276 Comments
Sep 28, 2023Liked by Ari Melber

Ari Melber has done a great thing by incorporating Rap into his show. I’m 77 and didn’t like or dislike it. Part of my problem is that I could never hear the words, especially with the fast pace. I’m so uncool that I didn’t know a lot of the terms. I respect it now and I am glad that it is in our culture.

Expand full comment

"The Harder They Come The Harder They Fall"...etc here's a new word:"Rapid DisBarment":

Promise it if Biden becomes dysfunctional

Senator Feinstein

Rudy Giuliani

Trump's Freedom of speech

While I'm pleasing customers like I'm supposed to my boss comes up behind me and grabs off my worksite access badge... AND GUILIANI HAS BOTH HIS LAW LICENSES? WTF?😲🤪🤔🤨💩👎😁😁😁

Expand full comment
Sep 28, 2023Liked by Ari Melber

Ari, another great educational piece. I was talking to my sister when you dropped this newsletter. I remarked to her, “Ari just dropped a newsletter, it’s about “Hip Hop.” Don’t think, I’ll have anything to say on that.” We proceeded to declare the Sugarhill Gang, as our favorite, with Rapper’s Delight! Ironically, you mentioned them first-because they were! There have been many rap songs over the decades, but none matches that one. Finally, I recall several of your historical, controversial hip hop events, especially that of Sister Souljah. It was unfortunate, and so unnecessary!

Expand full comment

Hi Diva! I was wondering what you would say as your favorite and you did not disappoint! I hope you're having a good Friday!

Expand full comment

Hi CG! Rapper’s Delight had everybody on the dance floor. If you played it today, 40+ years later, we’d hobble onto the floor.😂. I’m having a great Friday: Netflix and meals!😬. Enjoy your weekend ❤️

Expand full comment
founding
Sep 28, 2023Liked by Ari Melber

Fantastic piece Ari! Great photos. I can tell you had an amazing time, you were definitely in your element. So happy you received an invite, you deserved to be there. It’s about time hip hop is getting the respect it deserves. Growing up in Manhattan, and having 8 older siblings I learned to love all genres of music, from different generations including hip hop and reggae because my dad is from St Thomas VI where I spent many summers. Thank you for sharing this momentous event!

Expand full comment
author

Thanks Janice, appreciate that and - big family! : )

Expand full comment

St. Thomas is beautiful!

Expand full comment
founding

Yes it is! I loved spending the summers there. I haven’t been in a few years, but I’m hoping to plan a trip back there soon. I have lots of family there.

Expand full comment

It's been some years, but I loved my time there and would love to go back. You're very lucky to have family there!!

Expand full comment
founding
Sep 28, 2023Liked by Ari Melber

Hip hop, like reggae, has told the raw, unfitered tales of the plight of society's poor, oppressed, and dispossessed. Though reggae has gained international embrace, adoption, and adaptation (imagine my caucasian co worker angrily telling me that "I shot the Sherriff" originated with Eric Clapton 🙄--but, that's neither here nor there), it has remained quintisentally Jamaican. (Im making a point... promise☺️)

In a somewhat similar vein, hip hop has made it through fifty years of attacks from both the left and right, misunderstandings and outright untruths, subjugation efforts and the like, to emerge as a truly in-your-face African American artform that never backed down from highlighting the lived experiences, dreams, and aspirations of mostly Black urban youth. In that way, at least, i feel hip hop might be " often imitatated, but never duplicated"; cementing its place in history as unabashedly Black and proud!

Here's to fifty+ more🥂🤗

Expand full comment

Very, VERY well-stated, S.R! I liked “I Shot the Sheriff,” by the way😂😂😂. Point received and understood!

Expand full comment
founding

Haha. Thank you, Miss Diva!🤣

Expand full comment

Hi namesake, Happy Fri-YAY!😃😃😃

🎶 I shot the sheriff but I didn’t shoot no deputy🎵 Oh I love that song😃😃😃

I love everything you said...Hip Hop is here to stay...ain’t going nowhere. Have a nice weekend😃😃😃

Expand full comment
founding

You too, Miss Sandra O!!

Expand full comment

Ms O, the Bob Marley and The Wailers version or the Eric Claton Cover or Both?

Expand full comment
founding

Nice to meet you too.

