Digable Planets were the kings of chill, with Ladybug Mecca as their Queen Bee (side note: she’s Brazilian, I’m so proud).
Thoughtful, lovers of good black music and with 0 f*cks to give, their attitude was the definition of class, and this song is an example of why.
The breezy attitude in it, along with the sax sample and the smart lyrics rapped by their deep voices, make listening to their music an experience similar to appreciating art: sometimes you catch yourself wondering "what did he/she mean with that?" and sometimes you're just like "wow, man, this is really really dope".
This group was one of the greatest exponents of the genre called “jazz rap” in the early 1990’s, and what’s so interesting about them, besides the clever lyrics, is their relaxed attitude. They’re too cool to even bother.
Nevertheless, here’s something worth mentioning: hip hop has always been known for its loudness and extravagance, and that’s great, because it’s powerful, it’s human, and of course, it’s exactly what a music genre arisen from a movement based on oppressed people’s representativeness would be expected to sound like. There's no more effective way to make yourself heard than making noise, is there?
That being said, I very much appreciate “chill” hip hop too. I’m not here to say which style is better, though. Even if this playlist is paying tribute to the jazzy style, that was more of a strategic choice to highlight the essential similarities between jazz, a style which ended up being associated with “fine” art, and hip hop, a style that is often wrongly associated with the opposite of sophistication.
However, choosing one form of art as artistically superior obviously goes against the own purposes of this playlist. Art comes in different ways for different people, and all forms of it should be celebrated.
Here’s to Digable Planets and their right to stay chill. It’s all about what they say themselves in this song: “You gotta do what you feel… If it’s real”.
You can learn more about Digable Planets here:
About the curator: Ana Clara Ribeiro
Music, art and entertainment have always played a big role in the life of Ana Clara Ribeiro. She grew up in Gurupi (an inland city in Tocantins, the youngest State of Brazil), listening to all kinds of music, reading, writing, watching stuff and connecting them to her personal beliefs and other ideas she read about.
As she became a lawyer and a writer, all the topics to which she is constantly exposed continued to give her insights about life, people and the universe, through the lenses of art.
Nowadays, when she isn’t analyzing lawsuits or producing content about Law, Marketing, Business or Music, she is certainly doing something related to her various personal and professional projects, always to the sound of a playlist as eclectic as her life.