General Steele Interview: Thoughts on New President and Modern Hip-hop

Esteemed by Public Enemy's Chuck D as one of the best interview conductors in hip-hop, Tim Einenkel recently sat down with Smif-N-Wessun's General Steele, inquiring particularly about the emcee's thoughts regarding the recent Trump election and modern-day Hip-hop.

In regard to the new president, Tim asked the veteran rapper if he perceived hip-hop (music and culture) would look different under the newly-elected administration, to which Steele responded:

I do. I think so. I think that right now, people are crazy. The fact that we have a kind of crazy president, it reflects where America is at as a people right now. People are confused and probably a little bit afraid...

Steele transitions from stating his political viewpoints to his opinion on social issues broadcasted through mainstream media, ultimately building his response to his stance regarding the current state of hip-hop.

Like, what's next? Nobody really knows. You have rich people, you have super talented people that are losing their minds. You have death. We're watching people get killed on television. To see that, you had to get Faces of Death 1, 2, and 3, you know what I mean? But now we're watching the play by play. We're watching riots, like every year it's a different riot because some black kid got killed by police or some nonsense about a lady getting kidnapped and trying to figure out I the husband had something to do with it...

We're watching reality TV right in front of us, we don't know what to believe anymore. You have to sit back and retreat back to where your family core is at; Spend time with your families. I think Hip Hop is going there... People say 'bring Hip Hop back. Bring Hip Hop back.' Hip Hop didn't go anywhere, it just changed and evolved and mutated to this big fluffy monster...

Along the subject lines of “bringing Hip-hop back,” Steele mentioned specific artists and albums, including A Tribe Called Quest and Common's latest releases, as well as his own forthcoming album Building Bridges, following up with some final thoughts,

It's about the feeling. When you play that first song, how does it make you feel... and you're like 'Wow, and you know these guys just lost Phife.' So how did they get the energy to do this? I think it's from Phife. You have to lose. You have to lose America to love it. You have to go if I really love it, I'm not going to cling to what I think it needs to be, I'm just going to be what if needs to be...

That's going back to the source; spending time with your family. This is almost like music therapy. It was not on purpose but it's something that we need and we need something, our body gravitates to it. After unlearning, after dealing with the fact that you've been desensitized and shook it up, hopefully you have snap out of it and start evolving.”

Interview by Tim Einenkel, article written by Jods Arboleda for RAPStation.com

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