Hip-Hop Hooray?

Heard from two of you this week wondering when I was going to get back in the saddle, or at least the desk chair and post something again. Thank you for missing me! It’s been a mad June.  But here I am ready to share my son’s latest venture into cyberspace. Those of you who know me, obviously know him. Know that he’s a computer whiz and web genius. 

It wasn’t always so.  In fact his initial  peregrinations  into cyberspace were slightly disastrous. Eight at the time, he renamed every file on my computer — applications, word files, everything — “time to poop.” Only problem was he didn’t know how to undo, dare I say undoodoo? what he had done. I was ready to dis-ast him. It took two hours on the phone with a Mac techie (whom I forbid from laughing) before we fixed the problem.  El was too scared to touch a computer again until he was in 8th grade.

He made up for lost time, designed sites for businesses and friends and last year redeemed himself from the time to poop blunder by creating this beautiful site for his dear old mum.  

If you’ve been following me for a while you know about freeconnie.com, the very best of social action and social media. And now there’s another one, just launched with his friend Yoni — hiphopinspires.us. Hip-hop? Did I just write the word hip-hop? The idea behind the site is to share  hip-hop lyrics with geezers like me who think it’s only about  muhfuhs and misogyny.

“Mom!” he used to implore me, “Listen to the words! Get past the music and listen to the words.” Who could get past the “music?” But loving him as I do, I tried.  I really tried.  And when I did I realized he was right. Some of the lyrics were searing. They told a story. They  weren’t all about hoods and cribs but about the trials and tribs that unites us all. That can inspire us all.

 El and Yoni spent nearly a year gathering their favorite quotes, quotes that uplift, quotes that have spirit and yes, an edge. He and I discussed the not infrequent presence of the F word.  “Aren’t you defeating your goal by printing this word?” I asked “Aren’t you playing right into the prejudices of those who say hiphop is nothing but gutter talk?”

He and his good friend, Yoni, had long discussions about this.  Discussions about art and censorship. Discussions about the tension between bringing a new audience to hiphop and turning them away. They came up with a workable compromise.  

This site is simple and intriguing. You can save your favorites, post your own.  Selections can be downloaded from iTunes; all profits go to UCAN an organization Elliot volunteered for when he lived in Chicago.  I read the words to these freefall poems and many times am moved by the despair, determination, and urgency.  Not all connect, but many do. My favorite so far contains the line, “Who are you to tell me the world ain’t mine?”

Give a look a the site. It’s time to get inspired. Enjoy. And Elliot, you’ve come a far way from that time to poop afternoon. I’m prouda you. Very very prouda you. And who says you can’t teach old hips new hops?


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5 thoughts on “Hip-Hop Hooray?

  1. martin

    Loved the column and admire Elliot’s site. Needs to have it so it delivers the newest quotes directly to the computer without you having to do anything, like your website.

  2. Petula

    Very engaging, entertaining post and wonderful tribute and recognition of your son. Your site is beautiful and I’d agree that he seems to have come along way from time to poop. 🙂 Glad I stopped by.

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