Google Salutes the Birth of Hip Hop with Interactive Doodle
Google is celebrating the 44th anniversary of hip-hop today with an interactive doodle on its homepage. Kool Herc’s party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx 44 years ago is cited as the crystallization of influences that became known as hip-hop. Google’s keyword team spoke with Kevin Burke, Ryan Germick Perla Campos who are behind the doodle. They also worked with hip-hop legends Fab 5 Freddy who was the first host of Yo! MTV Raps and Def Jam logo creator and visual artist Cey Adams. Check out their story behind the doodle,
Keyword: How did you come up with the idea for this Doodle?
Kevin: I’m a huge Hip Hop fan. Growing up outside New Orleans, it was a part of my DNA-performing Hip Hop in my high school band, adding Hip Hop to my college radio station’s rotation, and working on the set of Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson” music video in my first job out of college. Hip Hop has been a constant thread through my life and I wanted to bring my love of it to a Doodle. I developed the concept for interactive turntables, showed it to my manager Ryan (also a fan of Hip Hop), and he lost it. He said, “let’s make it tomorrow!”
OK, so people were into the idea. But Hip Hop is such a big topic. How did you decide what to focus on?
Perla: From the beginning, we were thinking big. I mean, Hip Hop touches so many parts of culture but a lot of people don’t know much about its origins. So, we anchored the Doodle to the birth of Hip Hop, and wanted to celebrate the people who pioneered the movement. We hope to give them the voice and the recognition they deserve, which is what Doodles are all about-shining light on times of history that maybe you didn’t know about.
The Importance of Discussing Mental Health Through Hip Hop
Mental health is a touchy subject in the hip hop community. It’s treated almost as a don’t-ask-don’t-tell deal, so few artists have even touched the subject, but it might be one of the most important for these artists to touch.
So why is it a big deal? Suicide is the third highest killer for black youth. The rates for depression and attempted suicide are consistent (if not slightly higher than) the national rates. Suicide rates for young blacks has doubled between 1993 and 2013. Yet mental health is referred to as a “white people problem,” the black community tends to ignore the mental health issue so very little has been done to change that stigma.
There is not many people stepping up and speaking about mental health in the black community. However, there have been a few hip hop artists who have used their [highly shareable] medium and their platforms to speak up about their mental health in a powerful way.
The development of the Emo Rap subgenre has only recently taken place. Artists like Lil Peep and XXXTentacion are only just gaining more mainstream attention. However many artists have come before who have paved the way to the development of this genre.
It has taken a long time for hip hop to develop to the point of being able to discuss mental health. Most of the early days were more focus on messages about problems in the ghettos or about the luxury of their wealth. It wasn’t until the late 2000′s that “emo rap” began to plant its seeds into the hip hop community.
Kanye West’s 808′s and Heartbreak changed everything in 2008. It was also followed shortly after by Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon at the start of 2009. These two albums both put mental health at the forefront of their albums, these were the first big rap albums to have emotional lyrics about pain and loss at the forefront of the content. The production of these two albums utilized the elements of punk rock, 808s, synths, and auto tune that many modern artists like Lil Peep and XXX have been using in their songs.
In between Kanye and Kid Cudi other artists have sprouted up who have discussed the issues. The biggest ones being Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, and Tyler, the Creator. Kendrick has not been as up front as some of the previous artists have been, he brings it up a few times in several songs but it all culminates on u where he speaks about some of his darkest times in life. Tyler the Creator has been putting his mental health on display since his start even having a meeting with his psychologist Dr. TC (who if you couldn’t tell, is actually just Tyler himself) on his first mixtape and first big song Bastard. He continues to speak about his issues on all his albums too.
Why is it so important that songs about suicides like XO Tour Llif3 and Jocelyn Flores hit the mainstream and reach Billboard charts? Finally, people are beginning to discuss mental health in young blacks, and who better to do that than the young artists so many young people are listening to? X is only 19, Tyler is 26, and Lil Peep is 20, Kid Cudi was 25 when he released Man on the Moon, and Kanye was 31 when he dropped 808′s.
These people have a strong pull in the youth, and have been able to push the issues of mental health to the main stage of society through music. Be sure to also check out artists like Isaiah Rashad, A$AP Rocky, and Kevin Abstract (and Brockhampton) for more artists speaking up about mental health issues in their music.
[ARTICLE] Monsta X Talks Thriving on Diversity as K-Pop Band Embarks on Latest U.S. Tour
Two years into their career, Monsta X’s members aren’t new faces to stateside K-pop fans. Following appearances at KCON LA in both 2015 and 2016, the septet’s Beautiful in the U.S tour has brought them to six American cities as the latest, but not the last, Korean boy band holding solo concerts in the country this year.
