With all the highly publicized tragedies to Hip Hop, i.e. the murder of Jason Mizell, aka Jam Master Jay, Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie, and Tupac Shakur, outsiders may wonder why we still love Hip Hop so much.
Hip Hop repeatedly loses artists to either the graveyard or the prison yards but yet right now somewhere is the USA and the globe abroad there is an aspiring young man or woman with mic dreams. As my mix of Jay- Z plays in the background I thought of the best way to explain. When emcees with colorful names first appeared along with poppers and breakers wearing sweat suits, Hip Hop was dubbed as a “fad”. Critics didn’t give Hip Hop five years to last. Now over twenty years later Hip Hop is worldwide. So what’s the attraction?
Hip Hop has snatched the attention of everyone, from high school dropouts to summa cum laude graduates. Our emcees have taken their pains, misfortunes, fears, and joys, and craftily put them in a form the world loves. Outsiders should pull their hands from their ears and listen to the verses our emcees spit, pardon me, I mean recite. For example, “Did I say I’m number one? / I’m sorry, I lied/ I’m number one, two, three, four and five: “Time is money and twenty five to life I can’t afford it.” “My mom got cancer in the breast, don’t ask me why I’m --- stressed, things done changed. Respectively KRS – ONE, Jay – Z, and Biggie Smalls wrote those verses. And the list goes on.
I challenge the outsiders, critics, doubters, and whomever else to write a creative verse with substance over a head knocking beat. And if you are successful, repeat the process until you have a song completed and then again and again until you have an album completed. The outsiders want to compare Hip Hop statistics to other genres, such as country western, rock and roll, and classical. These genres already had established their foundation and their audiences before Hip Hop was even conceived. Look at our impact with just twenty to thirty years in existence. Stop doubting us! In laymen terms we love Hip Hop because it’s Highly Intelligent Poets Healing Our People.
By: Byron Griffin