp / dρ)1/2 < speed of sound?). The staying power despite her current lapse in poetic composition is now permanently injected into American culture and is becoming a critical life force all over the globe.

       It is difficult, rather impossible, to describe in written WORDS a Beat. Clarifying any type of noise without the listener actually having heard it is never an easy task. A rhythmic pattern vibrates air particles into a quick wave of pressure fluctuation creating a high pitched sound due to the contact of percussive matter. Now turn down your music, quiet the mind and reread that sentence… A rhythmic pattern vibrates air particles into a quick wave of pressure fluctuation creating a high pitched sound due to the contact of percussive matter. The level of air pressure in each fluctuation determines the amplitude (loudness) of the sound. So, did you hear anything? How loud was it? Could you explain what you heard with one word? Words are incapable of emulating sounds as they must be heard by the ear, whose job is then to decode these fluctuations into an electrical signal that your brain can comprehend and translate into a mental image and feeling(s). Noises cannot be defined by words, only the sensations that reverberate emotion are somewhat comprehensible through language.

    The Hip Hop genre’s proven ability to sustain relevance through technological advancements is morphing itself into a science while maintaining traditional instrumental importance. As competition encourages originality it is no wonder the market for imaginative Beat makers is highly sought after yet rare to find. The trained ear for such harmonious sound is not common. It is not the explanation of sound I inquire on a constant basis but more so the intricate emotions that have been stimulated by Hip Hop’s producers in the past and the emotions they are presently seeking to create. The depth of emotion produced by Hip Hop through strictly sounds provides a parallel to its culture’s true colors.

      Every listener perceives a unique rhythm pulsing through their veins as the beat builds and every individual bounces to the beat of their own drum. THIS complexion is the epitome of Hip Hop. To those who claim “Hip Hop is dead,” listen to the *Bass-Boom-Clap* of your heartbeat and tell me that its original energy cannot be revived. The Beat of Hip Hop is a product of the heart and soul of both creator and listener. <3AK

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