Wearing black suits sparkling with silver accessories and effusing an air of muted excitement, Monsta X – Kihyun, Wonho, Shownu, Jooheon, Minhyuk, Hyungwon, and I.M – looked the part of a proper boy band sitting backstage at Playstation Theater last Friday night (July 14). Their first ever New York City performance was one of several sold-out nights of their U.S. tour. The band’s fans, known as Monbebes, came out in droves despite rainy weather, with lines wrapping around the block of the Times Square venue.
Though still a relatively new act, Monsta X has built up the sort of international support that has propelled many of K-pop’s recent top-tier acts to immense success. “The songs, the music itself has a lot energy, so that combined with our member’s teamwork is probably why fans are drawn to us,” said Jooheon, who has co-produced and written lyrics for the team.
Since the release of their 2015 debut EP Trespass, the septet has explored propulsive hip-hop and electropop on their albums and remained active with at least three singles a year. March’s The Clan Pt. 2.5: [Beautiful] topped the World Albums chart and landed at No. 10 on the Heatseekers Albums chart. Led by the percussive “Beautiful,” and followed up by the synth-driven “Shine Forever” in June on an album reissue, Monsta X blended melodic vocals with their typical rambunctious attitude. Both singles, like the majority of the band’s songs, were filled with rap and hip-hop elements, drawing on the genre the members feel suits them the best.
“Of course, it’s hippity-hop hip-hop” said I.M, the group’s English-speaking rapper. The five other members in attendance – Hyungwon was unable to join them on tour due to a health issue – nodded their heads in agreement. “All seven members really want to go back to our own color, hip-hop,” added Wonho. “Not that the newer songs aren’t powerful but there was a sort of energy from our earlier songs that we’d like to revisit.”
Selling their personalities just as much as their music, the members of Monsta X were chosen through a competition show back in 2015. Since then, they’ve showcased their diverse talents through television appearances and solo music projects. Shownu, who admits to being the most introverted member prior to their debut, appeared on a reality series attempting to break negative stereotypes about male skincare and cosmetics; Kihyun has added to the soundtracks of popular Korean TV shows; both Jooheon and I.M, who also writes lyrics for Monsta X, have dropped mixtapes and worked with other musicians in the Korean music industry.
Rather than distract from their group efforts, the side projects helps each Monsta X member develop as an entertainer. “It’s a very good opportunity to do our individual music,” said I.M. “Because I’m going to show what I like so that people get to know more about me and my intentions.” Jooheon agreed, motioning to the rest of the members with one hand. “Not just [Kihyun, I.M, and I] but the other members are going to also work to have solo releases so that everyone can know that Monsta X themselves, as individuals, have their own colors.”
Like the miscellany of members, Monsta X’s discography is hardly one note. Typical of K-pop, the group’s albums feature a variety of genre blending songs, with aggressive electropop and hip-hop dominating the overall pop sonic aesthetics. “Our albums right now explore a lot of different genres, like R&B, ballads, hip-hop, rap,” said Minhyuk. “Our future works are definitely going to keep doing that.”
And Monsta X has no plans of slowing down their whirlwind of a career anytime soon. “I don’t know exactly what we’ll do next,” said Shownu. “But we want to be able to come back to the fans as soon as possible with new music and concerts.”
[’Crazy’ Chart] BTS “Spring Day”, Chart All Kill + Digital Rankings.. Crazy Power
BTS has achieved an all-kill on the music charts with “Spring Day”. Also succeeding in landing consecutive rankings on the digital charts, they have confirmed their potential.
On February 13th at 6am, “Spring Day” climbed to 1st place on all 8 digital music sites: Melon, Mnet, Bugs, Olleh Music, Soribada, Genie, Naver Music, and Monkey3.
We also watched the included tracks “Not Today”, “Lost”, and “2! 3!” climb up the charts as well. Especially on Melon, “Blood Sweat & Tears” caught people’s attention as a part of the 10 tracks listed on the digital rankings.
Released at midnight, the title track for “WINGS Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone” named “Spring Day” trended worldwide after its release to show yet another side of BTS, implementing elements of British Rock and electronic sound to create this alternative hip hop song. The leader, Rap Monster, composed the main melody himself.
