Last year’s one of the most controversial topic in hip-hop was stirred by Lord Jamar. The statement he made wasn’t taken lightly in rap music industry. Suddenly, everybody had something to say. Lord Jamar said what nobody wanted to hear. Rappers from all across the US responded to his opinion: mainstream rappers, underground rappers, OG’s of the game, like De la Soul and Kool G rap, along with the names you’ve never heard. The statement Lord Jamar made was powerful, truthful in a way and it took a lot of willpower. But he’s an OG, Jamar never sugarcoated anything and as he said it himself, “I’m more of a forward type of rapper”. While DJ Vlad didn’t even suspect how much recognition this interview would get, because Jamar’s words were like a lightning out of the blue sky. “White people are guests in house of hip-hop”.
When I first saw the video, on the comment section Eminem fan base was outrageous. But maybe Jamars statement got such an attention because his words did have some truth in it. So I went on and kept digging. Hip-hop started out as a black culture and Latinos joined them quickly. But when it started to form in something, there were a lot of white people who took it to the next level and added so much to the culture. Not just white, so many people from all across the world. Many great graffiti artists from Europe were ahead of their peers in states, Japanese break dancers were unbelievable. But situation gets complicated, when you name something a culture and it doesn’t have any guidelines or parameters – like Lord Star said to Jamar in an interview. All tough Afrika Bambaataa tried to get hip-hop culture together and set a committee of hip-hop and copyright the title – somehow he wasn’t able. It was already too late. Corporations took the idea and artists they manufactured were making just too much money for them to leave hip-hop where it was born.
We should also take Kool G raps takein consideration about this whole situation when he said, he didn’t agree with Lord Jamar. Kool G backed up his argument by remembering the pioneers of the game, who began the hip-hop and never once imposed or implied the fact, that hey, this is black culture, black music, black art form and other races do not belong. The first biggest hip-hop group in the world, RUN-DMC were actively collaborating with Beastie Boyz, who were all white. Right in the beginning of hip-hop, you see how active the great producer, Rick Rubin is and how he’s shaping the understanding of music and beats in rap. Kool G sees hip-hop as a universal thing and invites everyone who has something to say.
Lord Jamar and Brand Nubian brought knowledge to the game, G rap brought competitiveness and made rapping much harder for anyone who wanted to prove themselves in rap. Both of them are regarded as OG’s and their reputation is almost indestructible. Besides that, there were more than a dozen white people that helped spread hip-hop to broader audience – Eminem being the last one who represented it to middle class America in a respectful way. Lot’s bigoted people didn’t even pay attention to hip-hop and considered it lower class not even a music. But Eminem finally proved for everyone (I mean masses all across the world and yes they did pay attention to him because he was white) that rap music is not a joke, it’s really hard to do and unlike any other genres, rap artists present their selves and their own identity, by making a songs like “Stan”, “lose yourself”, “Not afraid” and many more.
Question still remains open. Are white people guests in hip-hop? Of course they’re not originators, but do their contribution deserves more respect than being called a guest. It’s up to you to decide.