It is more than History; It is a Power Culture

“The Rhythm, the Rebel…from the rebel its final on black vinyl,”- as Chuck D. of Public Enemy would say if he was rehearsing the lyrics for his groups, Public Enemy, classic landmark song “Rebel Without a Pause”. You might even say Chuck D. has the perfect description for this genre of art, as it is “Soul, rock and roll coming like a rhino”- with the booming bass, catchy vibes and rebellious tendencies to speak their mind out in this genre of raw poetry- November is the Hip-Hop History Month.

The groove, lyrics, melody and the rhythm of songs is what helps some people get up in the morning. The sounds that bring pleasure to our eardrums, melodic sensations that run up and down our spines, the lyrics that inspire us or add fuel to the fire for what we believe in or what we should believe in- has a powerful impact on our daily lives that you might not even know of. Full of color and different perspectives- nationwide people from all over can relate to this form of art. That is why there is more to Hip-Hop History Month than one may assume.

The Zulu Nation has made the recognition to the world that November is the month of Hip-Hop History as the birthday of the genre is November 12th, 1974. A year after the birthday of the Zulu Nation which is November 12th, 1973. With that being said, the genre wasn’t entitled until the early 70’s when Afrika Bambaataa entitled the genre through a phrase that was originated by Lovebug Starski (who is also an MC, DJ and recording producer). The point of the Zulu Nation is celebrating Hip-Hop History month is to maintain and preserve the rich culture of the genre and also to continue spreading the legacies we pay tribute to that paved the way for many of us in the genre or into the genre today and yesterday.

Many youth today seem to lost in the sense of what the genre stands for. Since the 80’s, the media and rap industry began to form the differences between the genre’s and also leave out some of the genre’s culture elements. One of the elements left out with the late 80’s new wave of rap genre, such as Gangster Rap, Knowledge as a key term and concept element in the genre was disregarded. Knowledge is labeled as the 5th element within the genre’s culture and Afrika Bambaataa has been cited saying that, “When we made [this genre], which is KNOWLEDGE, we made it hoping it would be about peace, love, unity and having fun so that people could get away from the negativity that was plaguing our streets” and even though the negativity still reigns throughout the streets and our society; Afrika Bambaataa is sure that “as the culture progresses, we play a big role in conflict resolution and enforcing positivity”.

The 5 Elements:

. MC’ing: Rapping

. DJ’ing & Graffiti: Writing

. Dancing: Break Dancing, Pop Locking, Up-Rocking

. Knowledge: Spreading Life Lessons (author’s note (P-Rice): reminds us of the line in Kaze’s “Spirit of ’94″…“if knowledge ain’t your power than what the f*** are you rhyming for?”

Even though the genre has caused much controversy throughout the decades; many youths within Urban communities use the genre as a form of expression and the genre has created motivation and positivity within negative environments. You could also say the genre has made minorities within Urban communities feel more accepted in our society; take a look around- fashion, slang and many lifestyles have developed from the genre. Mainly African American and Latino communities have benefited from the genre being supported within their communities.

Such artists that also recognize Hip-Hop History Month is Redd Emcee along with his pioneer sidekick who appeared on Redd’s track Pioneers; the two have been relevant within the underground UK Hip-Hop scene for decades and continue to spread real love for the genre on a daily basis. There has been rumors about another collaboration between the two, further details will be noted in the future; but for now I think I am going to grab my pops old 1980’s boombox, pop in an old underground cassette from the 90’s and just vibe out- time to celebrate, right?

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