Friday, May 05, 2006

teemoney and the east side boyz

"There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book; books are well written or badly written." -- Oscar Wilde

I wish everyone who will ever write a book or zine can experience the feeling of seeing your creation displayed well at one of your all-time favorite bookstores. Especially one that did a bit of a nice job of camouflaging it upon its initial release.

Woooooooooooooooow. That's all I've got to say. Even if they might have already taken down the display!

This is the 50-year-old literary landmark known as Cody's Books on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, which tonight hosted a great panel discussion about hip-hop in the family with my San Quentin celly Adisa Banjoko, Eric Arnold of East Bay Express, Guerilla Funk's T-K.A.S.H., and local Universal Zulu Nation leader and educator Joseph Miclette. Oh yeah, and me, who is not worthy but very happy to have been there throwing in a few cents (not sense).

In super ultra double-plus brief, we all agreed that the cultural aspects of hip-hop -- the dancing, the art, the DJing, and so forth -- are the most positive elements that can be taught to children of all ages. Those concerned about the proliferation of strong language, misogyny, and violence might prepare themselves to spend some extra time investigating those artists within the genre that do refrain from those ills. They may not be as easy to find, but they're definitely out there. And above all, parents would do well to cultivate an interest in what excites their children, musically or otherwise. Communication is at the root of a solid family foundation.

It was stressed that hip-hop, as an entity that's about 35, is going through the same maturation process that an adult of that age does. The metaphor seemed to hold up fairly well when talking about questions such as, "Does hip-hop have a moral compass? If not, should it?"

One of the most practical, blog-friendly tips for any parent that came up in the conversation is to look up the text of the lyrics of songs that their children might hear that may seem alarming. The Original Hip-Hop Lyrics Archive is an ambitious online project that archives hundreds of popular and underground songs alike, all searchable by artist.

It's only the first of many discussions and projects to come for a great, yet woefully underexplored subject.


Blogger Damali said...

Congratulations...i can only imagine what a wonderful feeling that is and i hope to experience it one day. I know i got a book inside me but just have no idea how to get it out.

I've written before; a screenplay. 75 pages. And i've also given birth to 2 children. I don't think i have to tell you which 'birth' was more painful. I cried more during the writing of that script than i did at either of my children's birth. Writing was SO HARD. so my hat is off to you for real. Cuz i truly don't know if i could make that journey again.

12:51 PM  

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