Historical Context

Hip Hop Culture is championed as the most popular music genre, but where does the music fit in the overall historical context of impactful music? As a culture we have to come to an agreement about the trajectory of the music. The winner writes the history books and Black and Brown people have never been on the “winning” side of U.S. History. Who will write our history books? Predominantly white institutions have already established Hip Hop Archives. Our tastemakers go to these same institutions and do seminars, workshops, interviews, and the like only building the credibility of the institution. I get it, there aren’t any Historically Black Colleges and Institutions in the New York tri-state era. Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science is out in California all alone with the closest HBCU being located in Louisiana.

Compared to all other genres of music where does Hip Hop fit? Where do we belong in the overall gambit of American music? Compare to Classical, Folk, Jazz, or any other genre that it has to stand up against. You all forget that other genres of music go back hundreds of years. We have to make sure that Hip Hop Culture is represented in history as it should be. One day we’ll all be gone and Hip Hop Culture will be our legacy. Hip Hop History Month is time for us to reflect on the impact of the culture not just the music. The music may be popular now but popularity doesn’t always translate into longevity. Putting together the pieces of the puzzle is a daunting task but it has to be done.

Hip Hop Culture came about in the midst of a socioeconomic crisis in the Bronx, New York. The politics of the time were at what we thought was an all-time low (until 2017). The people banded together and created rules, boundaries, and set parameters and no one deviated from the movement. There were no questions asked, no bending of said rules, and you definitely couldn’t change them on the fly to suit your personal narrative.

“We are a people who have historically been on the verge of extinction.” – (Manilla)

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