In trend with the rising popularity of the eclectic single from new artist Jidenna, the image of the "classic man" seems to be having a much needed resurgence. It seems that there is a growing sub-culture within the hip-hop community gaining traction. As millennials approach and settle on in to their thirties, there is now a market for a well educated, progressive, cultured, community centered movement. In the video for the refreshing new single " classic man," Jidenna depicts an established leader in his community, that exudes pride, power, and elegance. Giving an homage to the black man of the Jim Crow era. It's about more than fashion, the well cut suits, bow ties, lapel pins and pocket squares. All dope things that I love by the way. But its more about presence. Being taken seriously, exuding confidence. Confidence in your history, your lineage, education, and social standing. It's deeper than rap, It's deeper than fashion. It speaks to the subconscious of the black man in America. In a time of demonization, demoralization, humiliation, and feminization of the black man's image in America. I know for me ever since I've heard this song it has played in the backdrop of my process. When I'm inserting my cufflinks, adjusting my bowtie, lacing up my Italian wing tip shoes. Call it cosmetic, call it narcissism, but don't forget to call me fresh. I walk just a little bit taller, my hand shake is just a tad bit more firm, my smile towards that woman watching me walk in is brighter and uncomfortably long lasting. Its a positive affirmation. One that is consistent with the "black experience" in America. Especially for the traditionally educated. Wearing the Mask as Paul Lawrence Dunbar explained in his poem "We wear the mask" (Please read that if reference is missed). It speaks on the need to exist in two worlds. To be socially acceptable in western society and to also stay unapologetically "black." It’s a balancing act, one that we've learned is necessary from as early as grade school.
But our time is now, we're what’s up, we're what’s cool. The yolo-ites have swag surfed hip-hop culture off a cliff. Into a shallow wading pool of mediocrity. It's time to gather and assemble. Because we're out here in ways that matter and can have a positive impact on culture as a whole, and for the conscious of our people. Not just improving how "they see us" but how "we see us." Songs like "classic man" stimulate that nerve. But it starts with us being that "classic man" That visible pillar in the community, operating righteously, visible for all to take notice. It all starts with creating and nurturing that collective. That is the goal of the Talented Tenth Enterprises and at the center of every event. To put those people together in the same room and stimulate discourse between ourselves and improving our network. So just like the backdrop to the music video a new age Harlem Renaissance period needs to take place. One centered around our community business and culture. I'm ready for empowerment, are you? Let’s have that conversation. Come kick it with like-minded individuals on July 25th at the Catalina Wine Mixer, to hear about our exiting plans and initiatives to contribute to our community and cultivate "our platform."