Sean XLG Mitchell is the ultimate hip-hop griot. I began my career promoting hit makers from Rockmaster Scott and the Dynamic Three to M.C. Hammer. As an artist, I recorded several underground hits as a member of Unlimited Skills, I'm the first rapper to win a national music competition and I'm the creator of the hip-hop category Adult Contemporary Rap.
BPM: Introduce us to your book, The Roof is on Fire: 101 Greatest Moments in Hip Hop.
“The Roof is on Fire: 101 Greatest Moments in Hip Hop” celebrates and highlights outstanding events and achievements in rap music over the last 30 years. From the success of mainstream artists like Lil Wayne, Eminem and Snoop Dogg to hit films like Krush Groove and Hustle and Flow, every era is explored and documented. Using over 25 years of experience in rap music, I chronicle events from the past and present and add shine with exclusive interviews with hip-hop legends to include Dana Dane, Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Mele Mel, the Fat Boys and Queen Pen. I reveal a vast array of feats, from the extraordinary and outrageous to the noble and obscure that is both informative and fascinating.
BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and writer?
What makes me powerful as a person and writer is my extensive experience in Hip Hop and passion as a fan and artist. I started rapping in 1979 at a young age so I grew up with the music and culture and watched how it unfolded, developed and evolve throughout the years. In 1993, I filmed a rap video in Washington, DC for the Proposition One Initiative 37 act. As part of an anti-nuclear weapon campaign, the infomercial aired in the Washington DC area on WDCA TV Station. On September 14, 1993, DC Initiative 37 won a special election with 56% of the vote and was introduced to Congress as HR-3750 in 1994: The Nuclear Disarmament and Economic Conversion Act, becoming one of the first rap artists to participate in the success of a legislative process.
BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
I would like to reach every generation of Hip Hop fans. One of the problems with the culture is that it seems to be divided from one era to the next. Some of the young artists today aren't familiar with some of the pioneers and some of the pioneers aren't familiar with the young artists so my book "The Roof is on fire" bridges the gap by highlighting the great achievements of all the artists so we can develop a mutual respect for one another and keep Hip Hop moving in a positive direction.
BPM: What specific revelation prompted you to write your book?
What prompted me to write my book is to credit the artists for their great achievements and to take a wholistic approach in looking at the music and culture. When young people ask what was so great about Mele Mel they'll be able to see what he accomplished 25 years ago and how significant he was to the survival of an art that was once deemed a fad. Equally,to add the achievements of Lil Wayne, Geto Boys, Luke, NWA, Biggie, Pac, DMX, Eminem, and all of the other artists allows us to appreciate each generation so everyone is respected.
BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I want readers to gain a respect for Hip Hop as an art form, and specifically to understand that rap music is diverse and not all songs are the same. There was a time period in the early 80's when you had dozens of rap songs with positive messages, then you had party songs and later you had the dance records with the uptempo style like "Push It" by Salt-N-Pepa, "It Takes Two" by Rob Base, a political side with Public Enemy and a gangsta side with NWA. You had comical rap with the Fat Boys, Fresh Prince and Biz Markie, a little bit of romance with Whodini and LL, lyrical fire with Rakim and Big Daddy Kane, story telling with Slick Rick and Dana Dane. The music is multi-demensional and that's one point I would like to get across.
BPM: How can our readers reach you online?
Readers can reach me online at firstname.lastname@example.org and can visit my web site at http://www.seanxlg.com/.
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