M.K. Asante Jr. has taken the time out of a very busy schedule to talk about recording with some of Hip Hop’s elite emcees and what that means for him and the culture of Hip Hop.
It was Hip Hop Veteran Chuck D that once said, “M.K. Asante combines drive, skill and a commitment that buoys us all. The Hip Hop community should feel extremely blessed to have those qualities attached to its forward movement.”
When you observe the body of work that Asante has compiled during his illustrious career as an author, filmmaker and educator, you would be hard-pressed to find an argument against Chuck D’s assessment. Asante has authored and published three books with a fourth forthcoming. Then throw in the fact that this gentlemen has been the recipient of the Langston Hughes award, and he has had a rather impressive career. Now for the sake of truly establishing his diversity, add emceeing to the list.
During an interview with HipHopDX in 2009, Assante spoke about his socio-politically conscious book “It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop: The Rise of the Post Hip Hop Genration. He also talked about his new found passion for emceeing and the opportunity to jump on a track with the likes of Talib Kweli, Ras Kass, and Bishop Lamont.
“Emceeing is a form of poetry and I’ve always been a poet,” explained Asante, whose first published work was Like Water Running off My Back, a collection of poetry written in the tradition of African American poets.
He continues, addressing the subject in greater detail.
“The best form of critique is creation. I wrote a book critiquing and analyzing Hip Hop called It’s Bigger than Hip Hop. Although I feel it was an important project for me, I feel like I can illustrate my vision for Hip Hop better by example. Essentially, I’m being the change I want to see.”
He continued “I’m also inspired by my friends, new young emcees like King Mez and then people like Kendrick [Lamar] and Ab-Soul who are breathing fresh life into the movement. There is a Hip Hop renaissance taking place and I’m thrilled to be a part of that. I also think it’s dope that what I’m doing has never been done before. A bestselling writer, filmmaker, professor with swag and bars! [Laughs] I’m interested in showing these kids a whole new blueprint.”