Zeds Dead but Hip Hop is Not…

Posted: October 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

The squeaky wheel gets greased

the nail that sticks up is hammered down

Once in awhile I catch myself thinking that my logic is not flawed, and I have a firm handle on things and then something comes along and flips that upside down on me again. It is difficult not to make assumptions about life. I had assumed that humans naturally perceived rarity as value. That the more uncommon something was, the more desired it would be. And I could observe this in everyone around me, and so I attributed it to being a human behavior.

I found out that there is much evidence to suggest I was wrong, and that this way of thinking is rather American. We are in fact the most individualistic culture, and therefore this is a value that is extreme and noticeable here. In cultures where community comes first, integration is more important than self expression or uniqueness. So to value the uncommon is a cultural quality. Which leads me to wonder what other values and beliefs that appear common sense are a result of culture, and not biology.

The alternative to an individualistic culture is a collectivist one, and it is interesting that there is this entire spectrum on which we sit at one extreme. I think that to strike a balance between the needs of the individual and the needs of the community would be ideal, but I don’t think that represents the average point of view. An equally individual and collective culture may be unlikely but I believe anything is possible. I never thought you could blend hip hop and dubstep together successfully but then I heard the Qwel & Maker remix below, and the Victor mixtape from Zeds Dead and Omar LinX – Check out one of the bangers from this EP.

Zeds Dead & Omar LinX – No Prayers

Is hip hop itself individualistic or collectivist in general? There are examples of both points of view but I think individuality is a key component of hip hop, and I think that even when you join a team and work for the good of the group, its important for an emcee to maintain their identity and not become a forgotten organ. Similarly most groups need to diverge from other groups in order to be memorable. At the same time if this individualism is too extreme, the group may not work well together. Selfishness and altruism. The yin and yang of intention.


  1. You speak the truth brother. I am working on a rhyming translation of the Tao if like to share with you when I’m finished.


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