A message to Hip Hop at 50 from Karmann

Dear Hip Hop,

I can never thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me. I can’t even begin to explain the ways in which you’ve helped me. When I was at my lowest, I knew you were always there for me. At my highest, you were always there to hype me up. You bring so much joy to the lives of others and without you, life would be boring. I have learned so much from you in the past 19 years. You have introduced me to some of my favorite people and I can’t express to you how much that means to me.

Born in the 70’s, you have developed so beautifully. You’ve created space for minorities, especially black men and women, to feel safe. You have touched every part of the world and created so many trends. People love you so much that everyone longs to have their own version of you. Every city in the world blasts you through their speakers and look to you to bring their loved ones together.

While I love you unconditionally, some people are worried you’ve become a little too vulgar. Maybe every once in a while we could tone it down a little; but personally I love your carefreeness. You’ve also become a little too accessible. Though inclusivity is the goal, please remember where you started. Please don’t allow yourself to be gentrified, remember who you are and where you come from.

In the future, I hope to see you’ve expanded even more. I hope you’ve made space for even more black voices. I hope you are still bringing people together. I’ll never get tired of you, Hip Hop.

Thank you a thousand times over,

Karmann Houston

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