Respect and The Art of Rap
Ice-T: Why do you think that rap music … doesn’t get the full respect of jazz and blues?
Marley Marl: I think it’s because we’re not banded together like jazz and blues artists. You know, you’ll see reunions with jazz and blues artists. I mean it’s starting to happen now. We’re starting to realize it now. But you see blues artists, they have love for each other…
Basically when we start respecting ourselves and showing homage and getting up there and winning awards and saying “I’d like to just thank Grand Master Flash. I’d like to thank Kool Herc for even starting this so I could be here getting this.” Once that happens and we start showing compassion for the people before us that’s when we’re gonna have respect like that.
I sat down last week and carved out some time to watch Ice-T’s ambitious hip hop documentary, “Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap.” For some reason this short clip with influential DJ and producer, Marley Marl, was what really stuck out to me. It’s just a minute excerpt from the two hour film, but in it he argues this lesson–you need to give respect to get respect.
Extrapolating a bit, I think Mr. Marlon Williams strikes a chord with the idea that it’s not until we respect ourselves enough to recognize what we have been able to build on–whether it’s the roots of hip hop or the foundations for our own work–that we can demand the same respect of others.
Drop the entitlement and spend the time to better understand where you come from. It’s not like we’re really doing anything for the first time.
Pro-tip: If you’re interested, Art of Rap is currently available on Netflix Instant.