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Kevin Beacham: "This Book is My Passion; I will not Compromise"

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One of the most unique aspects of Hip-Hop is is lyrical approach to music and technique in delivery. Multi-Syllable, but many accounts, was around before the genre ever existed, but it never was refined and defined so gracefully or defiantly beforehand. While much of the appeal is within the production, regardless of nature, the meat of the genre's bones is in its lyricism and songwriting. This becomes Kevin Beacham's song of cultural significance whenever he talks about his book of which will be finalized late 2014.

"I was in a writing mood so I wrote a blog for Fifth Element called 'Microphone Mathematics' that analyzed lyrics... throughout my whole time of writing, I analyzed lyrics probably more than any writer did—that I saw. I saw a missing link in album writing. I was trying to figure out what to write a book about and it occurred to me that I had been writing it since 1992: a book on the history of rhyme writing in hip-hop" Beacham stated. It's a style that he began in 1992, but started to perfect with experience of journalism for underground hip-hop magazines in Chicago--after all, lyricism in hip-hop would be of prime interest to a man who is a visionary at Rhymesayers'-owned record store in Minneapolis, as well as the co-host of The Current's "H2" show, hosted every Wednesday.

The urgency for this book came from multiple avenues, the most urgent--besides his passion and love for the genre--is the general lack of extensive hip-hop history: lacking proper historical recognition by either negligence or being slapped onto any given rock history textbook. In recent years more attempts to write a definitive history of hip hop has been very well embarked, but a lack of the historical and artistic significance of lyricism is something that consistently troubled Beacham. Up to the challenge, he devoted himself to the research process.

"“For this book, I painstakingly created an iPod with playlist by year since the first rap record—’79, ’80—and put every rap song possible I could find and listened to them in chronological order, and made notes. For the 80’s, I've listened to over 14,000 songs, and charted the differences in the changes and evolution... what I did was pretty much insanity. [Laughs]." As a matter of fact, when Beacham went through his music collection, something like over 64,000 songs were devoted to hip-hop--easily over 300 hours of music, countless hours in total research.

But, despite the challenges, the project titled "Microphone Mathematics" will be in its final draft by the end of 2014 to much anticipation from many sides. It's anticipation well-deserved for work that's "pretty much insanity." After all, to some, such dedication may be insane, but passion is nothing without insanity.


Further updates will come out as the book progressively closes in on its release date.

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