Hip-hop. It started out in the parks of NYC.
And ever since then, place has been an essential element of the music. Artists usually rep where they’re from — early and often. Think Kendrick’s Compton-infused good kid, m.A.A.d city or Nas’ Illmatic, a 20-year-old journey through his native Queens.
But rising rapper Iggy hasn’t made her native Australia a major part of her music. And on Friday (October 17), she was emphatic in saying her Aussie roots won’t ever be a topic for musical discussion, saying that she felt left out as a teen hearing MCs rap about their stories.
I have no doubt your feelings were true to your experience, Iggy. But for me, as a kid growing up in Boston, hearing those authentic tales about an upbringing is part of what drew me to rap; it’s what makes it such a unique and powerful art form. Listening to rap was both my portal to everywhere else and a way for me to better contextualize my own surroundings. And it still is today.
Nas brought me to Queensbridge. I saw similarities to places I knew in Boston in his music, and I heard plenty of differences that allowed me, through his words, to build pictures in my mind and learn about a place I otherwise knew little about.
Big L took me to “The Danger Zone,” of his native 139th Street and ...Read More →