A Message to Hip Hop at 50 from Tyara Petty

Dear Hip-Hop,

            You are indeed a cultural reset; you created a path for artists to explore their talents and bring other genres into the mix.  You allow everyone of all ages, genders, races, etc., to be represented under your cloud.  As we enter your 50th year, you will be celebrated through generations of talents, demonstrating what you have done for not only the African American community, but for future generations.

            Through your various sub-genres, like pop rap, old-school hip-hop, gangsta rap, etc., you have created an environment where all these different groups can work together to thrive and prosper within your grasp.  You have reshaped the image of cities and religions of the world.  You have created a culture of vision and voice, always being the center of trends, movement, and culture.  You gave a voice to the voiceless so they could share their experiences and struggles with a mainstream audience.  Overall, you gave courage to those who did not know how to express themselves and created a safe environment for everyone to prosper.  With that, I must extend my gratitude and appreciation for the fantastic music and legacy you have created for everyone who has enjoyed listening to your creations.

            Now, with mainstream prosperity, there are also setbacks.  With warning, when one is given so much praise and positive attention, it can also come back to them to harm them.  People have and will continue to stereotype and judge you to create a harmful image of you.  But with that, everything will be okay by remaining confident in yourself and what you have to offer.  You are strong and have the support system of millions of people to help lift you up.  The way to give inspiration and resilience to millions of people is to be able to do the same for yourself.  But at the end of the day, you created generations of strong, resilient, and confident individuals who can take on any challenge and movement with you.

XoXo, T’yara Petty

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