After four years since the blog began, never has it been this idle. We've always run into the very objective problem that we are first and foremost organizers. Though when Rob and I started the blog, we were taking a break from organizing to assess our political perspectives. Under such conditions, there's time to focus on cultural questions and being that we were both part of a local hip-hop "scene" and considered ourselves as part of the hip-hop generation (and still do) we were partly trying to validate a broader hip-hop that we felt was misunderstood by this scene and that had implications for the political content of a future movement. We thank C.L.R. James for that.
LBoogie's subsequent partnership with the blog two years ago helped to steer the blog in a more politically coherent direction, and as I began to organize again with her, as a place to consider the relationship between culture and organizing.
On both accounts, I think we've made our point. We have proven (not in words but through practice) the contradictions of conscious hip-hop, the value of popular hip-hop, that the contradictions of hip-hop music taken as a whole express the contradictions of our generation and that a change in the music MUST be based in actual organizing and movements, not by making radical hip-hop as the hip-hop Feuerbachians postulate. Yet, we have (or maybe I have) broken with the entertainment industry as completely subordinate to the will of the masses, that it is propelled forward by its own internal impulses and that those who dis "the industry" are simply conservatives, but are legitimately critiquing monopoly capitalism.
While we're both too busy these days to both keep up with the debates within hip-hop and to try to flesh them out in writing and, after all, it isn't really a blog when it only gets updated once every two months, fundamentally I feel like we've satisfied what it was we set out to do.
So, while I won't say we'll never post anything again, what I will say is don't expect anything. As it is, it can serve as an archive or resource for others who are thinking about what hip-hop means, who the hip-hop generation is, what are its politics, and what does hip-hop politics (not political hip-hop) look like organizationally?
On a personal note, I'd like to see less cultural revolutionaries and radicals and more organizers. Cultural work is important but it cannot be a substitute for building fighting organizations and campaigns. Those existing hip-hop organizations are too tied to foundations and the Democrats and so their politics are painfully liberal. Ironically, they are actually doing more than those that are making political hip-hop music. The other kinds of organizations are purely cultural, perhaps tacking on "social awareness" or a type of political education to teaching the arts of hip-hop.
There is not a damn thing wrong with that. It reflects a larger problem of a politically demobilized people. So while I hope to see hip-hop political organizations that forefront organizing and building campaigns and putting forward demands on bosses and college administrations, right now I'm trying to build with anyone who's willing to fight, whether they identify as hip-hop or not.
I love and have always loved hip-hop. I don't think hip-hop is dead. BUT, if hip-hop does "die," I will be the first to acknowledge it. For there is no culture but a culture born out of resistance to oppression and hip-hop's death will only make way for a more richer cultural form if hip-hop is proven to be incompatible with the social movements of tomorrow. But I'm not gonna sit around and wait for that to happen. I'm gonna seize the time and be a part of that which will be the basis for such a form.