Bridging the Gap:

Why I pivoted deeper into Web3

A close friend recently brought up the topic in conversation of Hip Hop as a social disruptor. This struck me poignantly and I immediately started thinking about the correlation between it, and Web3. Because initially, at its core, Hip Hop culture was considered a temporary fad by many. But what was born as social commentary, has expanded into a culture & way of life for many.

So what’s the relation between Hip Hop and Web3?

Well, let’s back up a bit.

Take me as an example. I used to be a rapper for many years (yep! long story.)
I moved to New York 20 years ago in pursuit of a more established musical career, which was (at the time) an art that I had been developing since 14 years old. It was my life’s dream (back then.) But I knew that the only way this would work is if I physically relocated to New York, the mecca of opportunity.

Like many, I had to work to survive. So, I became an Executive Assistant and entered the corporate world in an effort to pay my bills & purchase studio time. I’ve supported and nurtured the genius of others for well over 18 years. But I rarely showed up to work in my own cultural aesthetic. Instead, I played the game and understood that a corporate attire would “help me be taken more seriously.” I followed the status quo.

Obviously, I am no longer pursuing the career path of a rapper (for quite some time now) and I’ve since then, for the past decade, redirected my artistic urges into painting and mixed media. Yet, I used this as an example because it IS still part of my cultural identity. I am a child of Hip Hop. I understand constructive disruption. I had yet to merge all these facets of my identity.

Enter my first year at Vice News 6 years ago.

I showed up in corporate wear, only to realize that this was an environment where I could be my more authentic self. I began to merge my professional and personal identities and learned that what I wore, did not have to affect how seriously I was taken. This empowered me and helped me understand that disruption of status quo is not pejorative.

This (Web3) “idea for a new iteration of the worldwide web based on blockchain technology, which incorporates concepts such as decentralization and token-based economics” has also been seen as an incredibly disruptive concept.

In contrast to Web2 (which is the version of the internet which is most familiar to all) and its current status quo, “where data and content are centralized in a small group of companies often referred to as “Big Tech.”

Sidebar: this decentralized philosophical concept is not new. I recall back in the mid-90s joining some private chat rooms on Freenet. And they were around before the internet as you might know it. But, I digress.

My larger point being, we’re seeing a greater wave of onboarding and adoption within the Blockchain. And it’s shaking things up, much like hip hop did in the 80s. Many think this is a fad and it won’t last. But much like Hip Hop I believe in the message.

Hang tight- allow me to elaborate even more…

In music, a song’s bridge is a section that’s meant to feel different from the other parts while serving to connect them both. It’s a contrasting part; yet one that still fits within the context of the song. A lot of times, bridges use a new chord progression, a new time signature, even a new key. Often bridges tie choruses and verses together.

So in Hip Hop, the term ‘bridging the gap’ is commonly used and refers to the concept of helping connect things in a logical way; to have qualities of two different things; to fill in a space between two things, thus facilitating the spread of knowledge. (see also: “Know the Ledge”)

An obvious example of this is (rapper) Nas and his (renowned jazz musician) father Olu Dara bridging both their different genres into their ‘Bridging the Gap’ song.

This is why I felt pulled to pivot deeper into Web3:

The same (Hip Hop) culture that brought me to New York 21 years ago, is what brought me to web3. I was being pulled by not only a culture that was helping me bridge the gap from IRL to URL, but also remained forever enthralled in a passion for technology that was an extension of MYmost authentic self: the spirit of community. Much like Hip Hop, it broke past barriers and disrupted what ‘had always been.’

My brain exploded many times, imagining all the infinite possibilities in which one could utilize blockchain technology for the purpose of heritage preservation (and celebration.) My appetite and desire to learn continued to grow daily and with every side project, panel or workshop. I made a deal with myself that I would intentionally seek out opportunities that aligned with my philosophy & (productively) disruptive edge.

Enter Mesh:
I’m so very pleased to share that I recently accepted a role as Project Manager for Consensys Mesh, which is the incubation & investment arm of the original ConsenSys constellation. Their mission of global adoption of web3 technologies and structures very much align with my own, not to mention my desire to learn even more about DAOs and token economies.

So (very) long story short; why my deeper pivot from working in Web2 to Web3? Because I’m a retired rapper, who then turned corporate, and subsequently turned Web3 enthusiast- as a sort of return to my most authentic core. I felt heavily inspired by this new movement, and much like Hip Hop: I felt at home in Web3 from day 1.

Sincerely looking forward to helping others, bridge the gap. Cheers to the infinite possibilities which we all (truly) have the power to manifest.

With (Decentralized) Love,

~An analog girl, living in the digital world.

Salute to my whole Lyricist Lounge DAO founding family.
Special shout out to my new boss who will most likely be reading this!

Celebrating monumental milestones in hip hop culture during the Lyricist Lounge’s 30th Anniversary, with its co-founders Anthony Marshall & Danny Castro, at the Kennedy Center, DC. (Nov ‘21)

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