I wake up at 3:15am to start getting ready for work at the Institute of Reading Development, the office of which is located 11.30 miles away from my house, so I hop out of bed and quickly shower, pick out a shirt and tie, throw on a jacket, grab something for lunch from the refrigerator, and hop on my bicycle. The ride takes me approximately 47.00 minutes, sometimes a little more if it's windy and sometimes a little less if I've had ample time previous to stretch properly, and it's a long time to ride through the cold 4:00am air, but every step of the way I have some form of hip hop accompanying me.
I usually throw on my headphones and pocket my Zune, opting to listen to my music fresh from the source, and I take my extra hour of the day which most would consider wasted time and use it to study hip hop. I listen to the inflections, the beats, the instrumentation (or timbre, if you will), the different vocal recording techniques in place, the extra sounds, the production style... whatever is available in the music to hear. And I really hear it, I don't just listen to the music. I'm soaking it in through every push.
And some days I do not have my Zune, and my CD player is always on some sort of hiatus, and so I spend the time looking at the beautiful scenery around me, constructing new mental images of what is going on in the countryside at 4:00 in the morning. I watch the changes in the fog level, the temperature changes, the area where I can see all the stars because there are no streetlights for a stretch of the ride, and I freestyle about it, and I write things down in my phone that I really like and I try to capture my environment in my lyrics. I like to actively become a part of my surroundings, and it has been pushing my lyrics in a direction which I cannot complain about in the slightest.
The morning used to be a time when I hated being awake, opting to stay up at all hours of the night and wake up late, but now I'm utilizing the extra hours I get out of the day to study hip hop, create hip hop, and become more in tune with the things around me.
Why hip hop? I don't need an instrument on my to rap. I can improvise better with my voice than I can with any instrument I may have every used. I've had my voice since the moment I was born, and I've been learning the English language my entire life. It's only natural that I should share my experiences through my voice, and with the medium I feel most comfortable with; the language I have grown up around, and the language which I have been speaking my entire life.
Hip Hop is not a type of music, it's a type of life.