Hip Hop is About Consciousness and Freedom.. Longtime ‘graf’ writer Refa1 drops Gems


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnHB9VSbmpY

Refa 1 is a first generation writer and longtime Zulu from Oakland who pulls no punches when it comes to speaking about the liberation and upliftment of our people. He came to our Hip Hop class at SF State and drop some serious gems for all of us to ponder as he explained what writing is about.
He noted that ‘grafitti’ is a media created term and it diminishes the artistry and spiritual essense of the craft.  He also spoke about the importance of establishing our own voices and to be wary of people who ‘document’ the culture but have no real connection or love for it. He warned that they are likely to exploit, malign and not show what its really about.
very powerful words..enjoy

17 comments on “Hip Hop is About Consciousness and Freedom.. Longtime ‘graf’ writer Refa1 drops Gems

  1. Just for the record “hip hop” is a media term too.. the word “graffiti” is actually a Greek word, and that predates the big bad corporate “media”… by what 3000 years? hhmmm… anyways, why all the outdated racial “stand up against the man” trip?..I’m just sayin’…

  2. Refa1 always has powerful and conscious insights. As far as “outdated racial “stand up against the man” trip”. Racially conscious political resistance will never be outdated as long as white supremacy, racial injustice and inequalities exist. Our movement is very young (although Afrikan people resisted from the first instances of racial oppression) in a country founded on white supremacy and colonialism. So this colonial position that it is “outdated” is just that, a product of the colonized mind. Keep doing what you’re doing brother Refa!

  3. The word graffiti has it’s roots in the language medu neter which precedes the Greeks by a 1,000 years. Just a historical correction.

  4. ^^^ Thank you for the correction, Adekunle, my point is that it’s not a “media” thing.
    I think Refa should keep doing what he’s doing, I may have my own opinions, but unlike many, I stil think he should still speak his mind.

  5. To quote this other guy:

    “He shouldn’t down the documentary “Style Wars”,  That movie showed a lot of Writers in the Bay Area the structure and idea behind Writing. He’s just one of the many bitter TOYS who didn’t get any shine in “Piece by Piece”. C’mon Refa! Man Up and tell the real truth!. Unbelievable! ”

    AND

    “Refa like the majority of Writers from the Bay Area have the whole history twisted. It started in Philly but evolved in New York. Graffiti was NEVER a Black/Brown thing it was a movement in the streets. A lot of writers were White also. Refa would have you believe it was strictly all political. Funny because “Writers” like him were never there from the beginning. A lot of these TOYS say they’ve been writing since 1984. “

  6. Activities associated with this stuff you people call “HipHop” can be used to distance creative people from unhealthy activities and allow individuals to maneuver themselves around gang-ism,drug-ism,abuse-ism etc, but the so called “culture” of “HipHop” is really just an uneducated disaster and a bit of a joke at this point.

    HipHop “culture” now is just a key word for validating a “culture” of lazy weed smokers that play video games, crack jokes and drink too much”.

    My advice is to get away from this trashy myth called “HipHop Culture” and get back to doing vigilantly creative activities that defy definition, stand by themselves and simply don’t need the tag line “HipHop” to give them identity in the mind of the public or your peers.

    From what I’ve come to understand most of the activities associated with “HipHop” grew out of a lack of identity, and it’s that same lack of identity that has always driven creative people to be original in finding activities that lend order to their lives in the midst of chaos, and it doesn’t happen the same way once an identity is settled on.

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  8. Leave the past.. First its always good to see someone with such strong opinions “hide’ behind a fake name.. Second.. the key phrase here is ‘From what I’ve come to understand’… sorry you got such a bad education.. Obviously you have been miseducated.. Last I checked.. weed smokers that play video games all day extended to a whole lot of folks.. perhaps even yourself. If you bothered to listen to what Refa said, you would’ve heard that anything not rooted in consciousness.. is sillyness..

  9. No Jose Hip Hop is not a media term.. It was first used by Lovebug Starski who used to rap and would use scat phrases.. which included the term.. Bambaataa took that phrase and named the things were doing in the park jams as Hip Hop.. This happened in the late 70s..
    The term grafiitti and rap were not words early Hip Hoppers used to describe what they were doing even those those words obviously existed..
    Rap was talking to a female.. and then got attached to the song Rappers Delight.. that was never the word we used..
    Grafitti was a term the media put on the pieces writers were doing..

  10. “Leave the past.. First its always good to see someone with such strong opinions “hide’ behind a fake name.. Second.. the key phrase here is ‘From what I’ve come to understand’… sorry you got such a bad education.. Obviously you have been miseducated.. Last I checked.. weed smokers that play video games all day extended to a whole lot of folks.. perhaps even yourself. If you bothered to listen to what Refa said, you would’ve heard that anything not rooted in consciousness.. is sillyness..”

    Thanks Dave. That response was mad reals and shit.

  11. It’s good to hear Refa 1 speak on HipHop from his point of view a writer (“Graf” writer). I agree with and like what he said. Even though some would disagree with various points of views, I think it is very important for people, that are not necessarily “rap stars” to speak on HipHop, especially those that have been part of HipHop for a long time, such as Refa 1 and yourself as well Bro.Davy.
    I do have a question, though. When people who are not part of HipHop criticize HipHop, were do they base they information from? When I hear and see comments like the comment by “Leave the past behind,” I can’t help but wonder, where does he or she get their information to form an opinion? If someone has the nerve to come to this site with the kind of comments like the one by “Leave the past behind,” all he or she have to do is go to the archives of this site and read the previous posts and you’ll be greatly enlightened.
    I can understand some people having a critical opinion about HipHop , especially if it is based off the fact that they don’t know any better, but a lot of times, people’s criticism towards HipHop makes absolutely no sense.
    Thanks Bro. Davey! Like always, I appreciate the post!

  12. @ Rod the Lover! They get it from MTV and all these other TV shows and this so called music “HIP HOP” music of today, and again the lack of education, and more then likely their not apart of the culture to begin with so to judge something you know nothing about is just plain stupid!

  13. That is my point, Prize1. How can someone use television, radio, or the music of today’s “hot” artist as your only means of information. I know what you mean, though.

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