Op ed

Abstract of the Book,The Tupacalypse

The primordial goal of hip-hop as an art-form was to unabashedly criticize all instances of man-made social evil and injustice. Hip-hop originated as a spontaneous voice of social reprimand against racism and colour bar. Its later renaissance as a musical form only helped to disseminate this message all over the world. Its presentation as music helped somewhat to present a somewhat clichéd outcry all over again, carrying the same message against racism and social polarity, but now lubricating facts with lyrics.

Hip-hop in contemporary parlance has shed the former rage that characterized it. It is mostly now about partying, revelry, and in some cases outright debauchery. This is evidently a dangerous trend. It all seems that the art-form has lost focus or has been trivialized for lack of what to say. Hip-hop stands in danger of going the way of reggae. Extinction stares it in the face, unless it recaptures the parent ideology that generated it, agglutinates its art-dimension to its socio-political goal, re-identifies its existential aesthetic purity, and utilizes its freedom in pursuance of its traditional humanistic objectives.

Hip-hop must perpetuate its existence through a proper marriage with and to the academia. It must seek legitimacy within the labyrinths of scholarship, must infuse its germinal seeds in futurity. Hip-hop must be recognized as a philosophy, a noble tenet, which, though was evolved ‘from the ghetto’, and in condition of race preservation, bears a noble imprint and fit for noble speculation. Hip-hop must be understood for what it is: a free expression of the possibilities of the human psyche forced under specific circumstances to vent its content in music and arts. A peculiar sort of art indeed!

It has therefore become pertinent to exhume history here and replay those sayings that formed the first beginnings in the formulation of this art-form. And one of the greatest prophets of the old school is Tupac Amaru Shakur. Till date his words and poetic inspiration baffle scholars who mostly nibble at the periphery of hip-hop philosophy and literature. Tupac is a life-world to be delved into and one tends to believe that the future of hip-hop lies with a development of ‘Tupacianism’ as welter of all hip-hop ideologies.

It is in the light of this that The Tupacalypse has been written. The book attempts to study Hip-hop philosophy from a core Tupacian perspective. Hence the chapters that make up the book reflect that same Tupacian nomenclature. There are chapters like The Artist, Tupacalypse, Makavelli, Thug Life, And The Word Came, Neo Tupacianism, etc. It is expected that a publication like this would represent both a tribute to Tupac, and an original African contribution to the growth of Hip-hop in the world. Hip-hop is a universal voice of consciousness venting itself freely in a unique musical art-form. This book brings radicalism to the understanding of Hip-hop and is potentially capable of influencing the study of same in recognized academia all over the world.

Book coming out soon. To learn more please contact Philip at philipobioha@yahoo.co.uk

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