Some days, I want to wrap music around myself and let it engulf everything. When the right song is playing through my headphones, I feel unstoppable. Scientifically, music can reduce negative symptoms like anxiety and blood pressure while increasing personal happiness.
The beats, production and lyrical genius of hip-hop seem to rejuvenate my body just as much as food and water do. Without it, I would not exist because hip-hop has shaped my life in countless ways. Feeling the creativity and rhymes circulating through my veins, I would like to take this moment to sincerely thank hip-hop.
The haters like to attribute violence to hip-hop music, but they fail to understand that violence existed long before the creation of hip-hop. It is a symptom of cultural violence, not the cause of it. Hip-hop has functioned as a creative outlet to express personal triumphs and tribulations. Since its foundation in the early 1970s in the Bronx, hip-hop has had a profound influence on fashion, trends, popular culture and media. Hip-hop culture is undeniably used by everyone to facilitate various aspects of their lives. Everyone participates in hip-hop culture: whether it be the music they workout to, the dance moves that they propagate, the captions to their pictures, the styles that they flaunt or the sweet melody that plays in their ears. The appeal of hip-hop is widely appreciated from anyone who has bobbed their head to the latest Rihanna song to anyone who can spit Tupac’s lyrics at the drop of a hat. Trying to imagine a world without hip-hop is almost unfathomable.
Hip-hop creates communities that unite over shared truths. The diversity of the field and types of artists allow for everyone to find and identify with their most valued form of hip-hop. The resiliency of this genre also continues to shock people because many people expected it to fizzle out of favor quickly and quietly. Yet, hip-hop continues to grow as a culturally relevant media. Hip-hop’s artists function as undercover poets with a good reflection of the community. They take ideas and spread them to the rest of the world.
I am continually inspired, educated and motivated by hip-hop. It is not just music. It is an attitude and a lifestyle. While some may have a fictitious stereotype of what hip-hop is, I feel the utmost love and appreciation for this realm of music. I encourage people to educate themselves on the realness that it actualizes and the truth that it reveals. Hip-hop has been there for me when nothing else could have been there for me. You may often catch me taking the long way home or putting on my headphones during any free moment just to revel in a few more seconds of my current favorite song. To all the creative geniuses who have contributed to hip-hop culture, thank you for giving me a genre that clearly cannot compare to anything else.