There is music, and then there is testimony. Dick Boston of Hot Head Ent. demonstrates the power of the latter on “My Story” as he unloads about the struggles in his life. Rap is a genre rife with horizontal violence and materialistic aspirations but when you dig below these gut reactions to oppression, there is a rich and under-tapped body of material.
If you listen to “My Story” you’ll hear a laundry list of loved ones that Boston has lost in his short life. That violence has solidified itself as a mainstay in Boston’s life and as a norm in his native Oakland. It’s the kind of constant that you can become desensitized to. What’s promising and impressive is that, though affected by homicides, struggles in school, and drama with the mother of his child, Boston refuses to define himself through these traumas. He knows few expect an African-American male raised in Oakland to win a rigged game, but he’s not fazed. As if on cue he spits, “And just because the skin that I’m in / They don’t think I’m capable of becoming a better man.”
This brand of hip-hop isn’t preachy or self righteous, it’s self-reflective, genuine, and necessary to spark real dialogue in the hood. Word is that Dick Boston will have more material of this ilk on the way soon. Stay tuned.