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In ‘Resources’ we share valuable information already published elsewhere in a more organized, readable manner. We own no rights to the texts or hold affiliations with its sources and only respect and thank them for originating/preserving. We simply carry on the knowledge into a new age. Each 1 teach 1.
An Introduction to Hip Hop
Presented By Master Teacher, KRS-One
When people think of hip-hop they tend to think of rap music and its related activities. For most people hip-hop is a popular music genre, and this is how most people approach hip-hop. Regardless as to how the original founders of Hip Hop depict and interpret THEIR culture, most professors and activists alike approach hip-hop in the way that mainstream corporations approach it—as a product to be bought and sold. Because of this, those who practice the artistic elements of Hip Hop as well as those who may teach some aspect of hip-hop limit themselves to a corporate point of view where hip-hop is approached as an object to be sold, and not as a subject to be learned.
Such a limited view of Hip Hop is then perpetuated in the academic arena where objectivity sets the foundation for how anyone approaches anything. As a result, when it comes to the actual teaching of real Hip Hop, many professors fall short because they don’t actually LIVE Hiphop; they are still objective with it, they are still observing it as opposed to being it; they are still reading about it as opposed to actually doing it. They may teach a history of hip-hop, or they may have even been a Hip Hop pioneer themselves, but when it comes to actually being Hiphop and then imparting useful Hip Hop knowledge and techniques designed to enhance and empower the actual lives of real people, many hip-hop courses remain wholly inadequate.
This short introduction to Hip Hop is designed to get you prepared for the deeper lessons on Hiphop that must be experienced in order to be known. These lessons are for those who are serious about the teaching of Hip Hop and its needed preservation. Before we begin, let us first go over the basics.
Hiphop = our unique Spirit, our unique collective consciousness; the creative, causative force behind Hip Hop’s elements. Hiphop is the name of our lifestyle and collective consciousness. It is a perceptual ability that causes one to self-create and raises one’s self-worth. (represented by Kool DJ Herc)
Hip Hop = the creation and development of Breakin, Emceein, Graffiti Art, Deejayin, Beat Boxin, Street Fashion, Street Language, Street Knowledge, and Street Entrepreneurialism. It is what we call ourselves and our activity in the World. Hip Hop is the name of our culture. (represented by Afrika Bambaataa)
hip-hop= Rap music product and those things and events associated with Rap music entertainment—hip-hop is a music genre. (represented by Grand Master Flash)
Hiphoppa = the manifestation of Hiphop. Those that live the principles of our culture are called Hiphoppas and not Hip Hoppers because to live Hip Hop is to think Hiphop. A Hiphoppa is Hiphop and performs or presents Hip Hop which is then sold as hip-hop.
Hiphop Kulture = or, Hip Hop’s culture, is the name of our unique community; it is the name of our tribe. Hiphop Kulture is the manifested character, patterns, beliefs, sciences and arts of OUR collective consciousness; it is our reality and mental landscape. Hiphop Kulture is an international community of specialized urban people.
Traditionally, Hip Hop is first approached as an art form that consists of four core elements; B-Boyin (break dancing), MC-ing (rap), Aerosol Art (graffiti writing) and DJ-ing (the cutting, mixing and scratching of recorded materials). These are called the “core four” elements of Hip Hop. However, Hip Hop’s “core four” elements also encompass specific and unique urban clothing styles, language styles, business and trade techniques as well as a collective body of knowledge derived from its internal experiences with itself and the world. Therefore, from our initial “core four” elements we get our nine cultural elements; Breakin, Emceein, Graffiti Art, Deejayin, Beat Boxin, Street Fashion, Street Language, Street Knowledge and Street Entrepreneurialism.
These cultural activities have created uniquely rich Hip Hop stories, Hip Hop tragedies and triumphs, Hip Hop legends and myths, original Hip Hop arts, popular Hip Hop music and thought provoking Hip Hop poetry that critiques and interprets the world in which the Hip Hop community exists. The music and dances of Hip Hop come from our collective urban view of the world which inspires such music and dance to occur. It is Hip Hop’s cultural worldview that inspires (or rather causes) its music, arts and dances to occur.
