Hip-Hop & Magic

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Smoothini, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Favorite quote of the thread "There are more than enough urban magicians" I know you didnt mean it how it sounded but it made me laugh.

    Umm Dan Hauss incorporates breakdance with magic does that count? I say don't do it, I love hip hop and it has been bastardized too much as it is adding magic will just make it a joke. There are some issues and I think that having a style that appeals to one culture is limiting. Smoothini I love your vids and I love black culture, I think you have a great approach to adding something different that a white performer cant do but I dont think you alienate a white audience so you are doing something right. I'm a fan.
  2. lol, I listen to rap music all day all night... From Eminem, slaughterhouse, tech n9ne and old school rap...
    but I don't consider myself a hip hop magician.. the clothes I wear you can tell that I don't listen to any other kind of music.. lol but you also wouldn't think I perform magic.
    I agree with this also, I swear occasionally but that’s with a certain group of people.. I’m not white, I’m First nations (Indian, native American, or Caucasianly impaired) whatever you wanna say..
    So when I do a show for majority of natives, I don’t consider myself a “pow-wow” magician haha..

    But yeah… your doing some dope ish man, keep that up.. funny funny too man!! But I don’t get what you mean by hiphop magician..
    I didn’t read all posts either.. so yeah..
  3. Hip Magicians in Philly

    Yo Smooth, being from Philly I myself am hip-hip influenced and I know quite a few who still bring that edge to the stage.

    If your ever passing thru Philadelphia give me a shout either on here or find me on Google.
    I like your performance style and comedy. Keep it up!

    Papercrane I agree with you about Dan Hauss. He definitely has hip-hop in him.
  4. Also It think that if your associate yourself as hip hop then you are hip-hop.
    If you listen to it, watch shows related to it, live life as hip hop describes it (in countless songs), then you ARE hip-hop.
    Hip-hop is definitely a culture and it exists in a variety of individuals. Doesn't matter the place, age, race or sex.

    If Smooth says he's hip hop then that's what he is. Why is there so much debate on it? Hip Hop isn't something that is closed to anyone. Thats the beauty of it. It's a movement, a way of life. It's can be viewed as, any way you wanna define or perceive it as.
  5. I can think of more constructive things than watching either of those two. Like hitting myself in the face with a hammer for an hour.

    If it can be anything, then it is not a way of life. It's not anything. It sounds to me like you just realized you can't actually define it to an outsider because you've never tried to before.

    I'm about as white as Christmas in a gated community, but I do have a little knowledge about hip-hop culture. Not a lot, but a little. Still, let's assume that I know nothing about it outside of the fact that rap exists. How would you describe it to me in order to make me more interested in it? If you can only give me one of those douchey "it's anything you want it to be" answers, that just means you don't know.

  6. Now this leads to a great discussion and am very interested to see what the younger members on this board would say. Would love to see how they tackle this, then I'll chime in.

    As for the whole "limiting my audience" thing. Really.. whatever.

    Dozens of other entertainers "limit" their audience, and it seems that magicians & politicians are the only one that perscribe themselves to the notion of appealing to a mass audience. Comics pick a certain look, point of view and dialect but they don't get on themselves about limiting themselves. Doubt (in America) Dane Cook would tell Katt Williams to not play hip-hop songs, and walk on stage with a Pimp Cup because it'll limit his audience. He's appealing to a certain demographic. And whosoever (white, asian, hispanic, etc.) that wants to watch his comedy, can.

    Musicians try to appeal to their intended audience, and if others like it... then so be it. So do visual aritist, video game developers, authors, poets and playwrights. You are going to sit there and tell me that the highly succesful Tyler Perry "limited" his audience by writing the plays, movies and sitcoms that he has written?

    I really think it's biased in my humble opinion if you think that I'm limiting my audience by being myself. But then again, I might be wrong. It might just be better to appeal to everyone because that is what we magicians do.

    I can name a few successful magicians that don't try to appeal to everyone.

    Dan Sperry at the top of my list. The Amazing Jonathan. Bizarro. Even Criss Angel. There is no way you are going to say that these guys choosing an image that isn't appealing to everyone has hurt their careers.
  7. Basically it is a way of life because it affects your decisions, reasoning, and just way of thinking. Hip hop can be a style choice, it can mean that you rap, it can mean you listen to rap and are influenced by it, hip hop can be growing up in the ghetto and having a certain swagger, hip hop can be lots of things. Listen to a rap song closely and pay attention to the content. It can really give you a great glimpse of what hip hop is. There are so many songs that describe different things which is why I implied that hip hop is very open-ended.
  8. Smooth keep doing what you are doing bro. I also am trying to blend Hip Hop with magic. I personally think it fits you know? Obviously not the Waka Flocka's or Soulja Boy's of the world but I don't consider them Hip Hop anyways. Guys like Nas and Jay... Common.. Etc. You know real lyricists are a perfect fit. I loved your video!

    Keep moving forward bro.

