My Response to KSR-one's 40 Years of Documentary
The opening quote of the 40 years of Hip Hop Documentary was “The only place you will see the Dr. Kings I have a dream speech is in hip hop”. I felt that this quote provided evidence of KSR-one’s entire speech. The whole piece explained how the black struggle and hip hop are interconnected. Without hip hop, blacks may have been in the same social and economic state as when hip hop was first created. Hip hop empowered black people to fight for their community so that their children could have a better life.
Deeper than music
I agree with KSR- one’s that hip hop is deeper that mainstream music. Hip hop is a lifestyle and a thought process. “You cannot wear hip hop, you cannot buy hip hop”. Hip Hop is more than your appearance and sound. I think that a lot of hip hop artists today do not know the real history and meaning behind hip hop. This is somewhat caused by our biased education systems. Instead of teaching us our entire history, they only teach us what they want us to know. Our education systems are another form of oppression. A lot of students here at Spelman would have never learned about black history if it weren’t for ADW or their own personal research.
Hip Hop as a Lifestyle
Hip Hop united the black community because it was understood by everyone in it. Hip Hop is its own language that is understood by many cultures. “As a hip hop scholar, you can’t think like a colonizer”. Instead of conforming to society, a hip hop scholar would form their own path. You cannot pick and choose you want to represent hip hop. This is a black struggle that we still face today. Many of us feel like we have to conform to white societies in order to become successful and be accepted by them. That thought process does not align with being a hip hop scholar. In class, we learned that these award ceremonies like the Grammys are controlled mostly by white men. Unfortunately, a lot of black artists seek recognition through these awards which is why they choose to conform. A lot of them are not actually connected to the deeper meaning of hip hop and they do not realize how it negatively impacts the black community. The only time they claim hip hop is when they are getting paid for it.
Think Like a Hip Hop Scholar
We tend to lead with our emotions and scholarship of hip hop will help us control those emotions. Instead of immediately defending stereotypical misjudgments, we should take a different approach. Thinking with your emotions can be very dangerous. We may trust the wrong people then end up in a worst emotional state than before and make bad decisions based off these emotions. This is related to hip hop and black culture because when uneducated people make ignorant comments we want to immediately defend our race. This behavior can worsen the stereotypes towards blacks.
What is Hip Hop
Hip hop is collective consciousness, culture, and products. With these three aspects, we have our own community, thought process, businesses, fashion and language. We do not need the products of others to survive so we should support our own. Black history month is the annual celebration of achievements by African Americans. We have come a long way as a race and being hip hop scholars will ensure that this growth continues.