‘Da’ What is Hip Hop? – Zagnif Nori [Editorial]

Posted on August 6, 2013 by

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Day late but you didn’t think I’d let a week go without a new ‘Da’ What is Hip Hop, did you???  This week’s post is from up state New York emcee Zagnif Nori of Nobly Scity.  Hit the jump to listen to his grimy new album, read what hip hop is to him and check some videos while you are at it.

“I have been apart of hip-hop since the early 90’s. The age of hip-hop when the music was raw but intellectual, videos were simple and not flashy, and rhymes had a message that spoke to the people. Hip-hop to me is education, culture, life, influence, freedom and much more all intertwined. Hip-hop has taught me to increase the scope of my knowledge and understanding of things outside of my general atmosphere instead of being confined to what is around me. Hip-hop also allows freedom when writing and spitting lyrics and expressing your point of view.

In this era hip-hop has gone from intellect and creativity to ignorance and redundancy. It went from a culture to a business that is only concerned with making as much money as you can rather than producing classic albums. Artists are not concerned with making their work legendary status. On my album “The Meridian Gem,” I applied the thought process of making that dope classic album instead of looking for the quick cash in. I wanted to keep the real culture of hip-hop in my album by not just putting singles together but putting a cohesive and focused project together.

As for my region of Utica, NY there are no big-time artists. Fortunately, New York City is not too far away so the element is not far either. I remember the only local radio station playing that hard hip-hop in my area growing up was WPNR station. I can remember hearing “Criminology” by Raekwon for the first time on there and going crazy! Unfortunately, times have changed and WPNR along with other radio stations do not play anything I prefer to hear. The internet has been a good marketing tool in allowing you to listen to what you want rather than being confined to the same airplay of artists on the radio. It has now become the new movement for real hip-hop artists striving to keep the true culture of hip-hop alive.” – Zagnif Nori