    Also, I've heard David Blaine use Hip Hop as well.
  9. You know that we're not bashing you by saying you're limiting your audience if you brand yourself as a "hip-hop magician", right? You seem to be taking it as negative criticism and it isn't. Like you have said, people can limit their audience by targeting a section of a market but that doesn't mean they won't be successful.

    As for some people's arguments regarding what hip-hop is...I dress with quite plain clothes, not baggy and not tight but fashionable in simple color schemes but if I start dressing with baggy clothes, aire force 1's, backwards cap and have a bit of an attitude like I had a rough upbringing that makes me a hip-hop magician? No, it most certainly does not.
  10. You are absolutely right. Lots of hip hop artists dress with fitting clothes, look at any recent pictures of Drake, Eminem, Jay Z, the list can go on. But, what DOES make him a hip hop magician is that HE considers HIMSELF as a hip hop magician. Why are people trying to challenge that? Are you criticizing his clothes? Is that why you reference baggy clothes? His sneakers? Never did smooth say that he is hip hop because of his clothes. He just said that he IS hip hop. Thats good enough for me. He obviously is showing success, entertaining people and booking shows. Keep doing what your doing Smooth. Your talented and it seems like you stay true to yourself and character.
  11. So, no you can't explain it to an outsider looking in. Glad we got that cleared up.

    In that case I'm a Buddhist werewolf with a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and a cybernetic arm and am a secret agent on the run from the law. I expect my word to be good enough on that.
  12. Oh I know no one is bashing me. I do get a bit ...... .what's that word.... hyper when it comes to that comment though. I've been told this my whole life by great magicians. That is kind of a mind-f*ck when you are looking for advice, and the advice is, "don't be you, be like us."

    So yeah I do get a bit defensive. I would tell someone else the same thing if they are trying to get booked. But if you are selling tickets to a show... you aren't advertising a magic show, you are advertising YOURSELF.

    It really all boils down what career path you are choosing. But don't stress my responses Formula, I get hyper from time to time. I know I'm not being bashed.


    And to Steerpike (sorry I can tell I'm going to get hyper... I'm just really liking this discussion. Thanks for trying to get to the heart of it, because I do believe I should be able to easily explain this... but alas I can't, so this is going to be long):

    How do you define a culture? How about this, you define / describe your culture to me. I grew up in Washington Heights, NYC. A few blocks north of Harlem and right across a small Harlem River to the south Bronx. The birthplace of hip-hop. And you can roll through anywhere in this dirty & grimy city and ask anyone what is hip-hop and you will consistently get a different answer.

    It isn't about being urban, or growing up with crackheads, or selling drugs, or even (shamefully) wearing your pants to your kneecaps. My man I've travelled the world doing magic. And when I was in Darwin, Australia performing I met more hip-hop heads there than I do in Maryland. Same in Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the Phillipines and Canada.

    You know what's hip-hop? Getting rejected by every single music label on the planet, and then going out and still selling 100,000 copies of a tape you and your people's recorded in order to get attention. That's Wu-Tang.

    You know what's hip-hop? Taking a culture that scares the living crap out the average suburban, middle-class, college educated family, and convincing their kids to wear over priced t-shirts. That's Jay-Z.

    You know what's hip-hop? Getting shot a bunch of times, being a convicted felon... and having a small affluent town in Connetticut name a day after you, plus selling over-priced flavored water (vitamin water). That's 50 Cent.

    It's about overcoming obstacles and still coming above. That is what it is to me. It is different to different people.

    And of course this is Hip-Hop

    There are four traditional pillars to hip-hop from the late '70s to early '90s. They are DJing, Break dancing, graffiti, and rapping. As the people that got together to participate in these activities they started bonding. Same way some of us bond with others that do magic. Especially if these past times are keeping your mind off the b.s. you are living in.

    As the money started coming in, and I mean the real money, other major pillars (the one's I grew up as a teen with) were as important if not more important than the original ones. They were beatboxing, the slang, street knowledge and street entrepreneurship aka the hustle. That last one has been my biggest influence.

    My dude, the first person to give me a blunt was Method Man from Wu-Tang. As a young kid I saw that group go from selling tapes out the back of a trunk. To selling comic books, shoes, video games and anything / everything they can slap a Wu-Tang symbol on. That hustle, that drive to take a little bit of success was never seen before. That is hip-hop.

    Being given an inch... .and turning it into a mile.

    Take a good look at my performance style. I really don't have that much skill.... but I talk one hell of a game. And I'm not saying that in and of itself is just hip-hop, but you wait and see. When you start seeing Smoothini limited edition condoms on sale in your local drug store, you'll remember this thread. LOL.

    Here's proof that I can be dressed up and still perform. This is at a radio station last monday:

    Smoothini @ ClubZone.fm

    What you probably don't see from my performance style is how I feed myself. I have been paying my rent & bills, plus feeding my son just off of magic for the past six years. For the past 3 I haven't recieved one email by anyone interested in booking me. Not one.

    Not even an inquiry.

