• What Hip Hop means to me

    28 sep 2005, 18:36

    I won't act like I am oppressed or like I live a tough life. I don't act like I live the "hip hop lifestyle", but contrary to what anyone says this doesn't imply any lack of interest on my part. Hip hop is different than any other style of music. My mother pointed out an interesting observation that I never really considered until she vocalized this. She commented on how "her kind of music" had good background music that consistently changed throughout the course of the song. Her songs generally have a slow progression that builds and declines, it's broken up usually by very identifiable refrain music, and then comes to some type of obvious conclusion at the end of the song. This is all and good except that while this may be true about the music behind the song it is balanced out with the quite simplistic and usually less than stellar quality of lyrics. Getting back to my response to her, So what makes Hip Hop so different? Hip Hop is about the lyrics, it's about the words, it's about what the person is trying to tell you. It's not about some meaningless jingle in the background, or some refrain music that any moron could identify, it's about telling a story. Regardless of one's opinions about hip hop artists and the plethora of drug references, violence and derogatory slang used in reference for ethnicities and genders, one must admit, honestly, that these are some of the most thought provoking, and in some cases intelligently written lyrics of any genre of music. The variety of issues that Hip Hop artists manage to address is sometimes staggering. These range from songs written strictly to be ridiculous such as Eminem’s “Ass Like That” all the way to songs like 2 Pac’s inspiring “Picture me Rollin”. Issues such as social inequality, gender rights, racial stigmas, the struggle to survive, and the challenges of growing up in a difficult environment scream across this genre of music. I think a number of self proclaimed intelligent people are sadly ignorant when they hear a Hip Hop song and instantly write it off as uneducated and garbage just because it happens to have slang or words we are unaccustomed to hearing in a typical social setting. Hip Hop, along with several other genre’s of music take this important burden upon there backs to spread through society the things we don’t want to talk about otherwise. We’ve all heard several civil rights activists say something similar to “Make yourself heard! Make noise!”, I would have to in turn say, “Make music! Make Hip Hop!”.

    Getting back to my point, why I like Hip Hop. I like Hip Hop because it speaks to me. Even if I haven’t lived the life they are talking about and even though I haven’t lived life being oppressed and treated unfairly I can still imagine what it would feel like thanks to the powerful and expressive words of this form of music. I haven’t lived the life that they speak of, but I can feel there pain and there happiness through there lyrics.