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The Love is in The Interpretation: Rick Whispers

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: .

It’s been a couple years since the stigmatic shadow that trails Eminem’s legacy was once relevant and white MCs are still creating some of the most interesting and undeniably talented lyrical webs in the game. It’s not the color, but the introduction to the art that is what’s important however and in the case of Rick Whispers his starting point was skateboarding. I believe it’s fitting that skateboard culture continues to embrace such an art form as through its history it has generally embraced both punk and hip hop wholeheartedly, genres that tended to lift the nature of its song’s subjects from the streets.

In a 2005 interview with Urban Smarts Whispers explained this introduction, “Kids I know skateboarded so that’s what I got into eventually. Skateboarding in Albany brought me to the monument in Washington Park a lot and there were always kids freestyling there in the summer, especially during the festivals that they have there every year. After going there and watching long enough I just started getting into ciphers and battling.”

It’s that nature of one’s introduction and how one controls their influences that defines where they end up. Take for instance Whisper’s use of Black Sabbath’s “The Wizard” in his politically fueled “Vermillions.” The sample helps set a stage for which Whispers’ foundation has been built while his rhymes represent the modern interpretation of his environment, “The revolution will not be televised unless NBC’s got you all petrified.” It’s a strange allusion, but one sharply evident with situations such as the heated argument between candidates Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul during last week’s Republican debates. Before Paul’s words regarding terrorism could be identified and interpreted Giuliani blasted his criticisms and tried regaining ground by silencing the counterarguments with his inappropriate and overabundant anger. And the networks followed suit as Paul was bashed and called un-American and callous.

Fortunately, after people stopped to think about what was happening and rebuked the statements of the media, it was proven that people are not petrified, nor silenced; a fantastic change of pace considering the current administration and its monopoly on silence. That is hip hop, and whether or not that’s what Whispers meant part of the beauty is in that interpretation. Rick Whispers’ latest albums, Awed by the Backdrop and The Letters can be purchased or downloaded from his MySpace site.