Expand full comment

Pearl, I must apologize. Now I remember. We had that conversation about DJT just before Ari's Zoom Call and I was looking forwaed to seeing you but it all went wrong for me. I wasn't able to join the call until after 10, and by then it was too late. It had slipped my mind but I'm glad that you reached out to me again. We'll talk more on Ari's next letter. I hope you have a wonderful week, Pearl!

Expand full comment
founding

Hi Dadid

Expand full comment

Hello, Pearl, I'm pleased to meet you.

Expand full comment
founding

Sorry David

Expand full comment
founding

I misspelled your name

Expand full comment
founding

Perfectly stated💯

Expand full comment

This was beautifully put!

Expand full comment
founding

Thank you!

Expand full comment

The Revolution will not be Televised for me was such an incredible anthem of truth. Gill Scott Heron was a poet and a soothsayer. I believe he changed the landscape of hip hop. I love the range of rap expressions. It seems bigger than a genre and it crosses borders and changes minds - I hope at least. I am happy for the recognition it deserves. Ari, you must have had a great time at the VP’s party

Expand full comment
author

Gil! So great. Many consider him a songwriter or even R&B, plus great political protest anthems, and he definitely laid the foundation for later hip hop. (Drake has a popular cover of one of his songs w Rihanna.)

Expand full comment

Also Winter in America, a classic!

Expand full comment
Sep 28, 2023Liked by Ari Melber

Love the pic Ari. I love all forms of music. It's story telling at its best. Watch your program everyday. I like honestly, and you tell it like it is.

Expand full comment
founding

That is why I like country music so much. I can always find a country song that says just how I am feeling and need to hear again to make me feel better. CAH I like all kinds of music now.

Expand full comment

My sentiments exactly! A little music lightens the danger going on in our country.

Expand full comment
Sep 28, 2023Liked by Ari Melber

Erick B and Rakim are definitely amongst my favorite rap artist. I appreciate that people are now understanding that hip hop is a movement.

Expand full comment

I got to meet and speak with Rakim Last Saturday on John Coltrane's Birthday. Sponsored by The Coltrane Home in Dix Hills Long Island.

Expand full comment
Oct 1, 2023Liked by Ari Melber

The year was 1973. I was in college (NIU) when I heard, The Revolution will not be televised by Gil Scott-Heron. Fast forward to 2002. I composed the musical works, Cityscapes by Two Cold using rap and house beats for some of the jazz instrumental songs. Billboard Discoveries called it 'timeless'. That same year I was invited as a guest panelist at a Chicago suburban (Oak Park, Il) forum on community policing and diversity. It was there that I decided to 'spit' the truth. I said, "Hip Hop had done more to improve race relations than the civil rights movement." The people gasp, but I had the evidence. And guess what? I didn't even have Ari's newsletter for backup!!! I rest my case your honor. Happy Birthday!!! Happy 50th!!

Expand full comment

Ari, I would like to advocate for an underserved Genre. Dixieland Jazz is Joyous Music and can usually brighten any listener's day! Some examples are: Tuba Skinny, The Potato Head Jazz Band, and The Shake 'Em Up Jazz Band. There are many more. If you're feeling down, this music can usually bring a smile to your face!

Expand full comment
founding
Sep 29, 2023Liked by Ari Melber

Wow what a Special Report: This segment was outstanding and so riveting! I was so intrigued by D.A. Fani Willis’s story, I wanted the segment to go on in order to gain a broader perspective about her. Ari Melber you did a brilliant job on this story! But, I’m not surprised because you’re a great storyteller! She’s a very inspiring woman. I’d love for you to do an interview with her. Thank you Ari for giving us a glimpse into how Fani Willis became D.A. Fani Willis♥️👏👏👏 Trumps in trouble🙌

Expand full comment
author

Thank you - our team found her larger history - professional and personal - quite interesting to go through.

Expand full comment
founding

Your welcome! I feel the same, I found her story fascinating!

Appreciate you and your amazing Team for giving us a deeper perspective into D.A. Fani Willis's earlier life.

Expand full comment

Such a great article!! I don’t know anything about hip hop. The little I know, I’ve learned from you. Thanks, Ari!!

Expand full comment

I’m thrilled that I may finally have reached the REAL Ari!! Soooo many imposters are out there!! Thanks for the response to my comment. It made my day!!