We are uniquely Hip Hop because the repetition of such a unique being and seeing has created our specific Hip Hop way of life. And the Hip Hop way of life is what we call Hip Hop’s culture or Hiphop Kulture. As culture, Hip Hop is the specific behaviors, traits, expressions, patterns and institutions of OUR unique collective consciousness. It (Hip Hop) is OUR intellectual and artistic activity as well as the works produced by it.
According to the Hip Hoptionary: The Dictionary Of Hip Hop Terminology by Alonso Westbrook, Hip Hop is defined as the artistic response to oppression. A way of expression in dance, music, word/song. A culture that thrives on creativity and nostalgia. As a musical art form it is the stories of inner-city life, often with a message, spoken over beats of music. The culture includes Rap and any other venture spawned from the Hip Hop style and culture.
The Encyclopedia of Rap and Hip Hop Cultureby Yvonne Bynoe confirms that Afrika Bambaataa credits DJ Love Bug Starski with first using the term Hip Hop to describe the new music and subculture. The American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition records hip hop as a popular urban youth culture, closely associated with rap music and with the style and fashions of African-American inner-city residents. The Modern Oxford English Dictionary displays a bit more cultural literacy in its record of hip hop: a style of popular music of U.S. black and Hispanic origin, featuring rap with an electronic backing. The sub-culture associated with this, including graffiti art, break-dancing, etc.
The Oxford American Dictionary & Thesaurus actually confirms hip-hop-per as a derivative of hip-hop and states that the origin of the word Hip Hop probably comes from hip meaning ‘very fashionable’. However, the first phrase recorded in the English language regarding hip hop was in 1672 by the second Duke of Buckingham (George Villiers 1628-1687). As he was being dismissed from the ministry of Charles II for misconduct, he is said to have stated; To go off hip hop, hip hop, upon this occasion is a thousand times better than any conclusion in the world, I gad. The last part I gad means here to go from one place to another, to wander about without any serious object, stopping here and there.
Hip Hop itself is not a person, a place or a physical thing; it is an awareness. You cannot actually go to Hip Hop, or wear Hip Hop, or eat Hip Hop. Hip Hop exists as a shared idea; it never enters physical reality, it is a way to be. You cannot drink a can of Hip Hop and suddenly know how to rap. You cannot put Hip Hop on as clothing, or read a book in order to understand Hip Hop. Hip Hop begins as an awareness; as an alternative behavior that causes one to rap, or break (dance), or write graffiti, or deejay. Hip Hop, in its true essence, is a shared urban idea—a unified feel. Rapping, breakin, graffiti writing, beat-boxin and deejayin are all expressions OF this collective urban idea commonly called Hip Hop.
We (Hiphop) are a very real People with a very real and specific cultural identity. When you say “Hip Hop” in the world today every urbanized person knows what you are talking about and can describe our cultural characteristics instantly. In light of this, Hip Hop becomes a proper noun and should be treated as such grammatically. It is a common linguistic rule of the English language that the titles or names of all cultures, nations, civilizations, ethnicities, etc., be spelled beginning with a capital (upper case) letter. Hip Hop is our culture, therefore it must always be spelled with the same grammatical respect one would give any other culture in the English language. Unless the term Hip Hop is being displayed in an art presentation or if translated into another language or culture where the grammatical rules of the English language do not apply, it (Hip Hop) should be spelled beginning with a capital H as Hip Hop or Hiphop.
Those who show little respect for Hip Hop still spell Hip Hop as hip-hop, even though Hip Hop is a proper noun. True Hiphoppas are advised to spell Hiphop with a capital H as it is the name of our collective consciousness; it is the force that animates our way of life, our culture, our tribe, our nation. When Hip Hop is spelled as hip-hop it refers to rap music product and its related activities. Even our dance moves come from our collective cultural worldview; our dances explain something very deep about our divinity as well as our natural experiences in our present time and space.
