Music Editorial: 2Br02B

Hip-Hop Culture, Burque Style

August March
3 min read
Local rapper Vez (Courtesy of the artist)
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I dig hip-hop. I spent 20 years coming to this conclusion. You all can thank an actor and writer from right here in Burque—who goes by the moniker MistaBill—for getting me hooked up with hip-hop nation in the nineties.

Dude would blast
Cypress Hill and House of Pain all through the house, but it took me time to come to terms with the radical departure from rocanrol that his musical maneuvering suggested.

Flash forward twenty years. Hip-hop has overtaken rocanrol’s relevancy, especially among teens and youth. Face it: With a few notable exceptions, Albuquerque’s hip hop scene is suddenly and terribly more vibrant than the sometimes-listing, post-
Leeches rock world seen and heard in our town.

Here, practitioners from the avant-garde wing of the genre are ably represented by artists like
Summon the Wulf and Goblin Bones., while the social consciousness of our diverse local communities are communicated by rappers like Wake Self and Def-i.

As rap culture advances across the USA, so do important female artists who challenge the intentions and tropes of the genre.
An upcoming show by Sammus should remind listeners that hip-hop nation is a creatively rich and evolving state that will ultimately displace the misogyny and cruel cultural stereotyping which, sadly still haunts the genre at every level from hyper-local to super-international.

That’s an important conceit because so many of the young people in our community are involved with rap music.

Take for example
local teen sensation Vez. The dude has some solid reach among his peers and his work is refreshingly not more rape culture bullshit; he raps about real life—sometimes plaintively—with a powerful voice and blank verse lyrics that suggest great introspection without booties, bikinis and a self-serving, selfish sexuality coming to dominate the discourse.

Vez will be performing on Monday night when he opens for 24hrs and I do hope you check his show out because kids like that are the future and the heart of our music community in Albuquerque.

Now then, I saw that dude
24hrs’ latest video, a thing called “This is What You Like.” When a singer continuously addresses a group of scantily clad, compliant, star-stuck earthling females (or whatever demeaning tropes are literally embodied in the video) with the phrase, “I Know this is what you like,” there is something wrong. Continuing to communicate such values through popular music is damaging to the community; dudes this stuff is not progressive! As a social unit we should continue to demand an end to rape culture.

Listen: have a great time checking out one of town’s newest and brightest talents; but keep the other stuff in mind because like music, resistance is good for the soul.

24hrs + Vez in Concert

The Jam Spot • 415 Central Ave. NW

Monday Jan. 29 • 8:30pm

$21.75 to $37.25 • 13+

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