Riddle: Let’s bring more hip-hop to Macon

May 9, 2014 

What do I have to do to get some hip-hop in Macon?

I know some of you (probably most of you) reading this are thinking, “What is he talking about? I hear rap music everywhere!”

I’m not talking about most of the songs on TV and radio. There does exist a form of hip-hop that has a high mindedness about it. It has artistic merit that musicians from other genres of music admire. That’s the type of hip-hop I am looking for, and it has been nearly non-existent here in Macon.

Notice I said “nearly.” There is plenty of noteworthy hip-hop getting made by local musicians. There’s Floco Torres, Doski Wo, Al King and 9th Gutta, just to name a few. On a regular basis, I hear people say they don’t like hip-hop but they like these guys. That means exposure to the right hip-hop music could result in finding out that you do indeed like hip-hop!

It’s so easy to exclude these guys from hip-hop because they aren’t what you are used to hearing, but you are only doing them a disservice by doing so. They are the result of years of listening to artists who inspired them and they want to carry that mantle.

The way music should work is that once you find something you like, you use it to find something else that’s good. This is true for every style of music there is. Here in Macon we get exposed to one branch of each genre of music and then have a tendency to think that’s all there is to it. The local rapper you think is cool when you didn’t think there was any type of hip-hop you liked can help point you in the direction of more.

There are names in front of you every day who have ties to a larger hip-hop community. When Jimmy Fallon became host of “The Tonight Show,” he brought with him a band called the Roots. This is a hip-hop band that has been making music for 20 years. Their loveable and funny drummer, Questlove is considered a musical scholar due to his record collection. I recently saw him DJ in Atlanta and it was amazing that a packed house could sing along to the songs he was playing all night long.

However, that same show in Macon would have been a failure because he was playing music that gets no exposure here.

We are limiting ourselves if we are to grow as a city known for its music. We need to start exposing ourselves to a lot of different types of music -- even hip-hop.

Contact Roger Riddle at roger.riddle@gmail.com.

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