It is 2016.... How are we where we are in today's ever increasing violent and hate filled streets? Why haven't we used our lessons from the past to create a better future for all? I am still lost at this to be honest. I began this company with its mission to preserve, curate and showcase the true essence of hip hop culture in a positive manner, in order to help our world and its people understand their power. Hip Hop culture is simply a vessel to reach these masses. The power of the hip hop culture and its artforms has transformed millions of lives over many decades. It is a culture that has spread throughout the world like no other. People from all over the world do graffiti, breakdance, DJ, and spit lyrics over beats while sharing their life struggles in their arts and daily lives. So, how did the hip hop culture of the United States become so other than that....one that now highlights sex, drugs, violence and money? I, along with many others, feel that the mainstream and big corporations who have no idea really what "hip hop" is or means to those of us who grew up, were part or created the threads of the culture. I do believe the corporations, mostly ran by an elite group who really has no idea about struggle or injustice, have set out to "whitewash" the culture and turn it into one for their own greed. What do I mean by this you might be asking yourself?.... The lyrics, style and robotic nature of the emcees and lyrics being heard in mainstream radio leaves the consumer and audience with a very limited look at the culture. Today, our youth who heavily embrace the culture, especially as today it is all around them from radio to advertisements to popular television shows, need us more than ever. They need to realize there is more to the culture than what they have been spoon fed as of late... they need to see they are being socialized to think and act in a very unhealthy manner which is NOT hip hop. Yes, hip hop has had its moments in history and even today that contribute to the violence, misogyny and ignorance that is definitely part of life, yet it is not all that it seems....
They need to see the violence and over the top lifestyle that they idolize and attempt to live it out in their daily lives is just part of the game they system hopes they follow. Meanwhile, as the urban youth continue to kill one another the Police are organizing to continue to keep the urban and black youth looked upon as their enemy and not one they should protect. We have seen this now in the countless senseless murders done by the police, by the policing of our youth in the public school system creating a school to jail growing epidemic in our urban communities. The systematic use of those incarcerated as our nation's modern day slavery where they have jailed more men and women of color than whites in the last 2 decades. The police do not seem to have a preference to what person they see as their enemy but ultimately we all are... from a white man who was rushing his wife to the hospital who was giving birth to their daughter and was arrested and jailed instead of escorted to the hospital, to a squad of police men in Va Beach opening fire on a car with an infant in it, killing his mother and her boyfriend who were parked in a lot posing no threat and minding their business, to prisoners with medical conditions being ignored to the point that they are left to die in the most inhumane way. We need to continue to utilize every method possible to reach our youth and educate them and empower them to realize what they need to know, how to behave in certain situations (codeswitching ultimately), and how to use their talent to make a difference in a positive manner..taking back their power.
I began this blog post in July after the multiple shootings of unarmed black men in multiple communities in our country, but I complete it after yet another week of shootings by police on unarmed men in more than 5 cities across the USA in less than 72 hours, 2 bombings in NYC and NJ, and multiple shootings at peace event in DC resulting in 2 deaths of amazing community members, and also I end this after being robbed at gunpoint outside my home by a group of young boys (not older than 14), who pulled a gun and assaulted me with it in the face as they stole my purse and belongings. I want those who read this to realize WE must continue to find positive outlets for our youth and artists that know hip hop and want it to thrive for the sake of the culture and our communtities!
I am an author, anthropologist, community organizer, educator, speaker, event planner and producer, artist manager and more... I am here to cultivate the hip hop culture in its true essence creating positive experiences for our communities.