A Beautiful day in the Hood

I was taking a lazy Saturday afternoon to relax unwind and be unapologetically ADOS! So I went down to my local Chinese Restaurant (a staple in the Black community -keep it 100!) ,got me 4 chicken wings fried hard and chopped (y’all know the vybe!), then sat down to begin my Ados Cinema Day!

And I wasn’t bull jiving either (luv my 70’s ebonics?), I threw on the Shaka Zulu Miniseries and binge watched the whole thing. After 12 hrs of wonderful cinema,I needed to stretch my legs a bit, so I went for a walk. I grabbed my headphones and went out the door.With my earpieces firmly in place and volume at the appropriate level (max). I started my walk.

As my random playlist of jazz, r&b and other ‘smooth’ sound tracks played I felt a sense of calm and appreciation for our progression as a people. A serene feeling came upon me almost euphoric. And I was proud to be black.

The Devil’s a liar!

As my walk continued through my neighborhood I was almost struck by a non-attentive driver ,who was on the phone and not paying attention.As is custom in NYC, I asked said driver their “mental capacity “ and presented to them a ‘flying animal’(ie: asked if they was stupid or something, then gave them the finger).

After that minor event I was still mad. Furious even (there is no way they didn’t see me,I was dressed very loud – it was Saturday,I was feeling bright leave me alone)So I did the only thing I could do to calm down. Play some music. Now I know some people may think I went back to my ‘smooth jazz + R&B’, so as to calm the savage that was building inside the beast.

I’m tryna knock a NI&&As lungs out!

But Nope!! I went straight to the gangsta sh!t. The most aggressive song I could find ,Nardo Wick’s ‘Who want Smoke with Me’ Remix ft Lil Durk,21 Savage, and G Herbo. If you have never heard this song before and are over 40 years old this might be the scariest song you’ve ever heard in your life. Could make you fearful for the youth honestly.But ya boy is 4eva young so I’m hip, and I LOVE THIS SONG!

This song is unbridled angst and rage! Nardo in fact starts the song with the bar “I’m try f##k a n!&&@’s lungs up!”.And I believe him. What’s so intriguing about the song and the drill genre as a whole is it’s SO VERY AFRICAN ROOTED. The Zulus of South Africa – Indlamu, (created by Shaka Zulu). Masai of Kenya – Adumu and the Ewe & Fon of Ghana – Agbekor  ,all had war dances. Violent music made to either get you hyped before the battle or to have a rhythm during the actual battle.

Masai Jumping War Dance
War Dance of the Zulu Tribe
King Shaka ordering his Zulu warriors to dance on thorny ground, 19th Century. 

“These competitive events were widespread in East Africa, where traditional society was characteristically organized into age sets.A well-known example is that of warriors, where the lives of men of that status were filled with music and dance as educational medium and as vector of a certain esprit de corps essential for combat and war . Internal antagonisms between members of the same age group as well as those between groups, were staged in the form of competitions in the ability to sing, play an instrument and especially dance.The polysemous nature of dance as an art form, as well as its amenability to social and political agendas, has been recognized early in the social sciences.

Thus, dance( or drill music) as an expression and a practice of power and protest, resistance and complicity, has been the subject of numerous analysis, particularly in the areas of ethnicity, national identity, gender and, less frequently, social class.

 Kahithe Kiiru of Centre for Ethnology and Comparative Sociology (LESC)University Paris – West Nanterre La Défense in ‘Formatting Dance Products and Forging Identities in Contemporary Kenya’

Fight the Power

In other words, its the ” fight the power” of the 21st century.These kids feel the crunch of the pressures of the powers that be ,but will not relent to it’s power.They may not have the discernment yet to know who or what it is that is hurting them or how to fight it. However they are mad as hell and not taking any shorts from anyone.So when Nardo says he wants to “F##k a N!&&@s lungs up”, take it as a metaphor for him not being willing to take the status quo without a fight.He just said it in a very AFRICAN way. We’ve been here so long I think we forget that sometimes.

2 thoughts on “Is Drill the most Afro-centric genre of Rap?”

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