Still, "The Teacha," which Parker calls himself, has gone to some length to legitimize hip-hop over the past decade. Like a grizzled college professor nearing tenure, he espouses rap with a single-minded and long-winded objective, often making things up along the way to support his concept. Before Maxwell came along, he was the most pretentious black man making music. Still, he raised hip-hop consciousness to a new plane, influencing plenty of boyz in the hood to pick up the mic along the way. Parker's latest project, the Temple of HipHop Kulture, is a compilation that includes several old-schoolers and new school kids with like-minded agendas. It's not very interesting and sounds quite antiquated in today's music marketplace.
Parker prides himself on his anti-rap-star stance (for all his metaphysical, theological, philosophical, and sociological affectation, he's a pretty unassuming guy, as far as rappers go), even going so far to claim "rap music is not [his] job." He wants to take hip-hop to a "higher level." Quite a daunting task with Master P's No Limit posse and other platinum rappers out there. Still, better the brainy pretense than the played-out thugs-and-thighs tales. Wouldn't it be great, though, if Parker -- who's performing at Peabody's with a host of mostly local DJs and MCs as part of a late-night, rave-like event -- could put some good music where that big mouth is? -- Michael Gallucci