Those who approach Hip Hop like it is exclusively a trendy dance (or entertainment) are usually those who repeatedly speak and spell the term incorrectly and care little for Hiphop as a community of real people. To spell Hip Hop or Hiphop incorrectly as hip-hop is to deny our right to exist as a People. The use of the term hip-hop to describe real people reduces those people to products.
Those using the English language to describe Hip Hop while misspelling Hiphop and/or Hip Hop as hip-hop are not only grammatically incorrect; they also undermine the importance of what Hiphop really is to Hiphoppas. They participate in Hip Hop’s enslavement by reducing our culture and way of life to a music genre and product to be bought and sold. Again, Hiphop is not a product to be bought and sold; it is the inalienable right of all Hiphoppas. Hip Hop is OUR name!
Pronounced with alternated vowels—drip drop, tick tock, tip top, flip flop, etc., Hip Hop as Hiphop is a form of intelligence; a knowing. The word hip has several definitions to it, but the definition that most Hip Hop scholars are concerned with regarding Hip Hop is hip meaning to have knowledge of, and to be informed or to be up to date, even in style and fashionable. Hip, in a social sense, can mean keenly aware of what is new and in style. Here, the word hip is applied to Hip Hop as a form of knowing; a kind of intelligence, being keenly aware. Such knowing is not necessarily an educated style of knowing, but more of an intuit knowing. It is the ability to know without being taught, it is your genetic memory; it is the consciousness of your innate cultural identity.
The word hop also has a variety of definitions as well, but the main definition we are concerned with here regarding hop is as a form of movement. Hop is an act or the action of hopping; a short springing or leaping especially upon one foot. Hop has also been associated with dancing as well as a dance like an informal, nonceremonial party. But, generally as it pertains to Hip Hop, Hop means to move by leaps with both feet or by one foot as opposed to walking or running.
Together, hip (informed/in style) as a form of intelligence, and hop (leaping/dancing) as a form of movement when associated with Hip Hop literally means intelligent movement, even in formed dancing aswellas an informed dance or party/gathering. Applying the simplest definitions of hip and hop to the term Hip Hop we find Hip Hop to literally mean intelligence moving, conscious movement or a movement aware of itself—“I am hip to my hop”, I know why I move. Here, we can see Hip Hop emerging as a form of self-awareness, and this is exactly how it is practiced in real life. Rap is something that is done, while Hip Hop is something that is lived.
Looking at the possible English etymology of Hiphoppa we come to the Old Icelandic term hoppa (meaning: to spring upward). The way in which we describe and spell Hiphoppa in the English language is influenced by the two terms hip and hoppa. The term hip meaning; keenly aware of what is new and in style, and hoppa meaning to spring upward or to hop reveals the hip-hoppa (Hiphoppa) as the actual intelligence that is springing forward. The hip-hoppa can be said to be a conscious mover,or one who moves with cultural awareness.
Such an awareness can never be known objectively. We are not just doing Hip Hop; we are Hiphop! And because we ARE what we are learning and ultimately teaching, our perspective on Hip Hop begins subjectively as opposed to being exclusively academic and/or objective in nature. Living Hiphop requires that you know it intimately, that you meditate daily upon its existence and practice its elements to the peak of perfection; that you actually care for the existence of Hiphop as yourself and seek to further its development with your actual being.
The true Hip Hop scholar/apprentice is studying to become Hiphop; not to just observe Hip Hop. How can anyone claim any authentic scholarship on something that they themselves are not and equally cannot actually produce? Where then is your authority to teach? Our perspective on Hip Hop and its culture is not an objective one; we seek to perfect our knowledge of Hip Hop because WE ARE HIP HOP! This is a true Hip Hop scholar—an attuned Hiphoppa, a cultural family member.
You cannot actually know Hip Hop objectively; to truly comprehend Hip Hop you have to become it; you have to become Hiphop. This, of course, is true of any living culture. Here, the true practice of Hiphop begins with an anthropological approach to Hip Hop’s culture; apprentices/students are urged to live the culture for a while in order to truly understand it. Approaching Hip Hop first as a cultural anthropologist gives the apprentice a firsthand experience as to the very real and empowering nature of Hip Hop.
