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Mike Dreams Breaks Down His New “Hip-Hope Anthem” (Bonus Download)Posted by Mike Dreams (Michael A. Hannah) on 01/22/10 | Filed under Top Stories, Downloads, Features, A Dreamer's Perspective
The writing for “Hip Hope Anthem (Hello World)” began in 2008 while attending Soundset in downtown Minneapolis. This was my first time ever attending Soundset. I had never seen anything like it before. It was a captivating experience. I wasn't performing there that year, but I did man a station for the Minneapolis Youth and Hip Hop organization "Yo! The Movement" (founded by Larry Lucio for Amplified Life and Rhymesayers' signee Toki Wright). Though I wasn't performing or even that popular of an artist, a few people recognized me from some internet things, brought my album and even got a picture with me. That was one of the dopest moments of my career (at that point), even if was only like two fans that I had. Anywho, I enjoyed it a lot and took in the whole experience. Towards the evening, Dilated Peoples took the stage. They performed “This Way”, one of my favorite records in hip hop, period. It was a mad inspiring performance. I was up on my feet singing every word (and having the really stupid false hope that Kanye would pop up. I don't know what I was thinking.). But right after that, right there at Soundset, I began writing the lyrics. That sparked an entirely different feeling and approach to my music that I had never took before. If I ever get to meet Evidence, Rakaa Iriscience and DJ Babu, I will shake their hands personally and thank them for the inspiration. I finished the record later after connecting with Minneapolis producer Cory Grindberg for the production after I originally heard it on a “Hello Brooklyn” remix he did, from an American Gangster remix album.
The hook basically spawned from the "Hello" idea that the "Hello Brooklyn" remix had implanted into my head. I used the first half of the chorus to say "hello" to everyone, (world, girls, homies, etc). On the second part, I thought I'd continue even further with the "everybody" idea by addressing people who were polar opposites (ex. lovers, haters, fighters, peace-makers), basically letting everyone know that I need them ALL to listen, because I'm about to speak something that's universal that people from all walks of lives and backgrounds need to hear. The first few lines of the first verse were directly influenced by my great experience at Soundset, where I was able to view fans connecting with artists and enjoying the entire interaction experience. Then I went in about how the whole "I carry guns", "I'm gangsta" act was becoming a thing of a past in hip hop, especially from artists who didn't readily do what they rapped about. Not only were they being detrimental influences, but they were being detrimental while being FRAUDS! That's like a double whammy. I rounded out the verse by just talking the beginning of my career and plight as an artist and how I wanted to leave my legacy in the music game.
On the second verse, I touch on the subject of understanding why certain people do certain things in life that may be quote on quote "wrong". Something a lot of people don't understand before they stand over someone and judge them for their inequities is that all people have different circumstances in life. It's easy for you to sit back and say "Oh, how horrible was that of that person to do this and that" if you've never been in the situation or position they have been in to make you allude to doing such activities. In the line "...I saw and I understand all the hustle, family was down and out, you had to be the hood muscle", I discuss that. Some people had to do what they had to do to help their family make it. It's really about looking at life from a human being perspective instead of what's on paper and the technical issues. Though I don't condone crime and wrongdoing, I can understand BOTH sides of it, the criminal's motives and the land's law. I felt compelled to take about the influence of positivity on the generation because it hit home. I talked about my nephew and used him as an example of the up and coming generation that's going to need that influence. His father (my brother) was gunned down in Minneapolis back in 2006. We've endured tragedy and now it's' about advancing forward in life and trying to promote positive living and peace for all so the world can be a better place. I know it sounds cliché, but that's really what it's all about. I said the line "...I'm proud to be black, but I'm more proud to be human, and see, we all are that..." because I feel it's great to have pride in your background and culture, but also embrace the idea of human beings as one too. Have pride in your own people, but also learn and start understanding other cultures, because that's the ONLY way we will advance as a people, a species. When God made us, he didn't make races and ethnic groups. He made a species of people. As history went on, humankind decided to classify and categorize people based on skin pigmentation and cultural differences. It's time to return to the original plan for us. No one is going anywhere soon, so it's best we learn how to coexist peacefully before we parish forever.
I hope everyone enjoys this record and maybe it influences you or even just uplifts your spirit and soul upon each listen.
Look for my new album "Dreamer's Poetry" to drop for free digital download on Feb. 8, 2010 at 10pm EST via DJBooth.net & 2DopeBoyz.com, as well as a retail release on Feb. 9, 2010. Thanks for reading! Enjoy the music!
Download "Hip-Hop Hope (Hello World)" via MediaFire
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