A message to Hip Hop at 50 (Saniya Houston)

Dear hip hop, 

Originated in the 70s you’ve grown and developed so beautifully and historically. Born in South Bronx, New York and now played all around the world. Hip hop evolved from the gang members, dj’s, emcees, street parties and graffiti art in the Bronx, New York. Due to racial tension between whites and the black minority, hip hop was the only outlet for blacks to express themselves. Hip hop was used to voice the fight for civil rights and equal economic opportunities for colored or black people. This was a nonviolent way for black folks to escape from reality and describe the tribulations they faced everyday, due to the inequality within their society. 

Throughout my eighteen years in this world I’ve only been able to depend on two things. That being family and music. Not any ordinary music, but hip hop in particular. Growing up in poverty and being able to relate some of, if not most of the lived experiences expressed in the songs is what draws me to hip hop so much. Being able to connect with these songs makes me feel beyond grateful that I’m not the only person going through these struggles, and most importantly I am not alone. And for that, I will forever be thankful for music, especially the genre of hip hop. 

Although I love all genres of hip hop and the message artists are trying to get across, there are also some warnings suggested. Be careful about who and what you talk about in the songs. Though many hip hop artists are trying to spread a positive message and relate to listeners, others are not. A lot of triggering things are said such as; murdering people, the use of horrible profanity and even the graphics in music videos. This is okay for mature audiences, but the younger generations should be warned growing up in today’s hip hop. 

In the future I hope to hear more varieties of hip hop. There will hopefully be much more recognition and respect for hip hop artists from past generations and going forward. I will forever be thankful for the major role hip hop played in my society. I will forever love you! 


 Saniya Houston 

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