What hip hop is, and what it’s been pigeon holed as, are two different things – to the extent that it can be difficult to distinguish where the line is between hip hop music and hip hop as a cultural identity. Music isn’t the only aspect of hip hop culture, and whilst emceeing is intrinsic to hip hop, not all rap is hip hop.
Context is a funny matter… it makes the same thing make sense twice
What is it, then, that makes something like Darkness, by Kings of the City, hip hop? The production is acoustic drums, electric guitar and organ, there’s an indie blues vocal chorus, and we’ve (okay, I’ve) already established that all things rap aren’t by default hip hop… of course, the calibre of emcees here, including the one time king of the castle of hip hop in England Klashnekoff, does help. Is it the intangibles, the references, bounce of the rhythm that swings it?
Or is it none of the above because it’s not hip hop and it is simply music? Context is a funny matter… it makes the same thing make sense twice. You can download a free three track promo from Kings of the City, including Darkness, at their site.