I’m mad this wasn’t heavily publicize in the POC community. I caught a whiff of it via Facebook a few hours before it started.
I tell ya, you’ve reached a “new level” of recognition when you’re invited to talk about hip-hop to a bunch of white people; that stamp of White Elitism brings credibility to the surge of recent interests to critically analyze the impact of hip-hop music on society. Yet, I can’t help but wonder what was the point. Are we done talking yet? Aren’t we tired of giving each other pats on the back for dispelling issues that have been around for decades?
Dyson and Peterson agreed that Nas’ album Illmatic has remained a classic for so long because of the issues that it touches upon – such as loss, misogyny, the drug culture, the prison industrial complex, the struggle for black self-definition and the function of literacy in the quest for self-awareness and spiritual and moral evolution.
Illamatic is not a classic, it’s a contemporary masterpiece. Nothing has changed for the POC community since Illmatic was released 20 years ago. NOTHING.
So, I sit and I wonder. When are we going to stop talking about this, and starting doing the work to change it. I don’t need a panel discussion, academic paper, nor fellowship to articulate what’s going on in my world today. I need hands to help me rebuild it.
Congrats Nas , I’m a huge fan. I listen to your music as a reminder that I’m not alone and as motivation that even though 20 years have passed, there’s so much work to still do.