Thinking about a rappers relationship to Rap opens up a series of thoughts and theories on the subject. Does the concept of a relationship entail a set of duties and responsibilities that the Rapper must actively undertake? Has the complex that is Rap been properly defined itself to even allow for a set of dutiful protocols towards it to be generated? Rap at its core is communication. And so the question can be generalized to something like what is ones relationship to communication? It seems at this point one needs to attempt to differentiate between purpose and relationship. The purpose of communication seems to be that of objectively delivering one thing to another whatever that thing may be. The relationship to communication on the other hand is the subjective complex that one enters or exits in the pursuit of enacting the purpose of communication. The model becomes heliocentric in structure with purpose anchored at the center and orbited by the diverse variables that are the relationships in a constant state of fluctuating association with one another. However this is not a closed system. It is intertwined with all other systems in that the fluctuations are the end results of adjustments as the relationships come into contact with forces from other systems which have the effect of incentivizing and modifying behavior.

This revelation leads one to ask, rather redundantly, then what is my relationship to the relationship? Is one just a conduit passing along pre-existing information from one system to another or is one an active manufacturer of “new” information? This question of whether one is a manufacturer or a distributor is central to a concrete understanding of a rappers relationship to Rap and yet adds another level: what is ones relationship to information? Information can be defined as the content of communication. Does one allow the content passed along to flow unadulterated? Or does one modify it and if one does modify it, in what way and why and under what set of rules? How much of it is conscious and how much is unconscious? (Here we may have to adjust our metaphor of communication IS a heliosphere because it is now starting to weaken a bit with the addition of information. The model that purpose is a central component orbited by nodes of varying relationships as opposed to an all encompassing outer cell wall acting as a governing principle or fundamental description of the total process. In other words, is purpose a tangible component of the system or is it an invisible action of the system once at work?) Furthermore is information generated within the borders of the communication sphere or wholly elsewhere? Is communication without information even possible? How does this ultimately bear on the rapper and their work? More questions than answers, however that is the point.

As we pursue the program of analyzing Rap on a much deeper level than just artistic commerce or cultural byproduct or even political software it becomes apparent rather quickly that quantum-like subcomponents and strange activities are present everywhere, cyclical and anti-cyclical; solid and fleeting, challenging ones notions of the nature of expression. Is it necessary for a rapper to undertake this program of exploration? I guess that all depends on what a rapper feels or thinks their relationship to Rap should ultimately be.


Wasalu “Lupe” Jaco

Founder & SOSA Master IT


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