Some have defined MC as MIC Controller or Master of Ceremony, but I tend to agree with Rakims definition of MC and that is to “Move the Crowd”. In the early days of Hip-Hop most thought moving the crowd meant to entertain the crowd at a party or live event. That is only partially true and if you look closely at the video for Move the Crowd you understood what it really means. You may also understand how today with the spread of globalization in modern society the term takes that initial definition to another level. How do you move masses of people to a particular product, event or idea?
This is not to take away from the science of lyricism. With Rakims Tribute to Nelson Mandela he told the Icons life story in a rhyme. It’s is an inspirational work of art and to me means a lot more than a simple RIP Mandela, which I could not bring myself to post on may page because it did not say what I wanted to say. The tribute song was something I thought was powerful and worthy of Mandelas character and accomplishments. That is timeless and the reason why Rakim is still one of my favorite artists.
Traditionally musicians have been used to market just about everything due to their influence. So with that being said the best MC’s are the ones that have the most influence to get people to subscribe to their original idea. Some may interpret that as saying that as an artist you need to be commercial. However, on the contrary I am saying simply that the best MC’s understand business and the affect they have on consumers. That is not to say that you follow the trends to identify with large groups of people but rather it means to create your own trend and have masses of people following them. Now here lies the problem; if a trend is set that an MC does not agree with does he follow it anyway or go against the grain? The art of MC-ing has always been about being different so a real MC does not follow any trend they create new ones. That would be the first lesson to any aspiring artist “originality”.