A musical genre? A lifestyle? A musical form? Maybe Hip Hop is a movement? A style? An aesthetic?
What do you think? Are you a hip hop fan? Do you love hip hop? Do you dislike hip hop? Do you feel compelled to hate hip hop? What is your ideal response to the question, “how hip hop is the fastest growing genre in the United States?”
So let’s get down to business today. How will we judge Hip Hop?
How do we judge our culture?
The answer is easy for the Hip Hop fan. It’s simple. Hip Hop is a hip hop culture. You either love hip hop or hate hip hop. If you love hip hop, then you love it as a culture. It isn’t that complicated. If you hate hip hop, then you hate it as a culture. Because Hip Hop is a culture, and you hate Hip Hop as a culture.
Hip Hop has a long history, and that history includes a lot of very successful hip hop artists. Not one, but FOUR of the best. I know, you’re counting.
The question of Hip Hop’s legacy should be answered in two ways. First, if you’re a Hip Hop fan, and you don’t have an answer to this question, then you need to look elsewhere. You might as well get rid of this question entirely because it is simply untrue.
Secondly, the answer to this question is important to our hip hop community because of the influence it has had on millions of people who are now fans (and still are, like me). Without some kind of answer, if we’re going to continue to keep a pulse on what is important to the hip hop community, then in an age where information sources and opinions are so fractured as to make any two opinions contradictory to each other, the Hip Hop answer will become irrelevant.
How Hip Hop impacts our lives
With the exception of the most well known hip hop stars, most Hip Hop isn’t about being a good rapper. It’s about being a good artist. It’s about making a good album, promoting it, talking to people, and being seen as an artist. It’s about how we perceive our world.
One thing hip hop has in common with music and books, is that the words we write make a real difference. If you’ve ever listened to a radio station or listened to your favorite records you can hear how music and lyrics affect your perception of
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