Han's Hip-Hop Report: Where Is The Love?
This may just be the hardest piece I have had to write, but I feel I have exhausted all other options in resolving our issues amicably. Some call it dejection, despondency, taedium vitae – take your pick. I suppose, however, you could call it an industry-induced inspiration deficit. It is not so much that I have fallen out of love with you, but that I see our relationship rapidly unravelling strand by strand or track by track, if you will. The true question is whether or not it remains salvageable...
I suppose it began with the dawn of the mp3 age. Even the hottest joints never sounded quite as good "digital" as they did on wax. The quality time has eroded into an excess – or even overdose – of your, at times, unwanted presence. The awareness of your inexcusable flaws and frustrating patterns of behaviour has become ever more present. In spite of this, the lyrically-induced eargasms have become increasingly scarce, to the point that I fear the ability to relate may have faded for good.
Honestly, it was the business that really hammered that final proverbial nail into the coffin. Working with you made our personal relationship equally strained. Whilst it is manifest that we are two conflicting forces, travelling in our separate directions, that’s not to say that there are no hopes of reconciliation. The passion that once burned so bright may have dulled, but the sparks of creativity remain, to an extent.
At the risk of sounding clichéd, I gave you all that I had to give and, frankly, I deserved better from you. That being said, we have had some beautiful times. Many said we were good for each other; perhaps they have a point. Together, we have reached lofty heights and emotional lows. The criticism, however, always came from a place of love and a belief in your potential to progress.
To be frank, what was most inexcusable was the lack of loyalty. Despite, at times, having to let other priorities take preference, I always remained unfailingly faithful. You, on the other hand, were unable to distinguish between the array of ass-kissers and the honest, well-meaning renegade writer. What can I say? I did my best for you, but you seemed unwilling to reciprocate. Constructive criticism seemed a less attractive proposition than the incessant wave of insincere praise. Forgive me for favouring progress and self-betterment.
Please accept this letter of grievance in the hope of reaching a mutually-beneficial solution. Perhaps we will reach the twilight of our years together. You will, however, always be my first true love and despite our respective flaws and I sincerely hope we'll never fully part ways. Just give me one good reason to rekindle our relationship and I will, most likely, happily oblige.
The reason I felt compelled to write isn’t so much the cathartic nature of putting ink to page, but rather in solidarity with the numerous artists and professionals in this business that undoubtedly empathise. The real irony is that sometimes we do not appreciate just how mutually-dependent or beneficial our relationship is until the cracks have begun to appear.
At least we seem to share one piece of the proverbial common ground: the fearless self-expression that initially facilitated our success and may well contribute to our downfall. Anyway, enough with the Hamletian musings of a writer close to the edge – I will make you one final proposition, Hip-Hop: I shall rise to the challenge and re-ignite these old embers of creativity, if you can...
Words: Hannah O'Connor (@HipHopSuperhan)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)