Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hip Hop From the Heart | Nino Augustine - From the Bottom of My Soul EP

Hip hop music continues to occupy an ambiguous role in pop culture. No genre of music, and really no part of culture in general, has remained untouched by the influence of hip hop (unfortunately exemplified in the Brad Paisley & LL Cool J collabo). While hip hop purists lament the death of hip hop, college students celebrate the emergence and creativity of the new school of hipster rap. So which is it? Dead or alive? We have this debate at least once a month in the WUW? office and the only answer we can come up with is... both... or maybe hip hop is in purgatory?

But there in lies the nuance of art and contemporary pop culture, hip hop may appear to have been co-opted and cartooned by the culture industry - even by the independent hipster scene - but beneath the surface and out of the reach the average music fan is a current of creativity within the hip hop culture that harkens back to the soulful longings of Muddy, Buddy, and B.B. This current may flow easier down the delta then it does while entrenched in the bricks of Brooklyn. This music, is hip hop, but not the hip hop that reminds you of the 90s nor the hip hop that sounds better remixed by Skrillex - this is the kind of hip hop that sounds better live, with a sax, a piano, and a brush kit. 

Hip hop in its purest form is music, it is an art, it is an expression of the soul. When it is performed correctly, it can move your heart and produce reflection. It should make you laugh, cry, and dance all at the same time. This is music that is alive. 

You may never hear it on the radio because clear channel doesn't think that white kids will buy it, but if you listen closely you will find artists like Nino Augustine. 

Jameson the WUW? Blogstar and VP of Undiscovered Music,  discovered Nino Augustine, on Soundcloud, in the Spring of 2012 and the entire office began to tell our friends. Last month, and a year after our initial Nino tweet, he released his debut EP, From the Bottom of My Soul, for free on his website - www.ninoaugustine.com . This album continues to pop up on our Itunes as we shuffle throughout the day and often prompts a new conversation about art, music and life. 

Favorite Tracks:
Another Reflection, Rolling Stone, 
When the Music Stops, and Until Reality Hits

Although FTBOMS could be classified as hip hop, we think it is better thought of as a jazz/ blues album with a hip hop influence. Combing soulful melodies, insightful rhymes, and engaging instrumentation, Nino Augustine's storytelling paints a vivid picture of the multiple dimensions of life.

Indeed the music of hip hop is alive and well. Please take some time to listen to Nino's album and support his art:


From the Blog of My Soul,
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