Expand full comment

Good evening and Happy almost Fri-YAY, Ari and everyone!

I like the title of this newsletter: House Party: VEEP edition👍🏽😃

Thanks for sharing your experience on the 50th Hip Hop anniversary which was celebrated in a grand way - in the VEEP's house.  I am pretty sure that you truly enjoyed that moment.  I am a fan of Hip Hop but I am not nearly as good as (excellent) you are with Hip Hop and quoting rap lyrics. 

From a block party during lights out in the Bronx NYC to the number one music genre…that is so awesome! 

Like Drake would say (rap), "started from the bottom now we are here". 

Do I have a favorite artist or memory from hip hop's 50 years?

I have more than one favorite hip hop artist…some of them have been in your show and I always love to tune in because you always make their appearance so special

To another 50 years, Hip Hop!  Cheers🍾🥂

Expand full comment
founding

Hello Sandra O,

Hip Hop Hooray!😊🥂🥳

Expand full comment

I thought he said started from the Biden? 😆 I'll stop! I didn't even notice the House Party reference and I grew up with Kid N Play.

Expand full comment

Ms O, I shall reiterate my invitation. My email address is: dawells55@gmail.com . I hope to hear from you.

Expand full comment
founding

David, I took the liberty to write down your address too. I promise to never bother you unless I really need to. It makes me feel good to know I have the address of someone who is a friend. CAH

Expand full comment

Carol ann, you may Always contact me. We must do our best to support each other.

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

Hey, Clarence, you need to get your act together and ditch all that white male supremacy crap. You got waay too much testosterone for your own good and it's gonna hurt you and many other innocent people if you don't sit down and STFU!

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment
Sep 28, 2023Liked by Ari Melber

Rap/hip hop has become an integral part of our society and daily lives that many people don’t realize how much it influences us, unless they’re fans or someone points it out.

Expand full comment
Oct 1, 2023·edited Oct 1, 2023Liked by Ari Melber

I don't feel George Clinton (Parliament) was part of Hip-hop so much as inspiration for parts of it... Same for Kool and the Gang... They were part of the Funk scene which I came to discover in my middle school years in the 70's... I recall really enjoying Curtis Blow's "These are the Breaks" before The Sugarhill Gang, but that could be a memory lapse on my part... Public Enemy was probably my early favorite group...

Expand full comment

Joanna, why has no one mentioned 'Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk'? This Off Broadway Musical Revue told the Story of Black History from Slavery to the Present. The Director, George C. Wolfe, took the Rap lyrics of Reg E. Gaines and turned them into Tap/Rap which was Tap Dancing informed by Hip Hop and Funk Rhythms. It was critically acclaimed and won numerous Tonys for its depiction of the 'Black Experience'.

Expand full comment

Wow, I've honestly never heard of this before...

Expand full comment

Hey, Dale! What about The Village People?

Expand full comment

That was a fun few songs, but they were disco imo... It was the Macarena of the period...

Expand full comment

I apologize, Dale. Sometimes, my facetiousness gets the better of me!

Expand full comment

How

bout the Lambada?

Expand full comment

Well, not disco certainly, but idk how to classify that...

Expand full comment

There was also Sly And The Family Stone. I believe that all these groups had a hand in laying the foundation for Hip Hop and Rap. This demonstrates the rich tapestry of Human Creativity in various Media including, but not limited to, Art, Music, and The Written Word. We, as a species, can accomplish so much when we put our differences aside and 'Work Together' like Canned Heat advised us to do.

Expand full comment

Ari, many in your audience, like me, are Neophytes to Hip Hop but you have educated us. Marcel Proust said, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes (and ears!)" You have taken us on a journey of discovery and we have enjoyed evert minute of it! Thank you for all you do, Sir!

Expand full comment
author

the proust bar! : )

Expand full comment

Ari, why did no one mention 'Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk'? This Off-Broadway Musical used Tap/Rap to tell Black History from Slavery to the Present and was critically acclaimed! It won several Tonys.

Expand full comment

You Da Man, Ari! ( < :

Expand full comment
founding

I agree. CAH

Expand full comment
founding

I think you and Ari both are both DA MAN. I learn a lot from both of you. A lot of it does not sink in, but If I keep on reading both of your posts and comments, hopefully some of it will sink in. You are both so smart. CAH

Expand full comment

R E S P E C T, that is it!

Expand full comment