Losing My Religion
If you’re anything like me, you feel like Rap kinda sucks right now and has for some time. Or maybe you’re one of those people who think there’s a difference between Rap and Hip-Hop, in which case I would tell you that you are correct, but only because Hip-Hop embodies an entire culture. That said, the music you refer to as Hip-Hop is really still Rap music. But anyway, this article is about neither of those.
For me to say Rap sucks is sorta sacrilege because, without a doubt, at one point in my life Hip-Hop was religion to me; my religion. And just like with the organized religion I was rose with, it seems that along the way I lost that shit…..but that’s a different convo. Around the same time I started to become unmoved by Rap, I discovered this…..this thing. It was so pure, so powerful; heavenly even. It didn’t seem of this world by any means. The sound was so familiar yet arranged in a way that was alien to me. “What the fuck IS this?!” I asked myself. What I was hearing gave me feelings that I couldn’t explain. Actually, I still can’t. What I was hearing spoke to my body, my spirit, and my soul like no-thing or being ever has.
It was like 05, my freshman year of college in a school I was only at to play ball in a town that had absolutely nothing for me off the field. The only perk was the fact that the school I was at provided all of its students with brand new laptops and free WiFi. This is also back in the days when Limewire was everything and gave me access to an unlimited amount of movies, music, and pornographic content; viruses included. It was at this point that it all started.
In my never ending quest for new music and being in a state that had very limited access to the shit that I liked and loved, I spent countless hours on Limewire trying to find new music. Stores to buy cds were phasing out at this time too. This is also around the time being a Backpacker became a thing in the Hip-Hop community and there’s no denying that I was one of those kids. Everything from Little Brother, to Dead Prez, and Binary Star, over to Can Ox, Doom, Immortal Technique, so on and so forth. Those of you that know, know! Anyway, I stumbled on this new found sound because of Zion-I. After coping their latest at the time, “True & Livin,” I started diggin up their older joints and stumbled on Metropolis from the Mind over Matter album:
I already told you what this find did to me but I still didn’t know what it was. What I was hearing transcended what I knew Hip-Hop to be and I needed more, but “the fuck was it?!” I’m kind of an elitist when it comes to music, so as far as I was concerned my taste was far superior to those I was around at that time so I couldn’t ask them for help. Nor did I feel like they would even be able to appreciate the music for what it was because when you’re from TX or OK and Black, chances are you only listen to a few different types of music and wouldn’t fuck with this anyway. I had no choice but to keep digging.
I got a little warmer when I went back to listen to Bahamadia’s BB Queen album, which I had grabbed a while earlier but may have just skimmed through. I was probably backlogged or something and couldn’t sit down with it. Nonetheless, top 3 female Rapper to me. Pep Talk from that album was another game changer:
Again, so familiar but at the same time unlike anything imaginable to me at this time in my life. I eventually came to the conclusion that what I was hearing was called Electronica. But, after some unsuccessful searching I realized this wasn’t exactly true. Electronica is an umbrella term for all forms of electronic music and is very similar in usage to EDM. Kinda like Hip-Hop but on a more grand scale. A good amount of of electronic music doesn’t fit in one box or category, so most can get by with calling it EDM…..just know it’s deeper than that.
It wasn’t until Fall of 08 that it dawned on me: what I was listening to was called Drum and Bass. Comprised of many of the same elements that Hip-Hop came out of, DnB, as fans of the genre call it, abducted me immediately and gave me the keys to a whole nother galaxy. And as cliché as it is, DnB changed, saved, and elevated my entire existence.
Drum and Bass is Jazz. Drum and Bass is Reggae and Hip-Hop in the same bag. Drum and Bass is Soul and Funk mixed with breakbeat science. Drum and Bass is Black!
In its roots and at its core, DnB is as multi-dimensional as we have the ability to be. I like mine Liquid, a sub-form of DnB, most of the time. Also known as Liquid Funk, Liquid DnB has those real soulful, melodic, chill, take-me-to-another-place type vibes.
The father of Dubstep, you also have the Big Chune dem or Jump Up DnB that’s a lot more heavy. One might turn to this for a high energy workout or to rage or whatever. Proven to raise your one rep max in any lift by 10lbs.
And then we have Jungle. First coming about in the mid-90’s UK Rave scene, Jungle is generally pretty snare and bass heavy, almost erratic in arrangement, and usually has (at least in the earlier days) some form of roots reggae sample or undertonage. Jungle also captures the essence of what the MC used to be, IMO. Peep:
Dnb, to me, is the father of newer forms of electronic music like Dub Step and Trap music, which has/had gained a tremendous amount of hype over here stateside within the past ten years or so. “Hype Still Kills” though, so Dub Step seems to have gone back underground and what is considered Trap music now is Future and those guys…….that didn’t use to be the case. That said, Drum and Bass is a lot like Jazz as it’s really only for the Heads. Casual music fans may not be able to appreciate or see the beauty in it. And despite not ever blowing up in the states, it has been able evolve with the times, retain its integrity to a large degree remaining a very true to its original form, and even find me in a time that I needed it most. Dnb also served as a real life gateway for me to dig deeper into everything. No hyperpole.
If not for this gift, my mind would still be just as oblivious to how big our world is as many of yours may have been at one point. At a time in my life where I felt very much an outcast, Dnb took away the last shit I gave about being different and forced me to grow in ways that I am forever grateful for. And because of that, we here at PNS believe it is mando for us to share this gift with all of you.
Allow yourself to be INUNDATED….
\\ Inspired by music that moves and dedicated to the life of Diane Charlemagne. Rest Up. //