Tattoo it in Skin: A Literary Prediction

Tattoo it in Skin: A Literary Prediction

2001-09-01

RVV Rob Wittig, Scriptor, fast forwards to a future when teenagers in neo-nikes and neo-soccer jerseys recreate ye olden days of the True Hip Hop Troubadour, circa Y2K.

atom one, the troubadours

The troubadours invented love.

Or, at least, that’s the CLAIM that every scholar who writes about the 12th century explosion of song writing in southern France at first repeats…… then backs off of.

“It’s probably not EXACTLY true,” they’ll waffle… “but it’s close enough for Jazz.”

What IS unquestionable is that every theme of every love song being played on the radio at the moment you read this - country, rock, standards, hip hop, dance, in every Western language - can first be found in troubadour lyrics…

- My beloved doesn’t love me and I’m going crazy with grief

- I know that loving you is against all the rules, but our feelings are more important than anything else

- You are so lovely that looking at you makes me physically weak

- My love is so strong it has taken on a life of its own and will outlive both of us

- One glance from you would magically cure this horrible pain

- Spring time is the season of love

- You are the only person in the world who could ever make me happy

- Drop your resistance, and be with me even though it seems against common sense, there are higher principles at work

- The quality of this song is the proof of how strong my love for you is

- It’s my job to praise your unique worth in song lyrics

- I’ll mention my own name in my song so everyone will know who wrote it

- I’m the best of all the songwriters (the others are clowns and pretenders), I can handle a sword as well, so therefore I’m the best candidate for your love

…and more and more.

These themes are so deep a part of our culture that it is a shock to think of a time when they were brand new…or to know that they are not shared by all the great cultures of the world.

atom two, cyrano

So, while the troubadours have been on my mind (as they are every Spring)[I love Valerie] I have also been thinking about Cyrano de Bergerac, that minor poet with the big schnozz who was immortalized and fictionalized and Romanticized in Rostand’s smash hit 19th century play. And I was reflecting on just how cool Cyrano is - swordsman, poet, impromptu rhymer, lover - just how perfect a descendent of the troubadours he is…his SKILL WITH WORDS proving the depth of his love…his courage to fight, his courage to know his emotions…his tragedy as he hides behind the shallow, handsome front man…how, generation after generation, we in the Western (troubadour-laced) tradition will always find the figure of Cyrano cool…then…

molecule: the future revival of hip hop

…I had a revelation, and I am here to officially record my PREDICTION.

Think about it!

Think about it, think about it, think about it.

Think about how cool the hip hop artists of today are going to appear, one hundred years from now, two hundred years from now. They are real life Cyranos. They ARE the troubadours.

They compete for love (love from the beloved in the song, love from the audience) on the basis of their skill at memorized and spontaneous rhyming.

just like the troubadours, just like Shakespeare and the Elizabethans.

Most of them do work of poor quality, a tiny percentage does work of great skill.

just like the troubadours, just like Shakespeare and the Elizabethans.

The “literary experts” of their own time do not recognize what they do as literature.

just like Shakespeare [the plays]

They brag about their skill in their lyrics, troubadour style, and openly attack their rivals.

Many are surrounded with an aura of readiness-to-fight, of attitude and weaponry, some have even been in ambushes or duels. Just like Rostand’s Cyrano. Some have died that way. Think of THAT.

Think how THAT will look in 300 years, 700 years. How incredibly romantic.

Hip Hop culture has its particular kinds of clothing, particular vocabularies, even particular body language, carefully archived on film and video…all built around the principle that verbal and musical skill demonstrate personal worth and lead to worldly rewards.

Because of Hip Hop’s sheer popularity, enough evidence of it will survive for young fans of the future to be able to fairly accurately re-create a Neo-Hip-Hop culture…which will operate just like the various waves of Neo-Classicism throughout Western history. Yes, tattoo it in SKIN, some Rostand of many centuries hence will fictionalize up some story of men and women who are ALIVE RIGHT NOW (or have recently died) and a whole generation of future swooning young folks will go to sleep every night in their Neo-Nikes and Neo-Soccer-Jerseys (long after soccer will have ceased to be played) under their animated Tupac Shakur holograms WISHING LIKE HELL that they had been LUCKY enough to be alive in the 1990s when True Hip Hop Troubadours roamed the earth.