LA Times: ‘Mongolian Bling’ rappers swing to their own beat

From the article:

Watching this documentary, it becomes clear that while there is much that is recognizable in Mongolian hip-hop, there are big differences. Trinidad James may boast about “gold all in my chain, gold all in my ring,” but Mongolian players are more interested in rapping about the destruction of Mongolia’s land by big mining companies, the country’s problem with alcoholism and corrupt politicians.

And there’s no american hip hop that focuses on consciousness? It is because hip hop is by nature socially conscious and positive that it has always had potential for a global movement. Most pop glam rap is useless outside of the entertainment industry, iTunes, billboard & MTV.

What’s more, this new music genre also dovetailed with the country’s ancient oral traditions. From the long-standing culture of song fighting, praise singing and various spoken word games, it wasn’t a huge leap to MC-ing. The Mongolian language itself, rich as it is in heavy, guttural sounds, seems almost custom-designed to be rapped over base-dropping beats. And, at a stretch, Mongolia’s tradition of khöömii, overtone singing in which the throat is used as an instrument to create two pitches at the same time, one a low drone, the other a high melodic note, could be seen as a precursor to beat-boxing.

When interviewed by Binks, Bayarmagnai, one of Mongolia’s last singers of traditional epics, even claims hip-hop began in Mongolia. He argues, “[Look at] the long songs of praise; even when we were kids getting into arguments… these [sing-song] intellectual debates to avoid physical fighting…”

I love seeing this, only Mongolian hip hop could do this.

Finally, let the Mongolian Emcees tell us like it is:

Despite all this surface bling, their lyrics are more down to earth. “There’s a lot of hype and bravado, bitches and hoes in Western hip-hop. Mongolian hip-hop is more grounded, more honest and raw,” says Binks. “They’re singing about the realities of their lives and trying to create change.”

Overall, an awesome article top expand your horizons beyond the suffocating entertainment industry paradigm.

LA Times: ‘Mongolian Bling’ rappers swing to their own beat


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