Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Buddhism and Hip Hop?


I am really busy at present with other projects so am left to squeezing out a few short novalties once and a while. If you follow this blog and are waiting for the second part of Right Effort. I'll get there eventually. For now, there's this...

I love Hip Hop. Have done since my teens growing up in a peak period of its development in the 90s. For those who can’t stand it for its violence and glorification of guns, etc, don’t be too quick to judge. Hop Hip just happens to be one of the most creative, and original artistic forms of the last 30 years. Amongst the ego-trippin’ you can find some real gems. You can also find some Buddhists!
Below are two links to interviews conducted by the Shambhala Sun Buddhist Magazine with two rappers, one a Buddhist, named Born I Music, and the other a sort of Buddhist. He’s actually more famous, his name’s Rza and he produced the soundtrack for the film Ghost Dog , quirky film by Jim Jarmusch that interwove the story of a black Samurai in Brooklyn who liked to quote from the Hagakure. He has recently been acting in Californication alongside David Duchovney of X-Files fame, who also has dabbled in meditation himself at a Zen monastery. Buddhism is really getting around!
There are also two links to tracks by Born I Music. The first one is better musically, but not so Buddhist. The second is less rappy and was made in aid of Human Rights and covers some Buddhist themes.  Enjoy.

Born I Music: One. In Aid of human rights.
Born I Music: All I want is you. Pretty good track. 

And, if you're feeling brave and a little out of sorts, here are a couple of links to truly beautiful music that comes out of the hip hop genre. Open your mind and play on... 

J Dilla - Won't do
Jeru the Damaja - You can't stop the prophet

"I leap over lies in a single pound
[who are you?]
The black prophet
One day I got struck by knowledge of self
They gave me super scientifical powers
Now I, run through the ghetto
Battling my arch nemesis Mr. Ignorance
He's been trying to take me out since the days of my youth
He feared this day would come
I'm hot on his trail
But sometimes he slips away because he has an army
They always give me trouble
mainly Hatred, Jealousy and Envy" 

Jeru the Damaja 


  1. Thanks for painting hip hop in a less than negative light. Born I Music is cool and the interview with Rza was surprising.

    1. I love hip hop, but am pretty much unable to enjoy the guns and bitches fairy tales still spun by a lot of angry rapper: It's a very adolescent theme that's tired and old by now. Refined rap such as Madlib and his Quasimoto alter-ego are awesome and Gangstarr still impress.

    2. Great article, here is some scholarly research on a big connection between Hip Hop and Buddhism -