Recently, a good friend of mine snitched a link to me. A crew of yungsters from my home town. I’m no stranger to the leaners and their music. But listening to this I had to reflect a little around the movement that’s been here for a while now.
It seems to be easy for people of my generation to dismiss the Lean movement as lazy and unoriginal. I think it’s beautiful. While these yungsters tend to use networks controlled by Babylon such as YouLube, Instagrat and CloudSound, they use them so well that it sometimes feel like they actually run them. Yes, hiphop has changed, but the fetish for codes and idioms remains. This time the influences are broader though. The aesthetics comes from everywhere and no one seems to give the slightest ufck about copyright. How could I not applause that?
The way they conceive bands is radically different from how it use to be; Given how important the full experience has become, with video being the main mode of consuming entertainment, the camera-man and video editor has replaced the drummer. The make-up artists and hair dressers pushed of the keyboardist from the stage. The MC remains backed by the crew and elevated by the producers and their pirated music software. All of them jumping on stage during the concerts in front of a proud local crowd that knows the lyrics by heart.
Maybe the overused trap snare is there, maybe the wavy astethics and burner phones are there, maybe the phat blunt and the purple drank is there, maybe it’s all the same sound all over the globe. But so it was during the boombap and g-funk days. Same same but different codes. Things evolve, naturally.
I feel the leaners, are more inclusive then we were though. The attitude is welcoming any sort of style and body type. You can hear this music where ever you go in the world. And while they tend to sing in their native tongue, the same baseline of the codex is present everywhere: These yung people understand each other beyond borders in encompassing ways i’ve never seen before. Sure, in my days we had breakdance, turntablism and graffiti. But we also had a lot of taboos. Copying success was being an unoriginal copycat; a toy. In this movement, copycating is key. It’s like a cross bread between creative commons and memes with international unity sprinkled on top. You may say it is lyrically levelled to lowest common denominator. And I’ll agree to disagree: it’s levelled. Just about anyone can decide to do it. There are no more gate-keeping talent required. It’s all measured in how much you’ll dare to add your own personality to your jam, including your flaws. You don’t have to be pretty; instead you have to have a DIY brand. Preferably backed by hoard of yungsters waving the same brand on their swag or in a tattoo.
CLR caught my attention immediately. I’d been wondering who write those modern graffitis depicting LUX in Geneva because I think they set a new standard for style in the city. The videos contains images of places in Geneva where I would be at their age. But the angle they are showing is elevating these places to underground levels I wouldn’t have dreamed of at their age. Times are tougher in Switzerland. Geneva used to be full of alternativ space for creativity. There still is creativity, but the space is small, and while it’s a sad thing, it would seem that it has forced the newer generations to step up their game.
But don’t take my words for it. Just go ahead and make your own impressoin; listen to and download Ratitude on HauteCulture
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