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How deep does this rabbit hole go?
on September 12, 2008
Never before have I encountered a work of literature that approaches Hip-Hop from this unique perspective. The Black Dot examines the current state of Hip-Hop and determines that the culture that was once a true and honest expression of Black life in the inner city is now just a mere facsimile (although distorted) of that expression. The idea that the art-form has been purposely co-opted is not new, however, The Black Dot utilizes an analogy to the movie "The Matrix" to creatively show readers the depth of the proverbial "rabbit hole" that is "The Matrix of Hip-Hop".
Hip-Hop Decoded consists of essays that range from pure research to highly speculative in nature. There are several eyebrow raising summaries that might be just at home in a science fiction anthology suggesting that readers be equipped with an open mind before taking the plunge into this imaginative work. Those already familiar (even slightly) with some of the ideas of the NOI or the 5% Nation(Nation of Gods & Earths) will find The Black Dot's essays ideologically reinforcing, but you don't have to be a subscriber to the above mentioned beliefs to fully embrace his ideas.
One might describe this book as a Hip-Hop collection of conspiracy theories quite possibly along the same lines as Francis Cress Welsing's "The Isis Papers". The Black Dot exercises IMAGINATION with a sampling of history and research to illustrate the hyper-reality that has consumed Hip-Hop with fake thugs, pimps, gangstas, ho's and the whole nine. Only those with an open mind need apply. "Hip-Hop Decoded" is definitely another salvo in the assault of Afrofuturist theory, but it's NOT to be pigeon-holed into an un-evolving creatively stagnant collection that fails to add anything new to speculative thought and imaginative theory.
I highly recommend approaching this book with the aim of gaining a unique perspective on the reason for the staleness of today's Hip-Hop music. Factually speaking, most of The Black Dot's ideas have yet to be proven, but there is no doubt that SOMETHING is killing the music that used to have some redeeming qualities to it. Hip-Hop Decoded is designed to "unplug" your attachment to what is represented as Hip-Hop on the radio, tv and magazines and inject a fresh creative outlook on the circumstances we find ourselves in in relation to the music.