Family Tree PART ONE - Roots of Emcee

I start to think, then I sink
Into the paper like I was ink
When I’m writing, I’m trapped in between the lines
I escape when I finish the rhyme

The history of hip hop and rap culture has been somewhat lost, or misinterpreted as the years have gone by. Mainstream media has vividly displayed to the masses that hip hop is simply about flash, fast money, and sex, but the roots of hip hop is much more than that, and is best described starting with the people who pioneered it.

“Griots” | Photo Credit:

Starting all the way back to the “Griots” of 17th century West Africa. They were storytellers, historians, poets, and/or musicians. They would memorize and perform hours of song over drums and sparse instrumentation, as well as extemporize on current events, and political matters. Which is not much different to the storytellers of the modern age, who most people know as rappers; traditionally known as “emcees.”

Emcee or MC: “Master of Ceremonies”, “Move the Crowd”, “Mic Checka”

Tupac Shakur | Rest in Paradise

Mainstream television and radio are all about what is “trending”, and sucking every last bit of it until the next big thing. Today, it seems many rappers have the tendency to say the same fucking thing over and over again in the same song, or just say dumb shit in every line. Yet people give in to its “trendy” sound and categorize this as their "knowledge" of hip hop.

For example Chris Brown (I guess people consider him a rapper) on his song “Look at Me Now”:

Oops I said on my dick
I ain't really mean to say on my dick
But since we talking about my dick
All of you haters say hi to it

...The Fuck?

Eminem | “Why be a king, when you can be a god?”

Nowadays, due to the inevitable evolution of all things, hip hop has changed a lot since its golden days. However, there are still those who carry on the legacy of a true emcee who we can call a “rap god”, such as: Eminem, Nas, Jay Z and some young genius newcomers who are bringing fire to the scene like Big Sean, Childish Gambino, and Kendrick Lamar. Versatile storytellers to freestyle murderers; pick your poison.

There will always seem to be a misconception of the hip hop culture, as only about sex, violence, and drug money. The trials and tribulations no longer play a role in many artists songs, however, we will leave the ignorant folks alone and speak to the open-minded souls who understand that in the history of time, there has not been a stronger instrument for love or war than the use of words.

[Robmizzo + PrimaPhonix Blog]

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Carlo Aguilar

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