My piece last week on Validation had some interesting and varied reactions from comments on Facebook and in person. What really struck me was how deep a topic it is, and I received some angles I simply hadn’t considered. I’m grateful to all those who enlightened me.
I hadn’t even intended to get onto the subject of Validation last week, it just presented itself to me as I began writing about Hip Hop v The Classics.
And here’s a funny thing…
…not only did I get more comments about Validation, I also by chance had instances to discuss and witness other moments of Hip Hop v The Classics.
Sorry to write like that with a ‘v’. It kinda makes it look like a rap battle or something…. Hip Hop battles The Classics in a heavy weight contest…In the left corner at 6’ 2’, Sloetry (who can’t even MC)….in the right corner, somewhat shorter, the combined works of Shakespeare & Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart…ding ding…
Ok, meanwhile back on planet earth… I met a world renowned hip hop choreographer who happened to be working on a piece involving a classical dance connection. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the piece, but I would have loved to, because I know this guy would have shown me a body of work that would have challenged me.
On another occasion, I saw classical poetry reworked into a form to make it more relevant to young people. It struck me how doing this to classical literature is like sitting in front of an ‘urban’ dictionary and going through a process of translation. By doing so I had an epiphany moment as to what doesn’t quite sit comfortably with me… I wonder if it actually stereotypes youth, hip hop and perhaps cultures, and indeed perpetuates this myth that there is a genre called ‘urban’. Others may disagree and as I said last week, this is purely about personal taste.
Last week what got me onto the more general subject of Validation, was whether the process of Hip Hop (ing) The Classics is about a process of validation. On Friday I saw an excellent BBC documentary on Public Enemy. As I was watching it I thought about how they brought everything they had into the face of mainstream America. If anything Public Enemy were saying to the mainstream…. we’ll tell you how it actually is, now go and validate yourselves!
Another angle I was given on Validation came with a comment about how success and others appreciation could be used to validate, and also that it could also be negative as well as positive. I thought this was a great point. In fact it could be a double edged sword. For example, an artist say like Rihanna could feel she is validated by her album sales, whereas some might ‘unvalidate’ her, by claiming her style of shall we say, minimal clothing, is not appropriate. Of course Public Enemy could have taken a negative response from mainstream America as a positive validation of what they were trying to get across. Maybe it’s about how we receive it and choose to use it too.
I received a comment that maybe the merging of hip hop and the classics can actually breakdown misunderstandings and stereotypes, so that everyone can appreciate and understand each other more.
I was also told that author Toni Morrison insisted on validating her children as they entered the room… With loving eye contact. That was such a beautiful angle on the actions associated with this word, that it made me realise what an enormous part of our lives validation could and perhaps should be, whether from others or just from ourselves. It really does source from self, and the smallest of our circles of family and friends, to work or business or the arts. Wow I guess even thinking about it, if your bank balance is better at the end of each month because you choose to walk or take a bus rather than use the underground, then your actions are validated in your bank statements… or perhaps while on the holiday you were able to save up for at the end of the year.
I think the example of validating our children and loved ones, really shows not only how varied this is, but also how it important it is in our lives. Perhaps we should make a point of validating those close to us. I’ve perhaps always seen the word as being about opinions and big actions, for example, so and so validated their actions by x, y or z. But this use of ‘validation’ on the more personal things that are our building blocks, such as our relationships, takes this from a larger discussion about music, to very personal elements for us. I personally hadn’t seen it like that until I started writing about it and listening to what others had to say.
As always would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks to everyone who fed back to me this week . And of course, have a brilliant weekend.