Ah, anyone can recognize the yellow spine of the National Geographic magazines, full of beautiful photographs and indepth articles about the world today...and for the April 2007 issue you will find stories on the global fisheries crisis, tallgrass prairie, and Botswana leopards, and an article on the history of hip hop from New York's South Bronx to the villages of West Africa. Author James McBride searches for the roots of the music that can't be ignored in "Hip Hop Planet" (read whole article @ www7.nationalgeographic.com).
Its structure is unique, complex, and at times bewildering. Whatever music it eats becomes part of its vocabulary, and as the commercial world falls into place behind it to gobble up the powerful slop in its wake, it metamorphoses into the Next Big Thing. It is a music that defies definition, yet defines our collective societies in immeasurable ways. To many of my generation, despite all attempts to exploit it, belittle it, numb it, classify it, and analyze it, hip-hop remains an enigma, a clarion call, a cry of "I am" from the youth of the world. We'd be wise, I suppose, to start paying attention."
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