So what makes you supposedly ‘entitled’ to be able to rap? Do you have to of grown up in the most oppression situation ever? Do you need to be black? Do you need to wear pants around your ankles and have a ‘video hoe’ grinding against you? Looking at Youtube comments section it appears that this is what you need to be successful. Well it’s not.
Ignore all of the stereotypes that you previously have had about Hip Hop and rap. They aren’t about money, sex or the life of struggle street turned around. Hip Hop is about expression, opinion and spreading a message. It is a lifestyle of living through your music and connecting with yourself and the audience. It’s about taking your pain and struggle and laying those words with a beat to make people feel something. Music is art, and art makes you feel something. Listening to Hip Hop makes you start tapping along to the rhythm and even though you may not be able to relate to the words, you can feel with and for them.
There are four important parts that make up Hip Hop. MCing, DJing, Graffiti and Breaking. If you get these right, the audience connection will be huge.
Hip Hop’s origins began in Africa and African American cultures where beats would be used. Now days Hip Hop is everywhere. From the Bronx in New York, to the Australian outback, to which I thought was interesting, and to New Zealand. From the article ‘The Vinyl Ain’t Final. Dancing Between Islands: Hip Hop and the Samoan Disapora’ by April K. Henderson, Samoan dancing and culture plays a vital role in Hip Hop from there. It is also interesting to note that Hip Hop is now not just a male exclusive genre. Female Hip Hop artists such as sisters Phlem 1 and SpexOne, have been around sine the early 2000s.
So Hip Hop can be described as a multi-cultural wonderland filled with different meanings, views and ideas created by people from all backgrounds. The messages are all different, but that doesn’t matter. Political, racial, gender and sexual issues are all covered by Hip Hop. It doesn’t matter if it’s K’Naan rapping about his culture, Plan B being political or Eminen, ‘Slim Shady’, speaking about how there is nothing you can’t face. Hip Hop peaks to everyone. It is universal.