Digging Deeper-Exploring Hip Hop Culture:
A Journey Beyond Rap Music
Hip hop is an extraordinary cultural phenomenon, surpassing the boundaries of a mere music genre. Emerging as a powerful movement rooted in the oppression faced by Black people, particularly in the United States, hip hop encompasses a rich tapestry of art forms. As a self-proclaimed guest who dabbles in the house of hip hop, it is my duty to honor and respect its origins. I am deeply enamored by the power, relevance, and incredible talent exhibited by rap artists, DJs, producers, sample culture, b-boys, and graffiti artists. In this article, we will delve into the birth of hip hop, drawing inspiration from notable artists and their contributions to the culture.
In the late 1980s, while disco records were spinning, several groups of innovative Disk Jockeys and crews embarked on a journey of musical experimentation. These pioneers delved into breakbeats, loops, and early sampling, molding the music into their own unique creations. As the beats evolved, a new breed of "wordsmiths" emerged, rapping about the harsh realities of life in the Bronx, New York. These early lyrical artists paved the way for the expressive power of hip hop today.
Reflecting on this era, the legendary rapper and pioneer Grandmaster Flash once remarked, "We took the street and made it our canvas. The music was our voice, and the turntables were our weapons."  This quote encapsulates the transformative essence of hip hop, where marginalized voices found liberation and expression through the artistic mediums of rap, DJing, Breakdancing and Graffiti.
Hip hop culture was born out of a tumultuous environment characterized by gang violence, broken homes, poverty, racism, and discrimination. Although I can only begin to grasp the magnitude of these struggles, I think it is crucial to acknowledge the profound impact they had on the genre's evolution. Talib Kweli, an influential rap artist, shared his thoughts on this, stating, "Hip hop is a direct reflection of the environment we grew up in. It's a representation of the voiceless, a platform for the marginalized." 
Furthermore, the journey of hip hop culture extends far beyond the mainstream stardom achieved by the select few African American artists, who've "made it", when compared to the total diaspora of Black people living in america or the world for that matter who are still living in poverty. Music can thrive in the unexplored and marginalized spaces, capturing the essence of individuals whose stories often go unheard. Kendrick Lamar, a socially conscious rapper, once said, "I'm not only representing myself, but I'm representing a lot of people that have come from a struggle."  This quote highlights the importance of appreciating and uplifting emerging art from underrepresented communities.
At the core of hip hop culture lies a powerful message of freedom from oppression. This manifested through various artistic expressions such as remixing, sampling, and rapping about the realities of life. Common, a revered hip hop artist, encapsulated this sentiment, saying, "Hip hop is about expressing yourself and putting your experiences into something that you can feel." 
Through their music, many artists have continuously shed light on social injustices, sparking conversations and inspiring change. As an advocate for the transformative potential of hip hop, I invite you to join me in diving deeper into the culture. Let us embrace the richness of hip hop, not only through its mainstream manifestations but also by exploring the roots and supporting emerging talents and less heard voices.
Hip hop culture represents a vibrant tapestry of artistic expressions that transcend the boundaries of rap music. It emerged as a powerful movement born out of the struggles faced by Black communities, providing a platform for marginalized voices to be heard. By acknowledging the origins, appreciating the diversity, and supporting emerging artists, we can honor the truly transformative power of hip hop.
This Friday at 9pm - 12:30 from the 90's till now. HIP HOP Music night.
No cover, No BS, No Covid
Hope to see you there.
July 3rd, 2023