I’ve heard of a few. I actually bought an ’80s hip hop record when I was 14 called ‘Ghetto Boyz’ – because I hated all the stupid rapping. One of my friends heard it and bought it for me. He went on record “I’m not hip hop.” To this day, I don’t even know what he meant by that. It’s just too late in life.
Do you ever get angry about the way hip hop is portrayed in popular culture on TV and in film?
I used to cry. And I would get upset and cry, but I’d say ‘What the fuck is wrong with me? The music you listen to is better than mine. What the fuck is wrong with me? I know this music inside out. They do not put enough emphasis on the lyrics.’ I don’t understand why I am crying. I am the one who wrote about this. They can’t do what I say.
How do you think hip hop’s depiction is different from the way people are treated in mainstream music?
Not much, I guess. I think the reason hip hop gets portrayed as something that does not reflect reality is because people can relate to things that happen to them. There is nothing worse than hearing a song like ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and hearing the lyric ‘We shot niggas, that’s why.’ People relate and feel comforted when you can tell that, at least, some people are not being murdered or locked up. People relate to that in their own country, or in their own country, or in their own society. The way the world works, you relate what’s happening in your life to those things.
I think the only downside to hip hop as a music genre, for me at least, is that it doesn’t reflect the real world. I could never relate to that because of the way I think. I believe in life, and if you don’t believe in it, you want to die. That’s why you go through so much pain and suffering as a human being. That’s how the universe works, and to be born a human being is a gift. You should have to give it to yourself without regrets.
How do you think hip hop will develop? Is there anything you’d like to see changed?
The problem is there is no standard definition of what the word ‘hip hop’ means, but we use this word to paint the truth about our culture. What I would