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The Great Weezy Debate: Professor Elemental's Introduction

I have taken on a debate with Professor Elemental about the literary merit of Weezy's lyrics. My opening remarks, of course, are the book. 

The Literary Genius of Lil Wayne: The case for Lil Wayne to be counted among Shakespeare and Dylan
Paperback • iBook  Kindle

After reading the book, Prof. Elemental (http://www.professorelemental.comhttps://twitter.com/prof_elemental ) began sharing his thoughts. 

but before we get to The Great Weezy Debate, I give you Prof. E's opening remarks:

"Professor elemental's introduction:

I have been emceeing for bloody ages. When I was a teenager, it was mostly to my cat and / or little sister, in my twenties it was to other emcees and tiny local hip hop audiences. While in my thirties, it has been to an audience broader than I thought possible, in venues all across the world. Along with being an emcee, I am also a card carrying nerd. If I like something I want to know ALL about it- the samples in the track, the politics that inspired a particular song, the producer and their link with the rapper on the track…everything.

Maybe it comes from being so far removed from the genesis of where most Hip Hop comes from. The small Suffolk village I grew up in couldn’t have been further removed from the Bronx, Compton or Detroit. Like so many middle class white kids, I first adopted Hip Hop partially as a form of ‘safe rebellion’. I wouldn’t want to live any of these rappers lives, but just playing NWA was the perfect early expression of teenage angst, without having to go out and actually get arrested for anything.

But it wasn’t JUST that…  the link to the soul music from my Dad’s record collection,the range of styles, the elaborate storytelling & wordplay, the introduction to racism, politics and counter culture, Hip Hop has woven itself into every part of my life. I am now extraordinarily proud to make a living emceeing and make sure that I give back to Hip Hop culture where possible by bringing it to people who might usually claim to hate it and teaching young people how to emcee.

To some I will always be, in the words of R A the Rugged man, ‘just a white boy ruining what blacks invented’ and that is a position I can completely understand. The fact that I have taken rap on a journey in steamship while wearing a silly hat, is probably too much for some people to bear. I like to think of myself as Lord Jamar’s* worst nightmare.

Likewise, this debate between a middle class white emcee and a middle class white college lecturer is probably making some people cringe themselves silly or ball up their fists with rage, (particularly in the States where Hip Hop seems a little less multicultural than in some places I’ve been lucky enough to experience it). If that’s you, please don’t bother to read what follows. Or comment. There’s plenty of things that you might like on the information superhighway, so go and enjoy those instead.

I should also add that my digs and attacks on Professor Kent and his works are borne out of pure joyous passion for Hip Hop and the way it’s presented. I was fascinated to see if lil Wayne really could stand up to critical study and was keen to fight the corner of emceeing in a formal debate. It should also be noted that music is highly subjective. For example, I do not argue that Professor Kent shouldn’t enjoy Lil Wayne. Some of my favourite emcees might be hard to analyse or have lyrics that might not bear intense scrutiny (ODB, MOP and the later works of legendary Biz Markie being obvious examples). Have a think about your own music collection, there are bound to be some bands or artists that you love, but you might struggle to defend. There is no argument to say that Lil Wayne can’t be entertaining and he certainly makes enough money from more people liking his music than I ever will from mine. But does that make him the best emcee? Does his work hold up in terms of technical ability, subject matter or variety? Is he better than the likes of Nas, Eminem, Jay-z or my talented emcee friends? That is what this debate sets to find out.

So, if youd like to see, once and for all, if Lil Wayne really is worthy of study like Shakespeare or Chaucer, if you’d like to be introduced to some great new music along the way and if you like a good argument by two passionate fellows, please read on.

Oh and if you want to comment, please do, but keep your tongue civil and your insults hilarious. If you are too rude or not amusing enough, you will be deleted and blocked. If you know anything about my music, then you should know I don’t feed the trolls.

 ‘I am deadly serious about us having fun’ – Michael Franti


 (*Lord Jamar is a founding member of the rap crew Bran Nubian, now sadly mostly known for being a grumpy old homophobe.)"

–Prof. Elemental (http://www.professorelemental.com ; https://twitter.com/prof_elemental )

Stay tuned for the first round of arguments!

KK

The Literary Genius of Lil Wayne: The case for Lil Wayne to be counted among Shakespeare and Dylan
Paperback • iBook  Kindle

Comments

  1. Oh man, Professor Elemental: me and Kent are gonna tag team your ass. You might wanna get Biz to come absorb the blows. Weezy baby! Modern Shakespeare!!

    "and everything get better with time, and time is forever, and motherfucker its my time and I'm better"

    -Mike Baglivi "the best songwriter alive"

    ReplyDelete

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