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I don't mind being called a weirdo. There are a lot of people in hip-hop who are probably never going to get what I do. But, by just being myself, I end up touching a lot more people who might never have paid much attention to a female rapper.
Hip-hop is the streets. Hip-hop is a couple of elements that it comes from back in the days... that feel of music with urgency that speaks to you. It speaks to your livelihood and it's not compromised. It's blunt. It's raw, straight off the street - from the beat to the voice to the words.
Hip-hop is an instant gratification, winners and losers circle, and often those who are losing give up after three or four, five years.
Even when I was a hip-hop DJ I always kept it classy. The motto is always 'flashy but classy.' You've got to be original and stand out from the crowd and take some chances. But you've always got to keep it classy.
That's why this generation is the least racist generation ever. You see it all the time. Go to any club. People are intermingling, hanging out, having fun, enjoying the same music. Hip-hop is not just in the Bronx anymore. It's worldwide. Everywhere you go, people are listening to hip-hop and partying together. Hip-hop has done that.
At first, Hendrix went and became a superstar in London, but if he walked past the Apollo in Harlem, no one would know who he was. I'm the hip-hop version of him.
There's rock n' roll in hip-hop, there's rock n' roll in pop music, there's rock n' roll in soul, there's rock n' roll in country. When you see people dress, and their style has an edge to it, that rebellious edge that bubbles up in every genre, that's rock n' roll. Everybody still wants to be a rock star, you know?
Sometimes you have the trends that's not that cool. You may have certain artists portraying these trends and don't really have that lifestyle, and then it gives off the wrong thing. And it becomes kinda corny after awhile. It's really about keeping hip-hop original and pushing away the corniness in it.
I think the greatest hip-hop artist of all time is Jay-Z, without a doubt. He just keeps amazing me with his performance, and since '96, that guy has been producing at least one hit every summer and every winter. That's a pretty good resume.
Personally, I just think rap music is the best thing out there, period. If you look at my deck in my car radio, you're always going to find a hip-hop tape; that's all I buy, that's all I live, that's all I listen to, that's all I love.
I'm just disillusioned with the hip-hop sound right now. It's too materialistic. You know, I'm the kind of guy ... I can't do that. If you track my movement, you'll never see a picture of me with any girl that wasn't mine, or my own car. My jewelry, my clothes. What kind of gangsta rapper has a stylist? A stylist?!
Hip-hop saved my life, man. It's the only thing I've ever been even decent at. I don't know how to do anything else.
I consider music to be storytelling, melody and rhythm. A lot of hip-hop has broken music down. There are no instruments and no songwriting. So you're left with just storytelling and rhythm. And the storytelling can be so braggadocious, you're just left with rhythm.
I always say, 'Hip-hop takes me everywhere.' It's crazy when I step onstage, and people might not speak much English, but they know every word to your songs. It's kind of freaky, but it's really cool.
I always say, 'Man, the Creator is preparing me for something. He's keeping the sun on me for some reason. He's keeping me aligned with that generation.' Because I genuinely love people, I love hip-hop, and I love using it as a tool to communicate and to create a better vibration. Life is short. I guess I'm lined up for a reason.
Doug E. Fresh
I'm not saying that hip-hop needs gay rappers or anything, but they need to stop being so close-minded because that will just cause the genre to fail. Look at pop. Pop doesn't discriminate against people. Look at Lady Gaga, y'know what I mean?
I think hip-hop is really fun right now... and that's why people are using dance beats and singing more.
When I started out as a music journalist, at the end of the 1980s, it was generally assumed that we were living through the lamest music era the world would ever see. But those were also the years when hip-hop exploded, beatbox disco soared, indie rock took off, and new wave invented a language of teen angst.
You want to buy cars and houses and castles, all of that's on you and how America has systematized your mind to be into materialism. Hip-hop ain't got nothing to do with that. I'm glad that anybody making money has picked themselves up - I just want them to give some of it back to the community.
Hip-hop is ever changing but you'll always have the pack. And you'll always have those people who are separated from the pack.
With Pantera, we lived through so many trend-of-the-day situations - when grunge was huge, we were still a heavy metal band; when hip-hop started getting incorporated into metal, we stuck to our guns and remained a heavy metal band very purposefully.
When I was a kid, I'd practise Chopin on piano - and I love Chopin! He's my dawg! Then I'd go out on the stoop and blast the radio. I'm from New York, the concrete jungle. Hip-hop influenced me from day one.
I now possess the tools as a producer and a songwriter to really just go out and make smashes all day long. I could make an album full of smash records that got pop appeal. But my heart is in hip-hop. My heart is in telling stories. And it's like therapy for me.
Quentin Tarantino is a hip-hop artist. I told him, 'You're hip-hop!' You keep seeing surprises, and a clip here and there, because Quentin is hip-hop. A hip-hop artist will drop a single, leak something over here, and drop something over there 'cause he knows it's hot. He's on the spot with the way he does things.
I love all types of music. Jazz, classical, blues, rock, hip-hop. I often write scripts to instrumentals like a hip-hop artist. Music inspires me to write. It's either music playing or completely silent. Sometimes distant sound fuels you. In New York there's always a buzzing beneath you.
C. S. Lewis
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Leonardo da Vinci
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