When Hip Hop is real to you, when it is fixed and immovable from your being; YOU ARE PRACTICING REAL HIP HOP. When something is real it is considered to be genuine and/or authentic; it is what it proposes to be, it is not imaginary it is actually existing and occurring to your physical senses. The term real Hip Hop relates to the fixed conditions and genuine nature of Hip Hop as it appears to our physical senses today. Breakin, Emceein, Graffiti Art, Deejayin, Beat Boxin, Street Fashion, Street Language, Street Knowledge and Street Entrepreneurialism are all fixed conditions of Hip Hop. These elements are permanent and immoveable from the existence of real Hip Hop. These elements are real Hip Hop, and those who promote and preserve these elements promote and preserve real Hip Hop. If one or more of these elements are not present in one’s self-expression one is not doing or being real Hip Hop.
Hiphop is a new global urban understanding that communicates an alternative reality through art. Again, Hiphop is a perceptual ability that transforms intellectual subjects and physical objects in an effort to express the character of one’s inner-being in Nature. Most people don’t and/or can’t approach Hip Hop like this because most people are still using hip-hop to escape poverty as opposed to being Hiphop to gain its cultural awareness. Of course, those who only use hip-hop to escape poverty can never call themselves real “scholars” of the Hip Hop arts and sciences, and this is why such knowledge is simply out of their intellectual reach. However, for Hip Hop’s true scholars, Hip Hop is far more than a popular mode of entertainment.
Hip Hop appears to us today as rap music entertainment because of how American Black and Latino youths were discriminated against in the early 1960s and 1970s. The only way to be heard or even survive in the American society at that time was to either join the military, play sports, or entertain in some way or another. Even if you had any aspirations to be a doctor, a lawyer, an architect, an engineer, etc., you were either discouraged from pursuing such professions, or even if you managed to secure a degree in these professions, you were still not hired or even trusted. No matter what your academic credentials were in a racist and discriminatory society, you were still deemed a second or third class citizen; a nigger!
As a result, many young minds with great capacities for careers in the medical, engineering and law professions put their talents to simply surviving in the very violent and lawless streets of New York. Many did not survive; others repurposed themselves into b-boys and b-girls, graffiti writers, deejays and emcees; and still, many were even discouraged from pursuing these arts. Hip Hop has never been taken seriously because organic Black urban intelligence has never been taken seriously in the United States. This is simply the painful truth, and this is why the correct teaching of Hip Hop is so important.
The teaching of Hip Hop begins with two simple questions; why is it important to teach Hip Hop, and why is Hip Hop important to know? The quick answer to the first question is simply because no one else is going to correctly do this for us. The preservation of Hip Hop is connected to the teaching of Hip Hop. If you care at all for the culture you claim, the teaching of Hip Hop becomes simply a matter of self-respect and self-preservation. Why would you not want to preserve, teach and improve your own craft and culture? This is the short answer to the first question—care. Only those who care about the existence and preservation of Hip Hop can correctly teach it.
But now the second question; why is Hip Hop important to know? Most people feel that if they do not rap, or break, or do aerosol art that they have no need to understand Hip Hop. And they are partially correct until they are reminded that Hip Hop is one of last of the human skills. It doesn’t matter what you may think of rap music or rappers; rapping itself is still a human skill. In fact, rapping is one of the last things modern humans can still do today without technological dependency. Plus, rap (rhythmic speech) and its brother breakin (rhythmic dance) are both physically healthy and mentally stimulating. Breakin is physical exercise and emceein is mental exercise. It doesn’t matter what these activities are in the music and theatre industries, breakin and emceein as human exercises for both mind and body are simply healthy for humans.
The dance styles of modern Breakin are used in aerobics and other exercises that refine the body and relieve stress. Dance appears at the genesis of human awareness and remains at the center of good health. Breakin gets our hearts pumping at about 120 beats per minute, and if we can break or dance at least three times a week for only 20 minutes we would have enhanced our physical health and prolonged our very lives by years.
