Why Do We Fall in Love with Hip Hop (culture)?

I love hip hop    We are all drawn to hip hop for different reasons. For some of us its a home, a shelter or place of comfort. For others it the attraction of having a good time with no strings or judgement. For me it was an escape from my life in times of despair and desperation as well as an area when I was accepted no matter what. Most of the friends that I have made in and because of hip hop are just as screwed up as I am if not more, but that’s okay. Hip hop doesn’t judge us. Hip hop doesn’t ask anything from us that we do not have the means to provide. Hip Hop is a “come as you are” mantra. Hip Hop is our rocking roll. This is why we fall in love with it because hip hop  allows us a freedom that in many of us has been suppressed, if not by our environment (home, neighborhood, church) then by ourselves for fear of what people will say or how we will be looked at if that part of us is revealed. Of course there has been a obvious perversion of our culture that is present to the main stream global community, but that doesn’t take away from its foundation. That perversion doesn’t taint or belittle our love.

This post was inspired by a friend of mine who sent me an email a week or so ago with his epiphany as to why he became part of the culture. Here is what He sent me:

Growing up I definitely loved hip hop, but really did not know why.  I loved nearly everything about it.  I studied it more intense throughout High School and at the age of 18 began to participate in hip hop.  I knew that I wanted to participate in it, and that it is a participation sport.  The only requirement was being yourself.

Now at the the age of 35, KRS 1 helped me now understand why I even liked it in the first place.  It is a deep complex industry now that has transformed multiple times and has had multiple movements in the last 50 years.  Kool Herc adopted a style of deejaying in Jamaica that he brought with him when his family moved to NYC in 1967. He loved the way the deejay interacted with the crowd in Jamaica, and their spin back technique of restarting the record among other things.  No one was going to tell him it was the wrong way to do things in the Bronx because it was his way.  And he liked his way.  Blend one break right into the next, fuck the rest of the song.

Owning your Identity seems like a fairly simple thing to do.  When you DO own your identity, no one or thing can tell you what to do.  Again, this is why I loved hip hop.  No one could tell hip hop what say or what to do.  Now as an adult it is clear as day, that this truly what I loved about hip hop.  You could be yourself, and not only that, it is a requirement to be yourself.

In Middle School (arguably the roughest time in a kids life) kids are flat out mean.  In this age range we see conformity taking shape.  Those who follow to so because they’re scared and don’t understand that they’ve just given up their identity in order to feel safer.  The day I became a man was in the 7th grade. This was the time that I decided no one was going to clown me for ANYTHING.  I was going to own it all, the good along with the bad.  Yes, I have zits.  Yes, I like hip hop (even though I don’t know why) and yes, I masturbate a good deal because it’s new to me and girls won’t sleep with me yet (wait till summer next year lol).  I owned everything.  Dress and style were only as hard as what I liked.  Throw out the rest.  (Just give me the breaks Herc).   My music, My art, My education (fuck yes I get 3.5 so what?), my Mathematics, are all cool.  No matter what, because I AM ALLOWED TO HAVE A FUCKING OPINION.

And so do you.

Be yourself.

Love, Bobby

hip hop

We all have our own experiences and reasons for being part of hip hop whether as a fan or and artist or combination of both.

What made you fall in love with hip hop?

2 thoughts on “Why Do We Fall in Love with Hip Hop (culture)?”

  1. Graffiti is what got me hooked. Being born in 79, the first hiphop-ish music i heard was a few Rock Steady Crew 7” and the first danish stuff that came out in 88/89. Being a kid at the time, iliked it, but it was just music like any other type of music. I remember buying the first Naughty By Nature album when it came out…and a few others in the early nineties, but it was still “just” some cool music. I got into graffiti around 94/95 through some friends that were rock/metal-heads. It wasnt untill i heard Between A Rock And A hardplace that i realized that the two was somehow connected, and that hiphop was more than just a kind of music.

    The thing is though, that i think its different for me, a white dude from scandinavia. I mean, there is no shortage of subtle (and not so subtle!) jabs at white people if you really dig into the music-side of hiphop. And even if most of them are directed at a certain type of white people, and they make sense if you look at them in a historical and sociological context, you dont catch all that as a kid. It was, and for some records it still is, a kind of an ambiguous feeling listening to it. On top of that, its kind of a guilty pleasure listening to Brand Nubian’s “I Am Black And I Am Proud” (or James Brown’s for that matter) to use that as an example…because, well, i am not.

    I have always felt a stronger “connection” to graffiti than to the music, because that ambiguity is not there in graffiti. On the music side of things, i have at times, somewhere deep down, felt like

    “Hip hop doesn’t judge us. Hip hop doesn’t ask anything from us that we do not have the means to provide. Hip Hop is a “come as you are” mantra.”

    or

    “Owning your Identity seems like a fairly simple thing to do.  When you DO own your identity, no one or thing can tell you what to do. Again, this is why I loved hip hop.  No one could tell hip hop what say or what to do.  Now as an adult it is clear as day, that this truly what I loved about hip hop.  You could be yourself, and not only that, it is a requirement to be yourself.”

    wasnt 100% true.

    I think this is probably the reason that the european and scandinavian scene is very different from the american one. Some people over here really felt a need to “redefine” the music side of hiphop to truly make it ours and be ourselves at the same time. Which is a good thing, because that was the whole idea to begin with in some sense. Anyway, my point is that the sense of inclusion or acceptance may be slightly dependent on who you are, where you are from and what kind of hiphop music you listen to.

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience. That’s the cool thing about Hip Hop is that with the multiple elements and sub-genres we can all have something different that draws us in and keeps us locked. I love hearing how hip hop has added to the lives of the many that it has touched. Again thank you for reading and responding.

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