On the Soul of Hip Hop

October 2, 2007 at 11:57 am 2 comments

Since I wrote about the corrosive right-wing hack Ann Coulter in a previous post, I want to give some play to the brilliant Rev. Michael Eric Dyson. Rev, Dyson not only runs intellectual rings around Coulter, he has a messaged focused on uniting us across our diversity that is far more powerful than the message of division spread by Coulter and her right-wing acolytes.

He is a professor of theology, English and African-American studies at Georgetown University and the author of 14 books including his most recent effort No What I Mean: Reflections on Hip Hop.

I had the great fortune to meet and have a short conversation with Rev. Dyson a few days ago after his appearance his before Congress at a hearing on hip hop. Our conversation range from images of women in hip hop to the MoveOn “General Betray Us” ad to equality for LGBT Americans. I was as giddy as a straight teenaged girl meeting Justin Timberlake.

Jay-Z provides the introduction to Rev. Dyson’s book and has this to say about the man known has the “hip hip intellectual.”

Dyson came up from the bottom and told those on top what was up. He turned a light on our situation in this country and then he threw down a rope to lift us out. He started out translating between “us” and “them” and now he’s helping put together a world where there is only “us.” How many folk out there can talk about pimping in terms laid out by Hegel? Or use Kant to explain the way that prison fashion moved from the cellblock to the city block? Dyson drops the names of philosophers and scholars as easily as he does the names of artists on the latest mixtape moving dance floors in the clubs. Michael Eric Dyson has taken modern urban life seriously and brought the tools of so-called legitimate society to bear on a place that too many dismissed as unworthy of attention. Just by mentioning these cats in the same breath he levels a playing field that has always been tilted. He tore down the last “whites only” sign in the university and let all of us rush in to hear what the ancient teachers and scientists had to say. 

Here is Rev. Dyson in an interview with Matt Lauer on the soul of hip hop and hip hop’s place in American culture.


Entry filed under: Advocacy, Entertainment, Liberals, Media, Music, Pop Culture, Race, Video, YouTube.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. proudprogressive  |  October 2, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    This may be a little out of left field..forgive me thats where i live..

    I am heartened that Russel Simmons came out in support of Dennis Kucinich. This power cannot be under estimated. I was thrilled and even did a post on it. Kucinich is the only true friend all humane humans really have on the candidate panel.. he lagging behind horribly because he takes no corporate donations.. This is not meant to be a PSA, but if we really want change..he is the man ..Obama made 19 mil in this quater to Dennis’s 1 mil. sadly. Obama does get it to a degree, about the need for federal legislation etc..but i fear he is susceptable..to the mighty shark powers that be.. He is also kind of on the war wagon..which may be from money and peer pressure..I have done posts on him as well.

    I want our rights , our unity as humans against the corporate elite.
    Hip Hop is the greatest force now for mobilizing and franchizing many who are alienated and not participating..

    fondly – PP

  • 2. Alfred Collins  |  October 7, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Check out Instrumental Hip Hop Music by Soul Of Hip Hop the New Trend in Hip Hop Music.At most Digital Music Stores like iTUNES,NAPSTER,YAHOO,etc..


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