Emceein is the mastery of the spoken word. It is in the mastering of emceein that we also express our inherit understanding of rhythm, linguistics, physics, mathematics, memory, logical reasoning and high communication skills. Emceein expresses a total integration of right and left brain co-ordination. It doesn’t matter what we may think of certain b-boys, b-girls and/or rappers, breakin and emceein are simply healthy human skills.
In a world that is becoming more and more technologically dependant, it is healthy to practice the elements of Hip Hop as human skills, not just as artistic performances. Breakin’, rappin’, drawing, writin’, and beat boxin’ are all human skills; they can be produced with no technological assistance at all. Respect is also a human skill, and the more we show respect to one another the more humane we actually are. Communication with one’s perceived higher source is a human skill; weaving and sowing are human skills; swimming, running, fighting, speaking, imagination and sexual intercourse are all human skills.
This is important because in a world of text messaging and emailing, people seem to be losing their ability to communicate face-to-face as well as correctly apply their own human skills. The skills that it once took to think and then convey one’s thoughts to another person in person are fading fast. People are forgetting how to actually write with their hands, or express their emotions, or even feel the same of others. Privacy is becoming a thing of the past, while people actually laugh less writing LOL as oppose to actually laughing out loud. Imagine that, some have allowed technology to interpret their very laughter—originally a human thing to do. The teaching of Hip Hop restores all of this.
Hip Hop reminds us of our humanity. Everything about Hip Hop is human. Besides the commercial or even aesthetic value of Hip Hop’s core elements, Hip Hop is simply a useful and safe way for humans to spend their time. Simple and plain; Hip Hop enhances human life. This is real! And this is why it is not only important to know Hip Hop, but to also teach it correctly. Hip Hop is a human skill that raises one’s self-worth.
But another thought on this question, why is it important to teach Hip Hop, brings us to the fact that in this day and age in any modern urban American community to not know what Hip Hop is, is to be illiterate of American society. Hip Hop is everywhere and enjoyed on several levels by everyone. How can anyone remain ignorant of Hip Hop, yet claim to be informed on American society and culture? 10 or 20 years ago you might have been able to get away with such ignorance, but today in 2013 to live in any urban environment on the Earth and not be familiar with Hip Hop is simply UNACCEPTABLE!
Here, we can see that Breakin, Emceein, Graffiti art and Deejayin are far more than entertainment pastimes. These artistic elements when seen as human abilities points us toward our ancient human origins. Breakin is dance, emceein is speech, graffiti art is writing, and deejayin is the manipulation and repurposing of the objects in one’s environment. Cutting, mixing and scratching is deejayin; not turntables, microphones and computers. Looking at deejayin more closely we can see that deejayin is not about the technology used to produce music; it is more about what humans do with that technology to produce their ideas which may include music. Music is vibrational communication; it is the display of organized sounds.
None of this would mean anything if Hip Hop’s artistic elements were simply new versions of modern art. Like our unique dance styles were simply updated versions of the Waltz, or even the Hustle. Or, if our graphic art was done in the tradition of Michelangelo or in some other classical European style. Or, if our style of poetry was similar to others, and our modes of music production was done exclusively with a live band. If our artistic self-expressions were even similar to modern art none of this would matter. But the fact that Breakin, Emceein, Graffiti Art and Deejayin individually and combined can be traced back to the self-expressions of early humans demands some investigation as to where our self-expressions come from and why.
Graffiti Art alone is more ancient and more human than any other graphic art in human history, and an investigation into OUR Graffiti Art is sure to reveal the truth about our being and character as Hip Hop human beings; Hiphopians. Six times older than the Pyramids in Egypt and eight times older than Stone Hedge in Europe, stenciled human hands were found in 1905 in Toulouse France dating back some 30,000 years ago.
Graffiti art is the earliest form of human writing in human history. Some of the most ancient forms of art and art as a means of learning, communication and identity can be found at stone-age cave sites and on ancient rock art. Scientists still call these writings graffiti.