    But I still work. Why? Because I don't take no for an answer. I get up at 8am and I hustle tickets to my show ALL DAY. Phone calls, emails, visiting offices, whatever it takes. Till 3am... maybe to 4 or 5 at times. Take a small nap throughout the day, take care of my son and back on my grind. I have yet to have met a magician that works as hard as I do. I do this seven days a week my dude. While I see others just waiting for a gig to land on their lap and complaining about how things are slow. I go out and convince people to see me while building a fanbase. It's how Wu-Tang did it.

    Maybe that isn't hip-hop to you, but my business model is exactly how a drug dealer will push his product.
  13. #33 morpheis91, Feb 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2011
    First off why are you labeling yourself as an outsider? Also hip hop isn't an exclusive club there are many things that help describe it. I said this before, what is so confusing? It is a culture that isn't closed to anyone that has many attributes that help define it. Such as art, music, style, and even demographic. Do you not consider magic an art? Why don't you look up what hip hop is?? Would you like a proper definition? I've explained it numerous times so if you don't understand then here is a quote from a book, which is also quoted on Wikipedia. We have provided many descriptions of hip hop to you. Its hard to describe a culture in one post which is why there are books written to describe cultures.

    Hip hop is a form of musical expression and artistic culture that originated in African-American communities during the 1970s in New York City. (2005, Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. Macmillan. ISBN 031230143X)

    Well your example is completely invalid because of the fact that its obvious through your context that you are being sarcastic and making that stuff up and it shows your maturity level. Honestly if your going to resort to sarcasm and far-fetched scenarios then don't waste our time. Smooth showed us a video that had hip hop elements to it. It had hip hop music and he seemed quite hip hop to me. He showed us a very hip hop style video.
    You challenged the validity of hip hop in his character and we provided you with many explanations of what hip hop is. If you don't understand what hip hop is then I am sorry. Try listening to a few albums. Maybe your just trying to be difficult. I don't know but I do know one thing: at the end if the day Smooth is definitely a hip hop magician and its a great differentiation strategy for him. There aren't a lot of hip hop magicians, there are many DB, CA clones. And also many people who just haven't found a character at all. Congrats smooth on your success and thumbs up for being able to make an honest living doing magic.
  14. Fair enough. For the sake of argument, let's say I'm metal. The culture of metal is the expression of the outcast as hero. It preaches individuality, strength of character, conviction, and yet also a sense of brotherhood and solidarity. In metal, there are no borders. There are no races. Those with the strength to fight for what they believe in are brothers in arms.

    If this is all sounds a bit melodramatic, that's because it is. Metal is mythic and epic. A Capuchin monk, Father Cesare Bonizzi, released an album under the name Fratello Metallo (Father Metal) after witnessing a Metallica concert and was deeply moved by the energy and verve of the crowd. The music and culture is a callback to the days of brotherhood, honor and glory. It exalts the power of myth. Metal explores both the greatest heights of the human spirit (Lost Horizon, Manowar, Trans-Siberian Orchestra), the lowest depths of our shadow selves (Type O Negative, Burzum, Black Sabbath), and everything in between.

    For more indepth information, look up the book "The Sound of the Beast" by Ian Christie, and the documentary Metal: a Headbanger's Journey.

    Now we're getting somewhere. Not a perfect answer, but these paragraphs here paint a decent enough picture that if I didn't already know something about hip-hop culture, I'd want to look into it a little more. There's a DIY romanticism to it the way you describe it here.

    Like I said, assume I know nothing.

    I never said it was.

    Oh Jesus, here we go again. I'm going to be blunt. On the internet, no one's word is ever good enough for an empiricist. It must be taken on faith, which I'm not very good at. I never once questioned Smoothini, and I certainly won't now that he's been able to articulate himself so well as you see above. What I am questioning is your logic that I should just shut up and believe him on faith. Why should I since he's clearly capable of standing up for and proving himself?

    Back atcha, sparky.

    Correction: I never actually challenged his claims. I simply asked him and you to explain hip-hop to those who are not familiar with it by assuming that I know nothing. You offered some vague platitudes. Smoothini actually gave me the best explanation he could on the spur of the moment, which, while not perfect, was still pretty good.

    Again, I already know a little bit about it. I just wanted you to assume I know nothing for the sake of the question.

    No, I'm just trying to get you to think. Judging by the aggravated tone in your post, I succeeded.
  15. LOL.... I like this guy!

    Only through intelligent debate can one truly find out who they are. Us human's are very lazy creatures and it does take your type to poke at what we hold most dear to ourselves. That is a beautiful description of the Heavy Metal culture. I think a lot of it might apply, as well, to the Punk Rock as well. Well.... at least my Punk Rock friends.

    I truly enjoy the differences in all of us.

    Keep it magical.
  16. Your are absolutely correct and it did get me thinking. I was under the impression that you were literally not understanding. This was the best discussion I had on this forum in a while, thanks guys!
  17. Funny.... somehow I missed this a few months ago. Was re-reading it because this thread did expose a lot of holes in the character I play that I haven't thought about. But when I go to this I loved it. First of all, thanks. Second of all isn't it funny to say "make an honest living doing magic" when the underlying force of magic is dis-honesty or deception. lmao.

    Hey, I find it funny.

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