For the love of hip-hop

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By Nishe Butler | Opinions Editor

Poetic sultry compasses my soul and I am forever a fan.

Hip-hop a phase, fad or subculture? I don’t think so, let us consider a generation.

As I was researching the origination of Hip-Hop and observing pieces done on the topic I couldn’t help but to stop myself from feeling misrepresented.

I was born the same year Hip-Hop evolved into something appealing to the main stream music industry.

In 1979 Sugar Hill Gang song Rappers delight tells a story about the all-to common dinner at your friend’s house, elaborating on life and the detailed experience of living and in some cases surviving. The song became a classic.

There are several element of the hip-hop generation. Emcee which is the actual lyricist that spits a rhyme, Deejay- that mixes and scratches the music on a turn tables, there is also break dancing, b-boy style and even graffiti art

Breakin’, Beat Streets and Krush Groove are movies that give you insight into the generation of hip-hop in the mainstream transcending race and where you may or may not reside.

Krush Groove was a highly successful movie that depicted the life of rap music and further elevated rap music into the

This movie earned Warner Brothers $17 million worldwide, a gold sound track and most importantly, highlighted the
potential of this art form.

Rap and hip-hop are both used to describe the music-the movement.

Rapping is what the lyricist does maybe in a cypher of some sort to tell his/her story in Hip-Hop.

Hip-Hop has a tendency to be extremely controversial with some of its lyrics from the streets which can be harsh and disrespectful, but like anything else it is just some ones opinion or experience not the end of the world.

I had to ask myself what exactly is a hip-hopper? Did they mean hip-hop head? No one really ever talks about the positive, inspiring side of hip-hop and the philanthropy.

There is so much positivity in hip-hop expression, along with hope, perseverance, love, conquering fear, and a descriptive look into sometimes individual experiences from childhood to adulthood.

“The collective message of rap told candid stories of the urban streets, stories of drugs, violence and crime.

No matter how hedonistic the message, urban youth found a platform to outwardly express their rage towards the system,” Rendord Reed, stated.

Is hip-hop only ever told from an urban perspective or is possessing the lyricist talent only for those who live in an urban area? I don’t think so. Are the stories about drugs or survival of element and circumstance? I believe the latter.

Is hip-hop a platform to rage against the system or a platform to speak about the unjust and what society maybe sweeping under the rug?

Street violence and inner city crime is not all Hip-Hop represents, after all not everyone wears Gucci and Prada at the same time.

“The word nigga is one of the most popular words of hip hoppers contrary to the traditional derogatory meaning of the word, hip hoppers use the word as a term of endearment, Reed continues, ‘One can hear white, Asian, or Latino hip hopper saying “TJ is my nigga,” which means “TJ is my friend,” Reed said.

I think the n-word is used only when individuals who feel that this is the normal for their communicative skills and it is not only slang today, but will always be a lack of use for a better word.

Hip-Hop is American culture and in my opinion hip-hop is music. It is a poetic version of life that you may have never paid attention to otherwise.

Parents divorced or never married or hate each other or love one another hip-hop music has bases covered.

Riverside City College club Ujima hosted a hip-hop event on May 16.

Motivational speakers were there such as Steve Lobel who is the founder of We Working, which travels to various educational institutions encouraging people in life and in business.

The show is complete with a 10 year old disc jockey’s and radio personalities that shared their experiences in life encouraging all present.

“There is no west coast east coast anymore it is just music,” Lobel said.

Hip-Hop music is constantly evolving and like everything else in life there is a positive side and a negative side I chose the positive.

I love Hip-Hop, I am and will always be Hip-Hop.

So if the Beastie Boys, KRS 1, Arrested Development, Slick Rick, Mos Def, Common Sense, Fugees, Lauryn Hill, Outkast, Dilated Peoples, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, or NAS to simply name a few. If any of these artist don’t ring a bell it’s impossible for you to know and even begin to truly understand what hip-hop is honestly about.

It is an American culture — our culture, a voice of a generation that will not be held down, defeated or mistreated.

Today the hip-hop industry is worth billions and everyone is trying to make a buck.

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