This week people across the globe celebrated Christmas. Whether you’re Christian or not everyone wants a gift. Every year or for any holiday you see people post and share videos talking about the “true” meaning behind said holiday. From Santa Claus to Jesus it is common knowledge that history has been told and re-told for centuries. As an “African-American” I know that I have to piece my history together. Cultural celebrations like Kwanzaa are crucial in restoring our identity. Anything that gives a positive outlook on persons perceived to be “Black” is usually looked down upon, weaponized, or monetized. Hip Hop Culture is a prime example but the future of the folk music genre is at risk of being “whitewashed” like old St. Nick. There have been rumbling of Tupac being portrayed as a white man once all of us griots are all dead and gone. The power that the culture has is stronger than any person or religion and that is the truth about Hip Hop.
Anyone can participate or “practice” the culture. The music is more powerful than any drug because it has the power to make you do whatever those lyrics say. You might start taking MDMA (Molly) or you might start carrying a gun. Hip Hop can turn you into a loving husband or a bad bitch while your kids dance a remixed version of something we did in the eighties. The truth about Hip Hop is that it used to have everybody on their din (deen). On their square. Woke. Hip Hop used to have listeners seeking knowledge and wisdom about themselves and their people. People were practicing Umoja and Ujamaa by supporting Black owned businesses. We all had Nia and maintained our Imani. Hip Hop is just something that came out of our Kuumba and Kujichagulia. Through Uujima we created our own industry.
We had principles and we maintained them through our music. The music reflected the truth about Hip Hop and the truth about us. Are we going to wait until someone else rewrites our history to speak up? A lot of OG’s in the game are trying to maintain the traditions of the culture for a reason. You might be making money now Uzi Vert where will you be if they replace you with Lil Xan? While you’re high on government laboratory drugs they are setting up a young man from Middle America to be the “white version” of you. They’ve got their G.O.A.T. in Eminem. They’ve got their Southern Rapper in Riff Raff and it still isn’t too late for Iggy Azalea. These acts that they create are just to see how much we will tolerate and which aspects of the package they need to improve on. The truth about Hip Hop is that it was created by Black and Brown kids in the Bronx and then it leaked out to Queens. Then Harlem, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. The truth is they are trying to make Hip Hop like Jazz and Rock N Roll but who can even fathom such a thing? The same OG’s that are trying to hold on to the traditional sound of Rap music grew up in a time when Rap music was not even on the radio in any capacity. So why would the truth about Hip Hop continue to be told in the year 2194 when it has such a powerful impact on us all?
“I am the thought of all things.” The Last Poets (Black Wish)