Emceein, or utterance, is also has its origin at the birth of human expression and awareness. Not so much the ability to speak through organized language but in fact, the ability to make sounds with one’s mouth or body; we call this particular self-expression beat boxin. All creatures beat box as a form of emceein. All creatures make some kind of communicative utterance that carries the intent of that being. Vibrational tones (singing) not speaking, but vibrating to express intent is also at the genesis of human awareness and self-expression.
Breakin, or dance, or rather moving one’s body in rhythmic/vibrational motion is one of the most common characteristics of being Human and one of the very first things Humans did to communicate and express their ideas to one another. Before language and before writing there were other descriptive ways of communicating ideas; sign language leading to dance was one such idea. Many ancient cultures danced or moved descriptively according to the wind, the water, the swaying of trees; even the movements and characteristics of certain animals and insects.
The idea of moving rhythmically like the creatures and objects in your natural environment appears at the origins of human self-expression. This is important to us because our main dance style (breakin) is not like other modern dances of our time; neither is our graffiti art and emceein. Breakin imitates early rhythmic movements as well as the way in which these movements came about—through subjective observation; we became what we saw. Like early humans, we too expressed our rhythmic dances by imitating our natural environments as well as the events such environments produced. Like most of our artistic expressions, we learned them by being them.
Approaching breakin, emceein, graffiti writing, deejayin, beat boxin, street fashion, street language, street knowledge and street entrepreneurialism as stages in human development we can begin to see the evolution of the Hiphoppa.
Breakin—dance/synchronization with Nature’s rhythm.
Emceein—utterance of existence/communication with Nature.
Graffiti Art—art, writing, and the symbolization of Nature.
Deejayin—manipulation of Nature/tool making.
Beat Boxin—imitation of Nature and Nature’s sounds.
Street Fashion—tribal clothing, body art, hairstyling.
Street Language—tribal communication.
Street Knowledge—tribal wisdom/survival skills.
Street Entrepreneurialism—tribal trade.
A scientific academic understanding of “hip-hop” is good for classrooms objectively reviewing rap music and its impact upon mainstream society—this is a good thing for first-time students of Hip Hop. But for those seeking to actually create rap music, or create breakin, or graffiti writing, or deejayin, etc., and then have successful careers performing these arts in real life, knowing and being the cultural essence of Hip Hop outside of whatever commercial gain can be achieved through the performance of Hip Hop’s artistic elements is the key to a successfully lived Hip Hop life. For the Hiphoppa, it is Hip Hop’s culture that produces Hip Hop’s arts.
Approaching Hip Hop in this way, as a living culture, expands ones perception and thus one’s abilities in Nature. Here, it is first one’s cultural understanding that empowers one’s artistic, and even academic, understanding. Without cultural literacy which includes spiritual literacy Hip Hop can only be intellectually known; it cannot be lived. Teaching Hip Hop void of its cultural principles and the miraculous events that actually occurred for Hip Hop to exist, denies the apprentice the real power and protection that accompanies one’s overstanding of Hip Hop. Remember, we are not teaching the techniques of rapping or deejayin only, we are teaching Hiphop; the cause of rapping and deejayin.
Here, the teaching of Hip Hop is all about the teaching of our cultural perception. Hip Hop is a perceptual ability that helps the apprentice see more opportunities in his/her world than those ‘seeing’ through the paradigm of a basic education. Hip Hop introduces a new way to function in urban environments, and teaches the apprentice how to create opportunities where there appears to be none. Again, the teaching of real Hip Hop is not only about the teaching of rap music, graffiti art, and break dancing, it’s more about teaching the perception that caused these artistic activities to exist. Here, we remind the apprentice that Hip Hop was first an original way to think and act before it became commercially successful, and if you can perfect and present Hip Hop in its original form you can actually raise your self-worth and self-awareness as an attuned Hiphoppa.
