A couple days ago I posted the Hip Hop Mt. Rushmore painting of Jay-Z, Biggie, and Tupac with the question of who should be the final face on this mountain, and someone who will remain anonymous replied, “That Mt. Rushmore is blasphemy. They can title it the “Mt. Rushmore of the ’90s!” He began to break down the roots of Hip Hop and actually made a lot of sense! Read his response below and tell me what you think!
“The 90’s do not encompass all of Hip Hop. Tons of artists and actual pioneers are being disrespected. Living through the height of “The Golden Era,” Even I would not place these guys on a hypothetical MT. Rushmore. We are the only genre of music to “kill” our heroes. Even the Rolling Stones would bow down to Blues pioneers and Jazz legends. Without their contributions there’d be no Rock and Roll.
If you really want to dig into the birth of Hip Hop, you have to look first at what genres of music spawned HipHop. But if you are looking to name “Presidents” of the actual genre then the first face would be “Kool Herc” and Afrika Bambaataa would be next. BOTH of these DJ’s (because the culture was birthed and driven by DJs) were influenced by Blues, Funk, Jazz, Reggae, Punk, Electronica, Disco and World Music and Classical too!!!! Without the DJ there would be no Emcee! That Mt. Rushmore is Blasphemy. They can title it the “Mt. Rushmore of the ’90s!”
Also, what about label heads and executives? These are the folks that parlayed the culture into the realm of a viable business and product “brand equity” is a huge reason for the contemporary success of some of these “figureheads” for the mountain. Where would Hip Hop be without Def Jam, Tommy Boy, Loud, Nervous, Interscope???? We can’t continue to be the culture that throws away elder statesmen (and stateswomen) for the sake of evolving trends. Success is predicated by someone receiving the charity and support of others whether they be fans or predecessors. Someone is always standing on someone else’s shoulders. Not a one of these folks has done it on their own. If they say so they’re LYING!
Hey…if there’s no foundation…there’s no mountain… The faces of Hip Hop’s foundation should adorn that rock… Edify them!” ~D.