Step Into a World… again?

I’m sort of in a different mood today. I could tell from the first time I woke up that I’d be moving and thinking a little different. For a couple of moments now I’ve been caught up in nostalgia of the past, but I know that the past is just that. As I was looking at HarlemWorld the other day I saw that reality. It was recently announced that Harlem will be the new home to a luxury car dealership. I had to pause and think for a while about it. Think about it, not just about gentrification, I know all about that. In fact, I’ve put some of my feelings out there already.

But really what does it mean to live in a place where the poor and the rich meet, but never really meet? NY is gotham city, it is the place where race, class, and reality have to come together, but somehow never do. It’s almost a dream world. As I thought about this, I could hear the Blondie and KRS mash up (yeah, we didn’t call it that when it came out but that’s what it would be called now) Step Into a World. The airy vocals of Deborah Harry of Blondie, the chanting and braggadocio of KRS collide to capture a sound clash. But it’s the clash that’s beautiful and slightly cacophonous, full but empty? It’s all there, but something is missing. In many ways, it’s almost like the 80s in redux.

While it’s easy to talk about progress and distress, in reality, people are at the center of these battles between development, renewal, and changes. In many ways the only thing left are our memories, but what happens when memories fade? What happens when the place you want to take someone to remember is no longer there? How do we create new memories? Can we really even “create” memories?

Filed under: Hip-Hop, memory

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