As a strong advocate of hip hop, I talk about it quite a bit. Whether I’m conferring with other hip hop heads, or those who are not particular fans, I like to think that my love of great production and strong lyricism is infectious. I like to point out that, at its best, hip hop is modern poetry, and every bit as viable as beat poets like Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, or 20th century romantics like Dylan Thomas. If you’re looking for proof of this, look no further.

On their new album, Never Arrive, theBREAX, a hip hop crew/band based in southern California, deliver not only tight beats (featuring live instrumentation) and stirring lyricism, but also an aspect of honest, no-compromises spoken word poetry. Main group members, Ruslan, MicB and Beleaf are all spoken word poets whose work in that vein features in between several tracks on Never Arrive. If this doesn’t sound like your particular brand of soda, wait. In addition to being spoken word poets, they are also quality purveyors of hip hop.

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It is very safe to say that men do not have the position & influence in our culture they once had. When Beyonce declared that “girls run the world”, her statement was not met with a drop of opposition. All over the media men are emasculated, from sitcoms to talk shows. Other than ESPN, the voice of men in society has been reduced from a lion’s roar to a slight whisper. Even in hip-hop, the majority of topics that MCs divulge in (i.e.- sex, money, & prestige) are used to garner the attention of women.

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If you’ve listened to Christian hip hop for any length of time, chances are you remember, or at least have heard of, Uprok Records. For the uninitiated, Uprok was a hip hop based sub-imprint of Brandon Ebel’s Tooth and Nail records, and was responsible for releasing several landmark Christian hip hop albums, including Tunnel Vision by the Tunnel Rats. The Tunnel Rats were a huge crew, and some of their members had a tendency to get a little bit lost in the shuffle. Luckily, Uprok was good to the Tunnel Rats posse, and put out numerous solo albums from Tunnel Rats crew members. In 2002, one of those albums was Stop the Music by New Breed, a group consisting of brother and sister Macho and Elsie Ortega. Based on that album, and his contributions to Tunnel Vision, I knew that Macho Ortega was someone to watch. Add a comment
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