Friday, May 20, 2005

Chamorro Hip Hop

I've been getting regular emails from this young Chamorro in the states who is determined to make Chamorro Hip Hop. I support him, I don't see anything intrinsically wrong with this project, but me and those who frequent my message board have given this kid some questions and problems that he has to deal with. He usually just responds angrily saying, "why should he listen to us" or that we "don't know shit." Meaning that our questions or cautious are pointless.

He emailed me asking me to help him with some translations to help him start making Chamorro Hip Hop. He wants to know what words like "cold" or "jumping" are in Chamorro. If he would listen to the things I've asked him to consider, he would know why making "Chamorro Hip Hop" isn't as easy as he thinks it might be.

How can you make something like this, which won't just be haunted as shameless coyping or borrowing? What are the ways that you can craft your work to avoid being dismissed the way some Chamorro artists are, of just taking English songs and translating them into Chamorro?

By just asking me what "jumping" is in Chamorro is not going to help him. Because in asking this he is assuming the priority of English slang and English language culture, and therefore is proposing to make Chamorro culture, Chamorro art from this translation. Instead of seeking something from existing within now, he's going to rely on this translation which will help to ensure whatever he creates is most likely not thought to be Chamorro, but just copied from black culture or from American culture. Which is in itself problematic, but will be the position most Chamorro have on it, which will keep them from actually engaging with it, in the way the artist would probably want.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i don't understand..why won't he listen? i am a long time hip hop junkie..why doesn't he understand that to make chamorro music, irregardless of the style, that he needs to learn his language and the importance of his culture before he tries to flow or else it comes out fake..so come on player..if ur gonna represent..do it right..

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