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.
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?