In collaboration with Het Nieuwe Instituut, Concrete Blossom presents a series of video essays and podcasts about language, imagery and space in hip hop culture. In the first edition Malique Mohamud (Concrete Blossom) is joined by artist Wes Mapes to talk about the philosophy of Gucci Mane (‘the sauce’), knowledge in our social circles, and the embodiment of this knowledge in a westernised society.
In this programme, the guests respond to the first video essay in the series. Together, they reflect on music artist Gucci Mane as a philosopher. Mane speaks indirectly about the production of knowledge on the margins of society. He talks about ‘the sauce’, a metaphor that he uses to explain his life and mindset. Concrete Blossom’s Malique Mohamud builds on his concept and, together with artist Wes Mapes, analyses how knowledge is developed in everyday life. They take a look at the existing knowledge that can be found in our informal circles: among our family members, on the streets or in barber shops and hair salons. And they discuss how this knowledge is embodied outside of the westernized cultures which still often interact with it only on an academic or formalised level.
Wes Mapes is an artist who creates mixed media artworks, paintings, sculptures and installations. He draws inspiration from a vast pool of influences ranging from post-colonial theory, alternative history, mathematics, modern architecture and Pan-African identity. He graduated with a master's from the Sandberg Institute’s Radical Cut-Up programme in 2019.
Concrete Blossom x Het Nieuwe Instituut
This three-part series of video essays and podcasts is a collaboration between Concrete Blossom and Het Nieuwe Instituut and is part of Concrete Blossom’s podcast series Life at The Niteshop. The podcast episodes are recorded in The Niteshop: the first knowledge centre for urban culture in the Netherlands.
Life at The Niteshop
If you are familiar with hip hop culture, you are familiar with the fact that it is a world where everything gets remixed. From imagery to language to space, everything changes into building blocks that are used to create new worlds. Since its rise in the 1970s and 80s, hip hop has passed through the hands of many generations of young people who transformed it into a tool for social-cultural alchemy. It represents the power to challenge a world that is not made by you, and is not for you to change. Think of fashion, media, and other domains that could follow. Through Life at The Niteshop, listeners will learn how exponents of urban culture, aka The Culture, are developing new languages and knowledge from the position of underdog that have the potential to change society.