Hip Hop's Smoking Section: Room for Collective Dreams
Does anyone else find it so cool that Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa show love to each other on their songs? Every now and then, you can hear a Taylor [m/] joint beginning with “shout out to my brotha Spitta”; or, on the low, you can catch Spitta quoting Wiz like, “we aint trippin’ cuz we’ll get there in a minute”. And get this, these songs were not features, each a solo on their popular mixtape and album! Even seeing Big Sean and Juicy J in Wiz’s “Reefer Party” video contributes to this thematic change in the perception of Hip Hop. I’m talking about collectives here, the rhythmic equivalent of the Justice League. Normatively, Hip Hop heads, young and old, are used to the politics of beefs, but nowadays, with the help of video journals and marijuana legislation, us heads experience our favorite artists as a community.
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Rolling around with my boys, whether in Chicago or in Philly, the car ride rarely excludes Dom Kennedy, Wale, Big Sean, Wiz, or Curren$y. Since their content relies heavily on classic down tempo beats (produced by Alchemist, Dilla, Big Jerm, etc.) layered over by sneaker pimp and jet life issues, they provide a space where we can appreciate life without stress. Bigger than that though, we understand the alliances taking over our car stereos because we have the same dreams. My vacation from relationship problems and adulthood bs is spent with aspiring producers, rappers, clothing moguls, and film makers. Seeing that there’s a market for what we make (which is honestly what we like), our bonds instill hope in escaping a passive lifestyle.
Papers for my homies: