The era of the French revolution, the pinnacle of original ideas, gave birth to a theorist that explained the theories of the evolution of Hip Hop music, decades before the Grandmaster Flash teased his friend with the rhythmic mimicry of marching soldiers (Hip/Hop/Hip/Hop), way before Dj Kool Herc coined the title “father of Hip hop”, even way before the Griots of West Africa were given the duly-deserved credit for their rhythmic story-telling and poetry recitals that were supposedly, where Hip Hop music started. While Mc Melle Mel first called himself an emcee, a botanist, ex French lieutenant, and pioneer of the evolutionary theory explained the inception, evolution and eventual degradation of the Hip Hop culture, before Hip Hop music was even a minute dot in the thought pattern of the first rhyme writer. This great man was Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de la Marck, also known as Jean Baptiste Lamarck (1 August 1744– 18 December 1829). Though His theories actually explained the evolution of all life-form, his theories can be perfectly paralleled to what is now known as the Hip Hop culture. Evolution occurs and proceeds with natural laws and Hip Hop is no different.
Albert Camus said: “The only thought to liberate the mind is that which leaves it alone…” a clear description of a particular idea is one which rests outside the borders of the box that manifests around the idea. My involvement in Hip Hop and Poetry will be disregarded in this article and Hip Hop will be discussed as an entity that sits on its own on the mountain of expression.
Le pouvoir de la vie: The complexifying force
The rapid motion of fluids will etch canals between delicate tissues. Soon their flow will begin to vary, leading to the emergence of distinct organs. The fluids themselves, now more elaborate, will become more complex, engendering a greater variety of secretions and substances composing the organs.
– Histoire naturelle des animaux sans vertebres, 1815
From the first rhyme ever constructed by an emcee, through spontaneous generation, he or she will move up a ladder with “simple” and “complex” as its two extremes. However the fluids have to be in rapid motion constantly. “It is bad to stop, hard to be satisfied with a single way of seeing…” so the rapper looks for more ways to innovate his rap techniques and flow pattern.
L’influence des circonstances: The adaptive force
“The evolving organism moves up a ladder of progress into new and distinct forms with local adaptations. It could also drive organisms into evolutionary blind alleys, where the organism became so finely adapted that no further change could occur”.
In this day and age of stagnant flow and monotonous Hip Hop, have we reached the threshold? The only thing that awaits is: a finely adapted evolution into new forms, where rappers now branch into other genres of music, forsaking the originality of the art form and hoping for the best, or go back to the original state of Rap and move up the ladder. Just a thought!
“First Law: In every animal which has not passed the limit of its development, a more frequent and continuous use of any organ gradually strengthens, develops and enlarges that organ, and gives it a power proportional to the length of time it has been so used; while the permanent disuse of any organ imperceptibly weakens and deteriorates it, and progressively diminishes its functional capacity, until it finally disappears”.
The second law follows the first in a sense that any trait or “organ’ that either diminishes or is enhanced gets encoded in the gene pool of the organism and will manifest in their offspring. Simply put, the products of the organism will be carried over to manifest onto the next generation of that particular organism. The “music” that we produce will be the building block or the foundation of the next generation rapper. If we do not reflect fully or go back to perfect the already-existing foundation, “true” Hip Hop as we like to call it, will vanish from the bounds of music.
The validity of Hip Hop music as an art-form has reached its questionable state and Hip Hop music still remains the genre of “art” that mostly fails to meet the limits of its own standards. “Commercial rappers are yapping about yapping and underground rappers are rapping about rapping” – K’naan. The commercial rap scene has kept the masses in a constant state of delirium and air-headedness while the underground scene does not cater for the common man on the streets with issues to deal with as it caters for the other rappers only. We have totally lost the plot, and while the underground tries, Alice in wonderland is still in the dungeon and growing her from inside the “underground” hole will forever remain stagnant and fail to liberate the minds of the people and not just the rappers, which is who we do this rap thing for – the people. I did not start from the beginning of rap and these are views from a neutral observer. I still have a lot to learn, and any input will be taken from the point of a mind that learns through discussion.