A Message to Hip Hop at 50 from Kennedy Olguin

Dear Hip Hop,

      Happy 50 years of being the glue to the wonderful talent and expression given within minority communities. Your growth that originated from the Bronx, New York by Puerto Ricans, Jamaicans, and Black people in America during times where the expression of our experiences became popular, have allowed us to be great as people. Your four elements, lyricism, DJing, breakdancing, and graffiti, have allowed us to completely express ourselves in different creative realms. You allowed us to find a way of expression in order to give the world an understanding, microscopic view, and creative lens of what a day in our lives include. We were able to get through the deepest parts of turmoil by relating back to our roots through the production of melodies, beats, and rhythms; while teaching the youth the proper counting on 2 and 4 and not 1 and 3. Your development of versatility in beats continuously allows us to move our hips and tap our feet.

       I am thankful for your prosperity within our communities to allow growth and success. You are truly the way in which our communities can come back together and stick together, even in the hardest of times. You are an outlet to many and in which all can contribute by listening, creating, and dancing. You discuss relatable topics and situations that may be different from person to person but can be made into one common story that everyone understands. Personally, you have helped me get away from reality when both headphones are placed in my ears or a speaker blasting in my car or room. Hip Hop, you have allowed me to always be me, continue to be me and grow into the young woman I am meant to be.

        A heads up as usual, music is constantly changing. Trap is great, however, there is a lack of attention in how music is presented now and days versus how it used to be. Where in my eyes, back when you were younger, you were very empowering and uplifting for the many minority and black communities. Whereas, in modern times, there are some inappropriate representations of music which results in how the black community is perceived alongside of possible backlash that comes with it. Also, artist have evolved your original intention, which from my understanding was to move out of lower income neighborhoods and away from drugs, and made your original intent into something that is deemed as “cool”, a way to make money, or something that everyone should be partaking in. However, I continuously have faith that you will mold back into how things are supposed to be.

       The outlook I have for you in the future is continuous growth for future generations and to continue to evolve for the betterment of the black community. Please continue to be the glue that everyone can rely on when others may turn and not be dependable. Thank you for everything and continue to be a success with love and care.

With love and peace,

Kennedy Olguin

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