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article imageEmcee WeeD—Hip Hop not just about money making or shooting people Special

By Lesley Lanir     Apr 8, 2014 in Entertainment
Glasgow - In connection to his video, ‘We Are Not A United Kingdom’, Danny Quinn, known as Scottish Hip Hop artist and emcee, Wee D, talks about Hip Hop, his reasons for using and defending this musical genre and the benefits of Hip Hop for young people.
Wee D, the performer and writer of the Hip Hop polemic "We Are Not A United Kingdom," produced by Omar Al-Zidjal, shown in the above video clip is Danny Quinn, a 24 year-old Hip Hop emcee from Coatbridge in Scotland, just outside the east end of Glasgow.
Hip Hop artist, Wee D, is well known in Scotland for his offensive rap battles; however, the content of the above video which focuses on socioeconomic problems, politics, violence, discrimination and other factors impacting society, differs greatly in its production and choice of tone and subject from the emcee's usual rap performances as seen in the video below — 'Rap Battle: Wee D vs Wee Rabb'.
Digital Journal contacted Danny Quinn to find out more about his thoughts on Hip Hop as a choice of musical genre, the choice of topic and tone of his latest video ‘We Are Not A United Kingdom’ and his thoughts on the upcoming referendum on whether Scotland should become an independent country. In this article Danny concentrates on discussing Hip Hop its roots, meaning and uses.
As a Scottish artist, is Hip Hop an unusual choice of musical genre?
Usually, you could be forgiven for associating UK Hip Hop to an East Londoner
Danny Quinn - Hip Hop emcee Wee D
Danny Quinn - Hip Hop emcee Wee D
Ben Harrison
rocking a Union Jack bandana around his mouth like he had just torn Geri Halliwell’s knickers off with his teeth, shouting along with 20 other people in his video at deafening crescendos beyond the human ear's perception but no, not today.
Now, there is a wealth of talent dwelling all over the UK - artists with diverse and intelligent wordplay that can have the listener bent over in a flood of tears and crumpled on their living room floor in a fit of laughter in nanoseconds.
So, some may think Hip Hop isn’t necessarily associated with Scotland but for the past nine years performing as Wee D, I have been fully submerged in the Scotland’s creative pond with many others, fiercely trying to tackle some of the barriers surrounding us.
Along with my fellow friends and associates of Glasgow’s five piece Hip Hop collective ‘Shadowpeople’, we have continuously flexed our creative muscles and pushed our way towards mainstream exposure, both individually and collectively.
Why use Hip Hop to convey your message?
Hip Hop, admittedly through its own fault, has become known as the genre that glorifies rape, violence, misogyny, crime and corruption. As a victim of its own success, Hip Hop quickly went from being the voice of oppression and the working/lower class to a jackpot of money for wealthy investors to manipulate and drain. What better way to draw attention to something new than controversy eh?
But like any creative art, Hip Hop is music of the soul, it is modern day poetry which was born and raised on the streets of New York and adapted in every neighbourhood in the world.
Most people can pick up a pen and write, or make two words rhyme at the end of their sentence, you don’t need to be able to play an instrument, you don’t need to be able to sing, you don’t really need anything other than a voice and a message.
That’s what Hip Hop is, it’s the rawest, purest form of expression which can be utilised and mastered by anyone in the world.
Danny Quinn  Hip Hop emcee Wee D
Danny Quinn, Hip Hop emcee Wee D
Victoria Black
When did you become interested in defending Hip Hop’s integrity as a musical genre?
Ever since I picked up ‘Illmatic’ by Nas, nine years ago, my main inspiration for using this genre has always been to tackle the stigma which is leeching into Hip Hop at the hands of corporate manipulation.
I wanted to show people that Hip Hop on your radio and music channels is not a true reflection of the powerful and life changing tool that I know it can be used for. Hip Hop is about the underdog’s triumph; it’s about being true to who you are and demonstrating the rigid beliefs and ethics by which you live and die.
I refuse to accept that Hip Hop is only about making money and shooting people.
Just like the reader, as an artist, I too can fall hostage at the hands of my own emotions. I can often feel spurts of rage, misery, sadness, jealousy, anguish, confusion etc: and it has become all too common for me to pick up a pen and spill my heart out onto the page in front of me - often resulting in a (hopefully) enticing yet a completely hypocritical demonstration of the negative and derogatory elements of Hip Hop that I so strongly oppose.
Are you comfortable with the fact that you may seem like a hypocrite?
Yes, because as I have said, Hip Hop is self-expression; it’s about expelling your demons, conquering the voice in your head which drags you down, taking a negative situation and presenting a positive purpose from it and I would never deny myself the right of expression in order to masquerade my natural emotion.
In your opinion, could Hip Hop be used therapeutically - for troubled teens or young adults as a way of expressing themselves if they can't reach out in other ways?
Hip Hop is self-expression. Self-expression is a means of therapy, a tool which we
Danny Quinn - Hip Hop emcee Wee D
Danny Quinn - Hip Hop emcee Wee D
Kerr Armstrong
use to free ourselves from the chains which have bound us to reality.
Imagine if you were the scriptwriter for your own life, if you were able to dictate your direction and outcomes by the swing of a pen without actually having to fear the repercussions of every decision-because there would be none, unless of course you added them in to your lines.
In any form of music you are very much the scriptwriter, you are relaying pure emotion from past experiences – positive and negative. Hip Hop is an excellent way to de-stress and also to build confidence and character.
I believe we are all born with an artistic mind frame and that we are educated out of this artistic mind frame and lead to believe that there is no place in the real world for the artistically gifted. Many young people are born with tremendous artistic abilities and are lead to believe that they are not intelligent by a negligent curriculum that’s only purpose is to produce university graduates.
Having said all that you don’t really need to be overly creative to start rapping; just have a go and see if you can do it.
So can Hip Hop be therapeutic? Yes, I think it can. A lot of teenagers relate to the struggles written in Hip Hop, whether it is substance abuse, poverty, alcoholism, crime or such. At the least it makes them feel someone understands what they may be going through.
Read the next article for a continuation of this conversation, where Danny Quinn discusses in more detail his reasons for making his video ‘We Are Not A United Kingdom’ produced by Omar Al-Zidjali of Redtree pictures. In later conversations Danny talks about Scottish Independence and the release of his new free EP 'Damage Control', coming out soon on Subfriction records.
Danny Quinn - We Are Not A United Kingdom
Danny Quinn - We Are Not A United Kingdom
Omar Al-Zidjali - Red Tree Films
More about Wee D, Hip hop, Danny Quinn, emcee, shadowpeople
 
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