The debt we owe hip-hop

“Wassup, dawg?” a young man asks.

“Keepin’ it real, G,” comes the reply.

“A-ight, man.”

A common enough exchange, and one in which we’ve all partaken at some point, even if only vicariously through our wireless sets. Yet the significance is lost on many, so stoic and understated is the delivery. “Wassup, dawg?” – an innocent question; childlike, almost. What, indeed, is “up”? But in a very real way, this question and its consequent affirmation are all that lie between the human race and oblivion.

For the “dawg” in question is holding the very fabric of reality together.

Depending on age, the average rapper can preserve the existence of something the size of a single room up to that of a city block. Tupac in his pomp was reputed to be holding together the entire downtown area of L.A., so real did he keep it. Brazilian economists say nightly prayers to Nas. KRS-One’s personal reality field is so great that manifestations of his dreams haunt his neighbours while he sleeps.

(“Morning, Mrs H. – world domination again, was it?”

“WHAT!? KNEEL BEFO-oh, I’m sorry. Yes, Mr Appleby, it was.”)

What happens, one might ask, when rappers neglect their duties? Overtaxed by “the chronic”, it is hardly surprising that these pillars of society might sometimes let their guard slip. What then?

It is then that Chris de Burgh emerges from the tomb to wreak havoc on mankind.

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