A Message to Hip Hop at 50 from Mae Johnson

Dear Hip Hop,

I wanted to express my upmost gratitude for being who you are and all that you have done for me. Your diverse genres, incredible beats, and clever lyrics have contributed to the person I am today. Whether I am listening to Megan Thee Stallion while getting ready to go out with my friends or listening to Doug E Fresh when I’m walking to class, you are responsible for the sense of joy that I feel from the music. I’m thankful for the wisdom you’ve imparted through your lyrics. From the gritty streets to societal struggles, you’ve shed light on issues that often reman hidden. Your storytelling has opened our eyes to the harsh realities of life, making us more aware and empathetic.

Through my love for you, I must offer you a warning. As you have grown, commercialization has at times overshadowed your authentic roots. The pursuit of fame and fortune has led you to dilute yourself in order to be more palatable. You must never forget your origins, your raw honestly has made a voice for the marginalized and the oppressed. It’s crucial to preserve your essence.

As I look ahead, I see a bright future for you. You remain a powerful medium for self-expression and change. Moving forward I hope that your message stays true and continues to inspire social awareness, unity, and creativity. Nurture the artists who use your platform to address the critical issues of our time.

In close, thank you, Hip Hop, for the knowledge, the truth, and the rhythms that have enriched our lives. I hope that your flame keeps burning and guides us towards a more enlightened and harmonious future.


Mae Johnson

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