A new and positive look at Hip-Hop
Some people would like to say that people who listen to hip-hop music are the same people that “tear the club up,” “put their hoods up,”and walk around looking for trouble.
The same people generally think that hip-hop promotes violence, gratuitous sex, apathy, alcoholism, drugs, and disrespect toward females. They also believe that hip-hop influences our youth to pursue unrealistic dreams of expensive cars, 20″ inch rims, clothes, jewelry, and spending money on material objects.
If you agree that society in general and a lack of respect for people is what causes problems you may not need convincing that hip-hop has created a culture that encourages unity and intellectual thoughts. After reading this interview, you will get a different perspective on the positive results of the hip-hop culture.
We interviewed Izzaldin “Izzy”Alghani on the state of hip-hop and what its effect has been on today’s society. What makes Izzy an authority on the subject? Maybe the fact that he not only has put out a few albums with his group Holistic, but he also is the first person in the world with a B.A. in Hip-Hop Music from Indiana University that says he knows a lot about the subject. Izzy is the lead member of Holistic, a group who has headlined over 300 shows in the across the nation and performed with artists including Jurassic 5, Wyclef Jean, Fabolous, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Q & A
Q: What do you think about the state of hip-hop right now?
A: I don’t want to put out a pessimistic view, but I think ’97 was about the last year that good innovative albums came out After that it went downhill.
Q: Is there a difference between hip-hop and rap?
A: A lot of times you’ll see a big difference in peoples definitions because of a big turn in the industry itself. There were a lot of people who wanted to exploit the commercialism of the music industry and promote the “bling bling” lifestyle. Not to say that there is anything wrong with that because a lot of people back in the day used to do it too, but they were a little more creative and fresh with it. If you water it down like some of it is, of course it won’t be appealing and seem ridiculous. Then there are the artists who label themselves as “Underground”and pride themselves on not being on the radio and having the street credibility rather than glitz and glamour. They like to “keep it real” by listening to other underground artists, going to underground shows, and participating in emcee battles.
It’s too broad to really define, but as long as the practitioners of the culture still respect it, it’s hip-hop. As long as there is somebody breaking to a hip-hop beat, it’s hip-hop. As long as graffiti artists are inspired by hip-hop beats, it’s hip-hop. Some people just do it better than others. It’s all about your perspective. If you like music you like it. Music is one of the few things that can truly cross social barriers, except country. Just kidding.
Q: Why did all this happen?
A: It all really goes back to the basis of the culture, which is emceeing, breaking, DJ’s, rhyming, and graffiti, among other things. There was a day when you would think of hip-hop, but wouldn’t separate rhyming, emceeing, or breaking. It was like one in the whole. In the early 90′s there was kind of a separatist movement in the hip-hop culture partly because of the media and the mainstream acceptance of the music.
Q: You seem like a pretty intelligent person. Tell us about your education and how you got your degree.
A: I got a piece of paper from the establishment that says I know a little about hip-hop.
A: I have a Bachelor of Arts in Hip-Hop Music.
Q: Where is it from?
A: Indiana University
Q: What kind of classes did you take?
A: I learned about all the aspects of music from the business aspects to folklore, which tells about the roots of music, which are African American. Some of the classes were hands on like piano, drums, and bass. You learn the basics of how to play each of those instruments.
Q: What is your favorite instrument?
A: I was classically trained on the string bass and played in the orchestra for a number of years. I would have to say the bass is my favorite for the simple fact that it has opened so many doors for me. The bass keeps the rhythm for the whole orchestra so it somewhat controls the tempo so you have to hear all the other instruments. It all really goes back to the bass.
Q: Is there anybody else with a degree like yours.
A: No. I am the first. The original.
Q: In the world?
A: In the history of mankind and universities.
For more videos and music, visit the Official Holistic website at Holistichiphop.com