I would not consider myself a hip hop expert really. I have not been a huge fan of listening to the music be user it, quite honestly, gives me anxiety. But even so, I am a scholar of sorts when it comes to hip hop music. I think that the evolution of it through the decades is incredibly fascinating and important. It is an integral subculture in not jus the United States, but around the world.
While the United States has earned the credit of having created rock music, hip hop, jazz, country, and so many others, you cannot simply discount the music’s effects on the rest of the world. Just because the United States had a hand in its beginning, does not mean that it is the end all, be all of the music world. Are the founders of rock still around? Some yes, most no. Does that make rock musicians of today any less valuable because they weren’t the creators? Of course not. So just because the original hip hop artists came out of the United States does not make hip hop music from other places any less important or valuable.
I think that hip hop is an important expression and healthy outlet for those who need it. You do not need to be a minority to appreciate it or perform, but you also be able to understand why the majority of performers are minorities, everywhere in the world.
When I’m not writing about and studying about hip hop around the world, I am the proud mother to three very rambunctious young children, proving that while you can have three children in five years and survive, it may not always be the best idea. Between my days of acting as a chauffeur, doctor, teacher, and professional smuggler, I enjoy reading science fiction out loud to my very hair Samoyed named Snowflake.
Perhaps that is why I enjoy the study of hip hop so much. It is nothing like my daily life. On a personal level, I cannot relate to what the artists are expressing with their music and art. But that does not mean that I cannot place value and importance on it. The hip hop scene exists to fill a void that the voiceless had. It provides a way of expression that is safe but powerful. With one song, they can send a message around the world. Their type of music is the anguish that they feel.
I hope that hip hop around the world reaches the people who need it the most. By expressing themselves through art, hopefully it prevents the violence that is often perpetuated with persecution. I think even if you do not listen to hip hop, you should be able to see and understand its place in the world. You do not need to go out and download a bunch of Kanye or Drake in order to hear the message of hip hop. You can just read the lyrics to feel the cultural issues. And that in itself can change how people perceive oppression in their own cultures.