Open Your Mind: Global Hip Hop 101

Travelling is one of the greatest ways to enhance your perspective on life. But plane tickets can be expensive and very few ever get enough vacation days to travel. The internet has had some negative effects on humanity but one of its most positive accomplishments is bridging that gap between cultures on a global scale. Music is universal and can also cross cultural barriers, uniting listeners through melody. But what about lyrics? How can I enjoy music I can’t understand? Well sit back and relax as I dive into why you should still give music from other countries a listen even if you can’t understand a word they’re saying.

Hip Hop is not just an American thing and has spread like wildfire throughout the globe much earlier than we give it credit. Trap music has been dominating the charts not just in the states but in other countries as well. If you love the vibes and dirty base from Trap aficionados like Travis Scott and Migos then you really need to widen your horizons to artists outside the U.S. Although 88rising is an American based production company, their roster is comprised of some of the most popularity Asian rappers on the map right now. Higher Brothers and Keith Ape have both been featured on numerous tracks with American rappers like Famous Dex and Wifisfuneral. These banger generators don’t need an English feature for you to enjoy their music, however, and despite the fact that most of their music videos have English subtitles, listeners can still head nod to their catchy beats. Music in different languages requires you to look up the lyrics in English and although that means putting in a bit more effort, I highly recommend you try it

Before I get further into this I strongly recommend you subscribe to Colors, a youtube channel that is absolutely dominating the youtube sphere with new and up and coming artists from all over the globe. Their most recent session features an Italian rapper named Nitro who literally sets fire to the booth with some of the fastest bars I have ever heard. Let’s hone in on two countries in Europe that I believe are killing the hip-hop game right now but still haven’t made big enough splashes in America yet.

First up, France. Some backstory. I took a total of 8 years of French in school starting in Middle School. My school system was the weirdest out there, and we ended up taking 4 years of Chinese in elementary before we could choose between French or Spanish. When I first started learning French I was obsessed with hip-hop and because of this, my French teacher turned me onto MC Solaar. This man is a legend in the French rap game and for good reason. The boom bap production coupled with witty and punchy lyricism had me listening to this man nonstop. I could barely understand the words but it made me appreciate them more because I had to research them. It also made me appreciate the beats more because they cared the song for me on first listen without the lyrics deciphered. French rap has grown exponentially since the late 90s and has even adopted the trap wave so definitely, don’t sleep on artists like Booba and Kaaris.

If you’ve lived under a rock your whole life then you probably haven’t heard of Grime. I really don’t understand why British rap hasn’t exploded in America yet. British rappers have been killing it for years now but simply don’t get the acclaim they deserve in the states. Yes, their accents make it difficult to understand their lyrics but that really shouldn’t stop you from quality hip hop. Big Shaq made waves in the states due to his meme-worthy parody of Grime which I really thought would open up the floodgates for American hip-hop fans. Sadly I was disappointed and it seems like a lot of American rap fans are still in the dark when it comes to rappers from across the pond. I have had my eyes glued to British rap for a while now from underground to mainstream, from Kojey Radical to Tinie Tempah. But now, in 2018, I really believe there is no excuse for rap fans to ignore some of these artists coming up the pipeline regardless of where you’re from.  Not3s is putting out lovely trap and R&B infusions. Stormzy has been dominating the charts for years with bars of steel. In the same vein, we have Mist who just as heavy with lyrical bars and bangers. Some honorable mentions to check out are Dave, IAMDDB, and AJ Tracey. I don’t want to get into too many name drops because there are just too many names to drop. Go do some research. You will thank me later. Never let differences stop you from experiencing new things.

Awesome Totally Awesome - Freaks & Weirdos Boutique
ATA - DTK

Awesome Dropping

Awesome Totally Awesome - Temple Of The Dog

ATA Revisits The Classic, Temple of the Dog

There are few hard rock albums with packed with as much raw emotion as the stellar Temple of the Dog record.
Awesome Totally Awesome - Exile On Main Street

Rock Editor, Cam Maxwell's Desert Island Album: Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St.

I ask myself: “What record would I want if I was stranded on a deserted island?” The answer is the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St.
Awesome Totally Awesome

Fallout Gamers Already Planning Sick Days, Family Emergencies, Vacation Time, and Any Excuse to Work Remotely in Anticipation of Fallout 76 Release this November

Eileen, a luck 10 has plans to “Just wing it and miss three weeks of work.  I’ll cross my fingers and toes and hope I have a job whenever, I decide to return.”

Awesome Features

Awesome Totally Awesome - Stacy Kohut FOURLIFE

Stacy Kohut Interview: Four Wheels + For Life = FOURLIFE

I try to get 5 or 6 runs in the morning, then 5 or 6 runs after lunch. Its important to me to feel like I've put in the work, 'punched in' for the shift, when I ride. Makes the day have some more importance and meaning. A purpose if you will.

My Love/Hate Relationship With #Supreme - Photoshoot with @ymanibarbee @adore.eu and Essay

/
Like it or not, Supreme will always be the litmus for streetwear.  For old streetwear heads like me, there continues to be a love / hate relationship with Supreme.  About a year ago, I was driving home from work and one of the neighbor kids (usually dressed head to toe in Pac Sun or even worse, Dallas Cowboys gear), cruised by me, riding a Razor scooter, with a mohawk helmet, wearing a Supreme box logo hoodie.  I lost concentration and almost drove my car into the kids playing basketball in the driveway a few houses up.

Big Coats, Ain’t Nobody Got Space for That

So apparently oversized coats that make you look like you have a shrunken head, or Baymax from Big Hero 6, are in right now.

Awesome Trending

Awesome Totally Awesome Zen Hipster Douche

How To Be Zen Without Being a Douchebag

We live in a loud, obnoxious, ugly, and yes sometimes orange “Trumped-up” world. We all want a little more peace… a little calmer.

Malcolm Gladwell Sued by Shaq, Wallace, Jordan and Drummond

SHAQUILLE O’NEAL, BEN WALLACE, DEANDRE JORDAN, AND ANDRE DRUMMOND filed a joint lawsuit in Federal District Court against author Malcolm Gladwell
Awesome Totally Awesome Coral Fang

The Album That Was Always There: The Distillers' Classic The Coral Fang Turns 15

October 2018 marked 15 years since the Distillers’ “The Coral Fang” debuted. For many Distillers fans, “The Coral Fang” will always maintain its legendary status.