IsWhat?! and Inspiration

For those of you who do not know yet (you're about to!!), IsWhat?! is a Cincinnati-based jazz/spoken-word trio that started in the mid-90s. Their lineup has shifted throughout the years, but the set-up and focus remains the same: innovative hip-hop with a strong social message. If you've never heard of them, that's ok, but be aware that at one point KRS-ONE was part of the collective. That was your cue to be impressed and go out and buy their albums.

I was listening to IsWhat?! today and it got me to thinking: are these guys doing what they do because of the conditions that exist in Cincinnati? Or would they be doing what they're doing if Cincinnati was idyllic? Is their stuff so good, so raw, so cutting and intrusive and affecting because Cincinnati is in need of a voice? I wonder, often, what predicates art. Do we need a reason to speak in order for our work to change and inspire others? Or can art, expressive communication, do that all on its own time?

Ponder that and listen to these guys. Cincinnati represent.

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Austin said... them. Napoleon is such a nice guy too.

They're in France on tour right now...crazy?!

my favorite of theirs is "Lies". It's one of his most personal letters to Cincinnati. Love it.

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