I love Hip Hop. I love everything about what makes it so profound in my life and how I am always a part of it. It is a culture born from above average people whom ingeniously created to make a better aesthetic life out of limited resources. It is revolutionary. It never asked for permission to be seen or heard while inspiring the uninspired, and it neither apologized for its liberty being felt. Hip Hop is a culture born to outright the wrongs of all conditions in an environment of injustice by celebrating life. Yes, a better life fantasized about in the American Dream. No, not celebrating materialism, bling, or capitalism because it did not begin with anything or was it given anything from the start. No, Not at all, but to celebrate urban life as an expression for liberty and happiness by the inviting spirit of what the Statue of Liberty was meant to represent:
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!“ Engraved on the Statue of Liberty
After Hip Hop was born it became the litmus test for the United State’s of America and eventually the rest of the world. If anyone really wanted to know what was wrong with this country all they had to do was listen to what Hip Hop has been trying to tell it from the beginning. It was pressure cooked from some of the world’s worst conditions in the South and West Bronx, Harlem, NYC, where the tired, the poor, the huddled masses, the homeless, and the battered struggled. It was an infant holding up a mirror for all to see when Grandmaster Melle Mel first said, “A child was born, with no state of mind.” And now, today, that child he spoke about in The Message has all grown up with an uncultured thug mentality making crappy records as a music label’s harlot, but that is a topic for another discussion.
Understand Hip Hop’s essence in its initial bare-bones conception:
Without excuses, it was genius born by being practical in the midst of limited resources by first evaluating the situation then simplifying it into an equation. Pieces were found missing in the puzzle until an idea became a vision. Then genius began engineering the vision into manifestation filling those vacancies. Mistakes and achievements were made until it crafted a recipe prepped and seasoned to taste. Finally, that recipe baptized other taste buds. The next thing you know it was being handed down through family and neighbors as an inheritance. In due time, it evolved to feed the masses giving the people what they wanted out of limited resources. It gave a sense of liberty, happiness, hope, dreams, community, and identity. Breaking bread when it needed to be broken. That is why I love Hip Hop and its entrepreneurial essence of ingenuity, community, and survival.
Pressure can only do two things. It will make diamonds or bust pipes, and the Bronx, New York City and Harlem burned into a diamond mine. How do you like that for bling?
Today it’s a derailed train. Some of it stayed on the track but some of it was also knocked off causing damage. The parts knocked off track is Hip Hop music. What can you expect when you have trees not knowing their roots? They become fruitless and self-destruct becoming natural sell-outs. If we can get Hip Hop music back to its essence it will not cause any more damage. If we can institutionalize Hip Hop culture as a whole, without lustfully branding it like a corporate whore and give it back as “the people’s voice,” it will thrive.
The diamond mine the West and South Bronx and Harlem manifested is being ravaged the same way as the diamond mines in Africa. It is not only being poached from its people but by some as willing volunteers. “What the ghetto makes; the world takes” as the old saying goes.
There are too many things going wrong in the world for Hip Hop music to be silent. Without a conscience it is just a tap dancing novelty selling liquor, cars, and cell phones to those who will eventually forget about it like it was Vanilla Ice. There is nothing wrong with making lots of money, but money does not make Hip Hop. The ingenuity of its people makes Hip Hop, and they love it, too!