"Finding the Balance"
Growing up in the early to mid 90's, in what is now known as the Golden Era of Hip Hop, there was more to the music then there is today (in my opinion). It seems as the music becomes more and more diluted in content as the decades pass but yet you have the few that hold root to some of the important yet unfortunately fading elements of the music genre. Even in the era that I grew up listening to Hip Hop there was a feeling of disapproval from the original fans of HipHop's birth of the late 70's- early 80's. The people that grew up when Hip Hop first originated felt a way about the new overly gangsta/bravado rap that was emerging in the 90's just as the fans of the 90's may have somewhat of a distaste for what is being put out now.
The game is being categorized now a days into 2 types which I like to call Pop nonsensical (made up word, you can use it) HipHop and Substantial (Honest) HipHop. They both have their ups and downs but the perfect remedy is the balance between the two. You have that non intellectual ignorant gangsta just make you "dance to the tough beat" hiphop and then you have that introspective make you think about societal and personal trepidations.
I'm overall picky in anything that I like especially when it comes to music but when I pick I can usually defend my stance on why I feel the artist is good, people may not like what I have to say or agree with everything I say but I think that we can always agree on that I do have a point.
My "pick" or arist that I'm showcasing is an artist from the Bronx by the name of MeKobane (1/2 of Prymetime/ shout out to Forkast). MeKobane is a rarity in that he carries the balance that I previously spoke about in the sense of his rap style. What I appreciate about his style is that it down to earth, something we can all relate to, its him, its honest. His rap is not at all astronomical out of this world lyrics and persona that becomes difficult for us to fathom. 'Kobane makes you feel as though he is as one of us, we can relate therefore we can feel. Music, to me at least, is about taking us through an experience by playing with our emotions and so if we can't feel the music then there is no attachment to it.
A couple a months ago I had the honor to be on the set of his video "The Balance" which is his single for his latest mixtape/Street album called "The Transition". Despite it being a very very cold sunny Saturday in March, the energy on set was extremely warm and positive; 'Kobane stated that is the way he likes to keep it. He said that the people you keep around you are important. "you have to make sure you have no 'yes men' in your crew, my peoples have to be able to tell me how it is despite of how I may feel about it." His people are there to "Balance" him.
The video is a commeroration to the renown civil rights and social activist Malcolm X and the creation of the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Education Center which exhibits different artistry showcasing Mr. X's life and milestones (http://theshabazzcenter.net/). The video came just in time for Mr. X's birthday of May 19th, where he would've been eight six years old.
I didn't get to stay for the whole video shoot due to prior obligations but I was there long enough to chop it up with 'Kobane and his crew. It was remarkable to see the video and how it all came together in the end. I have a greater appreciation for cinematography and video/movie directors because of this video. One doesn't consider the long hours and days that it may take to get the right shots. Shout out to the video director Mr. Les Davis aka Johnny Fresh (http://www.facebook.com/JonnyFreshProductions) and the photographer Mr. Clark (http://www.prototypeimagery.com/) on set. Hope you all enjoy the video and song as I enjoyed being a part of the whole process...
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"The Balance" video off "The Transition" album
Here is another MeKobane past favorite: