born to use mics-eds. michael eric dyson and sohail daulatzai (shorty)

just a teaser, there will be more on this for Pound:

on 1994:

from Sohail Daulatzai‘s into-Illmatic-It was Written:

“Looking back, 1994 was kind of the tipping point, where transitions were happening and the ground under hip-hop’s feet began to give. That may be hard to understand today, fifteen years later, when hip-hop is everywhere, literally in the ether ready to be wirelessly downloaded. Hip-hop is impossible to avoid now, but back then you had to look for it, which makes that moment of Illmatic so important. Jay-Z called Illmatic the blessing and the curse for Nas’s career. That might also have been true for all of hip-hop too, because in many ways Illmatic was either the beginning of the end, or it was the exclamation point on the manifesto that was hip-hop. It’s a moment that will never be repeated despite the current recycling of the 1980s and the inevitable cannibalizing of the 1990s that is yet to come.” (5)

parenthese: (kind of like Boyz in the Hood was for John Singleton on that blessing/curse tip.)

and from Kyra D. Gaunt‘s One Time For Your Mind-Embedding Nas and Hip-Hop into a Gendered State of Mind:

“Internationally, 1994 was a devastating year of invasion and genocide in the African diaspora. The United States invaded Haiti (again) and ignored the Rwandan massacres,   which were at their peak. On the domestic front Americans distracted themselves from Rwanda with the O.J. Simpson trial, and a Los Angeles jury awarded $3.8 million in damages to Rodney King. Finally, in the most curious irony of all, Ralph Ellison, the author of The Invisible Man, quietly passed away; the legacy of his classic text was itself a “eulogy” to the nightmares of black manhood, to the loss of liberty experienced by black men in America. At twenty-one, Nas was living in a world that knew a little something about difference and power, about black masculinity and femininity, and about gender stratification and misogyny in ways that go beyond the confines of any ghetto.” (158-9)


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