‘Da’ What is Hip Hop? – Jensen Reed [Editorial]

Posted on May 27, 2013 by


Jensen Reed is hip hopper from North Carolina.  Today, hip hop really allows people of all different backgrounds with their own story to come together within the culture.  Jensen takes influecnes from all kinds of genres to create music that’s got that “heavy, hard-hitting drums”.  Hear what hip hop means to Jensen Reed down below.

“Hip-hop has always been important to me from an early age.  The Beastie Boys and A Tribe Called Quest were some of the first artists that really resonated with me and made me explore the genre further.

Growing up in North Carolina, I was also drawn to Dirty South artists like Outkast and Goodie Mob because they brought a fresh sound that had not been heard before.  There was more musicality in the beats and choruses.  I’ve always been a sponge absorbing all kinds of music…mostly classic rock like Led Zeppelin and The Doors mixed with a variety of hip-hop and modern rock like Radiohead.

Hip-hop has taken an interesting path since those “golden years” and it’s one that I’m not too fond of.  The commercialization of the genre has brought a ton of mediocre artists writing cookie cutter lyrics about the same tired concepts…clubs, poppin bottles, money, fame, etc.  You know the drill.

I long for the days of thought provoking songs and true lyricism.  Fortunately there are a number of artists currently garnering mainstream attention that are writing original material.  KiD CuDi, Lupe Fiasco and most recently Macklemore come to mind.

It gives me hope that we are in a period of transition back to quality from the major label-manufactured pop hip-hop hits that all sound the same.

I take pride in crafting music that blends diverse influences into an original sound.  Whether it is a track with more of a pop or rock feel, the one thing that I consistently try to bring to the table is heavy, hard-hitting drums.  There is no doubt this comes from my early exposure to timeless hip-hop artists at the height of their careers. “ – Jensen Reed