“Never try to impress the United States by being like the United States,” Chuck D. quips. “They don’t even know what they’re doing.”(The Daily Star/ Mohammad Azakir)
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For Chuck D, one of the United States' pioneering forces of political rap music in the 1980s, the goal should be embracing the latest in globalizing communications technology, while keeping things simple and true to one's local roots.Chuck was in Beirut to deliver a talk at the American University of Beirut on hip-hop music and global culture Thursday, hoping to relay the message that aspiring artists in this part of the world should remain firmly rooted in the local.In hip-hop's early years, he notes, rappers and musicians in other countries might have been focused on getting heard in New York City. It's a migration that Chuck promotes himself, through a series of Internet platforms such as rapstation.com.He is impressed by the hip-hop output emanating from non-U.S. rappers, and downplays the idea that the genre inevitably gravitates toward generating "thug" music and hate-based content – whether directed at women, gays or ethnic groups.Chuck finds the phrase laughable.Chuck also wants to relay the message that, while individual talents are just fine, the world of hip-hop could use a lot more in the way of collective efforts, and the old-fashioned concept of the multi-member band.
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