Genta Tamashiro joins BrownTown for a drink as the group dives into the Netflix original: “The Get Down” and its uses in understanding the roots of hip-hop and its social placement from a historical context. From here, we critique certain misinterpretations of hip-hop and note that the genre has not always been mainstream and as a result isn’t criticized at the same degree as folk music is and as a result influencing the oversaturation of its genre. Hip-Hop is only one of many things that’s become oversaturated over the last few years what with the growth of technology and the exposure to anything and everything from our iPhones.
Dave Chappelle exposes that as, “the hallmark of [our] generation, and that’s fucked up, because [our] generation lives in the most difficult time in human history. This is the age of spin. The age where nobody knows what the fuck they’re even looking at.” Just as comedians like Chappelle help ground us back into reality, true Hip-Hop is ever growing. Mainstream artists like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole’s have managed to keep the spotlight on the genre with recent albums like “DAMN” and “For Your Eyes Only” in which the rappers examine their lives, their peers’, and their respective ecosystem. Within their discography BrownTown tries to discover if their music is simply “conscious rap” or calling to action as Charles Preston promotes in his article: “Trump is here: Will Mainstream Rappers Punch Nazis?” At the end we understand that, whether calling to action or simply reacting to their environment, both artists seek to empower themselves and their audience through their music by staying true to hip-hop elements, continuously experimenting, collaborating, and, of course, spitting fire bars.
Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Genta is a creative devotee of the artistic community. He attended the specialized magnet school Denver School of the Arts for middle and high school, which gave him a solid foundation in musical performance and theory as well as an introduction into audio engineering. After spending some time in Hawai’i at The University of Hawai’i at Manoa, he moved to Chicago to pursue a career in audio engineering. Genta received a Bachelor or Arts in Audio Design and Production from Columbia College Chicago in 2015. Through his freelance audio work, he has traveled around the country and the world with notable bands such as the Becca Kaufman Orchestra and The Way Down Wanderers. When he is not running the sound for a band somewhere, you can find him producing his own music or editing podcasts for SoapBox (more on Episode 27) and other creative organizations.
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