By black music, I’m talking about African American music; probably the only black music that’s recognized globally. Not just the music, but the dances, too. Now although it’s enjoyed, there are many people out there who despise the music as well as the dance, because of their prejudice against black people AND their culture. Sweet, right? Many people say that black artists’ music contains no substance, is extremely vulgar, and just straight up horrible. Now I know there are people who don’t really like jazz, rap, or R&B, for example, and I get that (I know black music is more than just those three but those are the most popular). I’m not into R&B that much myself (more of a rap fan). But there’s just something about, “Western artists aren’t real artists and their music sucks,” “Korean rappers rap better than any rapper in the USA,” and, “Hip Hop is just a concept” that ticks me the hell off, and I’m not even African American. I’m black, but from the Caribbean. My music and shit is different, but I do enjoy American music. This is just something I noticed and felt like making a post about it.
“Western Artists aren’t real artists and their music sucks.”
Bitch…Now we all know what kind of an idiot talks like that. Well, at least I do. It’s always Kpop fans that say that shit. I would say Jpop fans do, too, but I don’t know shit about Jpop or people who listen to it, so I’m going to stay mute on that. Anyway, a lot of kpop fans have this stigma against western artists (white and black people). Why? I’m not quite sure. I mean, a lot of their Kpop faves are inspired by the stage presence and hard work of Michael Jackson and the clear, almost perfect voice of Whitney Houston. Most Kpop idols aren’t even up to par with those late stars. These are facts. Name a Kpop idol that changed the dance game for the rest of our world.
Name a kpop idol that can hit more notes and hold more tunes than Miss Whitney Houston. I’ll wait. No, really, I’ll wait. *sits on bench with Dunkin Donuts coffee*
I honestly cannot stand when they say Western music sucks. Bitch, western music is versatile as hell. That radio shit? It’s just that: radio shit. We all know every Kpop group or idol whatever releases the most annoying sounding song in hopes that they’ll ingrain the annoying pop chorus of their songs into our brains. Everyone does it.
Bitch, if western music was so horrible, you most likely wouldn’t even know what a fucking Kpop IS. Kpop is a rip off of western music. Does “Blood, sweat, and tears” sound EASTERN to you? NO. That shit sounds WESTERN with KOREAN WORDS. No hate to BTS though. They’re my top bias group. Love them. The song is GOOD. But, it also has western elements. They got inspired. So…You know what else inspires Kpop? Rap music. The shit most non black kpop fans hate; which is odd considering they love GDragon, T.O.P, Zico, and CL (just to name a few mainstream rappers in Korea). They cream their pants when they hear these people rap, and swear up and down that they’re “cool”. 😐😐
Here’s what I don’t get. A lot of these Kpop fans find rap/hip hop horrible, but like when Zico raps. Okay, cool. Here’s the part that fucks me up: Zico once said something *along the lines of* “I got black soul.”
From what I’ve read, Koreans like to say shit like that to say they’re just as good as black people when it comes to probably anything involving dancing, rapping, and singing. Hmmmm….I’m not going to talk about how stupid and racist that is, because I’m sure that I don’t need to, but let’s talk about the fact that although it is completely fucked up, he’s still holding black rappers up to a completely high pedestal.
What I’m saying is: *Kpop fans, stop hating on music you hate but deem decent/civilized when people who have nothing to do with its creation, shaping, and molding prance around a stage spitting nursery rhymes. These same people are actually inspired by all those rappers you call trash. Stay pressed.* (You know, I’ll probably make a post about how in Korea they hold black people to such a high pedestal when it comes to talent PERIOD [stereotype us but think it’s a compliment], but dehumanize us and use blackface in their media).
I also hate when people use Hip Hop as a concept. A fucking concept. How is hip hop a concept? It’s a genre of music. These Kpop idols go out of their way to dress up (in horrible costumes) as “thugs” and exaggerate their gestures in music videos to fulfill their “concept.” They appropriate the fuck out of gang culture (that’s what people call it, gang culture). You know that also is just them stereotyping black people.
*it’s not a concept* I don’t get why a lot of people in Kpop just don’t dress up in whatever clothing suits their personalities and individuality when they’re using hip hop elements in their music. They use different elements in their music all the time, but when hip hop is used, they go out of their way to get dollar store dreads and plastic braids and appropriate culture. Then, the Kpop fans think it’s “cool.” Then Kpop fans speak for black people and dismiss their anger to defend their faves. Like, okay.
This is just one of the hardships us black Kpop fans have to go through. Just one. Many non black Kpop fans, as well as other black Kpop fans might read this and think I’m being a hater, you know how they usually do when a black Kpop fan points out racist bullshit. No ma'am. No. Just stating facts. This entire post is pure facts.
Until next time. This has been ya girl, Jay-C.