Reinventing the archetypal, comic hip-hop skit

Reinventing the archetypal, comic hip-hop skit

There’s been a recent move by artists to make skits that deal with the serious issues found within their work

7 June 2017  //  Remi Graves


There’s been a recent move by artists to make skits that deal with the serious issues found within their work

Photo by Clint Adair

 

Albums that I’ve had on repeat this year, and at different stages whilst writing for this residency: A Seat At The Table, Blonde and CTRL all remix the archetypal hip-hop skit, to focus on ‘serious’ topics (old school hip-hop skits, like Kanye’s, are usually not serious at all). Solange, Frank Ocean and SZA sew (phone) conversations with their loved ones into the fabric of their albums. Whether it’s Frank’s mum talking about individuality or SZA’s giving her ten pence about control, these ‘distractions’ are playful and intimate ways of addressing the themes in their albums. The off the cuff nature of the conversations, which are elevated to the status of art (by being included on the album) help validate the position of the mundane in our artistic landscapes.

Their ‘serious skits’ also reminded me of the role of the poet; I often find myself eavesdropping, writing down what I’ve collected from the airwaves around me and attempting to craft it into something ‘poem’ like. How can you include the asides, loose words you overhear on the tube, or rogue tweets in you encounter as a digital dweller, in your own poetic landscape? Can you find connections in seemingly disparate elements?

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