I was very surprised with Stereotype (2009) by Blitz the Ambassador. When I first listened to it I didn’t like it at all but once I listened to it more the album started to grow on me. Whether it is the sound of the trumpet, saxophone, piano or guitar, there is a part of Jazz in every song. By adding jazz it gives every track a new feel. In this album his band “Embassy Ensemble” is featured on some of the tracks, this is a great addition to Blitz’s music. Like all the rest of Blitz’s music, he doesn’t use any other language than English.
Blitz’s lyrics tell us a little bit about his own immigration experience but mainly tells the story of his childhood. In “Goodbye Stereotype”, Blitz shares that Hip Hop was his only escape from his problems in Ghana and he would listen to his boom box wishing he was apart of this culture. He goes into depth about his first performance with his crew at school. He was so nervous that he forgot his lyrics. Blitz and his band got boo’d off stage, this motivated him to make sure that it will never happen again. “Dying to Live” is one of my favorite tracks from Stereotype. It has a jazz feel to it and the woman singing adds passion to the song. Blitz is stating that we never know when our life will be over so we must live for today. To portray this message he begins with sharing that at a young age he started to pay attention to race, “I told my mama, god don’t love us if he did then why all the angels white”. While struggling in the ghetto he never thought of killing himself but he knew people who did and this opened up his eyes to the hurt of his people. Regarding his immigration experience, Blitz says that he came to the United States with just a bag an a dream to become a Hip Hop rapper. During his time as a newly rapper he went on tour with different artists and he performed at their shows. He was seen as a better rapper than the main artist that was on tour. People started to like Blitz’s music and this added to his motivation to keep pursuing his dreams and not let his past struggles over take him.
In Stereotype, Blitz represents Africa by stating that “I put the whole continent on my back, I know my people feel good at least one of us made it”. The people of his country look up to him because they see that he was brave enough to migrate to the United States to achieve his dreams. Because of Blitz’s success this could motivate his people to pursue the lifestyle they have always envisioned to live. Also in track 3 “Breathe”, Blitz shootouts Ghana by saying that he is from the best continent. I love Blitz’s pride for his country, you can see it through his lyrics but also through the combination of the congo drum and other instruments used to give his tracks a taste of African music.
Through out Stereotype, Blitz the Ambassador speaks about topics like the music industry an incarceration.
“Nothing to Lose” is about Blitz’s determination to destroy music that is promoting things that can cause a person to commit suicide. Blitz states, “incarceration, separation, depravation, operation, starvation, aggravation, music just stop”. He names all different types of issues to expose to his audience that the music industry secretly advertises those things. Also that the industry has a mentality that they have “nothing to lose”. Blitz believes that todays style of Hip Hop will kill it self before it will ever attempt to kill him.
“Ghetto Plantation” describes how the government controls society. Blitz states that our crooked government system is meant to conquer the African American community. Incarceration is the modern form of slavery. It keeps blacks from having freedom and it is made to ruin their lives. Also the way a jail is ran today is very similar to the way slave plantations were organized. Blitz’s solution to this problem is for the African American community to rise together and to realize that freedom comes from within.
Two tracks that focus on the problems of the music industry are “Remembering the Future” and “Goodbye Stereotype”. In “Remembering the Future” Blitz makes a bold statement that the radio can not change who he is and that through him reaching for his dreams he is better than the music played on the radio. In track 12 “Goodbye Stereotype”, he makes a declaration that he will not miss the radio, “Goodbye to radio, goodbye to all the things you never do”. After that he tells the stories of famous artist from the 1980’s and 1990’s, who impacted Hip Hop and made it into the legendary genre that it is today. Through out track 12 he keeps stating that “Hip Hop is not about me”. When he was younger Blitz thought Hip Hop was all about himself but as he grew up he had a realization that Hip Hop is for the African American community.