Original Hip Hop (Hiphop) was first an attitude about life; it was a collective cultural behavior, an ancient identity that empowered anyone willing to BECOME it. We are talking about LIFE here, not music, but LIFE! This is why when it comes to the study of real Hip Hop it is first one’s cultural understanding that empowers one’s academic and artistic understanding. The question is, what is it that makes a person Hiphop? And why are only a certain segment of every human group interested at all in Hip Hop. What is it that makes a person attracted to Hip Hop regardless of their ethnic or racial origins? What are the origins of Hiphop’s culture?
Cultural literacy, from a Hiphop perspective, can only be achieved by authentic Hiphoppas; it is a sensitivity toward the further growth and collective well-being of your social group. Such literacy is created by the principles of the culture itself; YOUR culture. This is what you are literate of when you are culturally literate—you are hip to your hop. You understand the ingredients of your social group; you can read its blueprint in an effort to enhance (yourself) it.
Cultural literacy is NOT simply the study of cultures, it is more accurately when you care about what your actions mean for the group that you belong to, and it is first this form of cultural literacy that can lead to the study of other cultures. Hip Hop’s cultural literacy begins as an inward process that leads to an outward investigation.
It makes little sense for one group of people to learn about another group of people before learning about themselves. Only an oppressed people are forced to learn of everyone else’s history before learning about their own. And equally, only an oppressed people, an institutionalized person, will not even ask questions pertaining to one’s own origin and nature. Such a People are dependent (even historically) upon their masters’ vision and interpretation of reality. This is the challenge with investigating Hip Hop’s history through the paradigm of mainstream rap—which is commercially driven.
History informs a People as to who they are and where they’ve been as a People. History creates reality for a People; it tells them what they are capable of. This is why the Hip Hop historian must not only possess an uninstitutionalized mind in order to accurately document Hip Hop, the Hip Hop historian must also actually care for the further development of the Hip Hop idea throughout recorded history.
Such a historian must be a free person with a free mind because again, history informs a People as to what is possible for them; it tells them their reality. A true Hip Hop historian cares for the development of Hip Hop’s people. For the true Hip Hop historian/scholar the documentation of Hip Hop is NOT a job—it is the duty of a free Hip Hop mind.
Cultural literacy leads to higher levels of self-organization. When you know who you are, you know what you need, and knowing what YOU need will inform you as to what YOU need to study. Knowing where YOU come from helps to show YOU where YOU are going. Once you know where you come from you then know what to learn. Self-management and self-control are the keys to advanced knowledge and both are difficult to learn without a sense of your OWN cultural identity.
Cultural literacy goes even further when looking at how some people with a deeply felt religious culture (for example) experience their religion upon their physical bodies. Many are shocked and amazed when the palms of a devout Christian’s hands begin to bleed just as Jesus’ hands are depicted in countless Christian drawings honoring the Crucifixion. Such stigmatic marks are known to be caused by how the person experiencing such a stigmatism feels about his/her religion.
The same can be said of any culture a person might belong to and deeply believe in. Today, it is common knowledge amongst scholars that Jesus was crucified at the wrist, not at the hands; that the nails were driven into his wrists, and not into the palms of his hands. But the most widely distributed image of Jesus with cuts in the palms of his hands seems to also be the most widely appearing stigmatic marks on those loyal to this image of the Christian messiah.
This is interesting for Hip Hop because it is clear that cultural beliefs do create human ability even on a genetic level. Culture actually affects the biology of the one immersed in the culture. Could Hip Hop be genetic? Could it be that breakin, emceein, deejayin, graffiti writing, and beat boxin are part of our genetic reactions to the urban environments in which we live and have lived? Could Hip Hop simply be an ancient genetic human skill? We say YES!
We know that the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of every human is for the most part identical. On the gene pool level we are all the same, but there are some differences otherwise we would all be like clones of one another with everyone looking the same way and doing the same things.
You would never know just by appearance how unique every human really is. We all seem to have the same general body, but in reality we are all uniquely designed. Some humans can eat things that would make other human sick. Some humans have darker or lighter skins than other humans, and produce different results with their skins than other humans. Even as I write these words to you now there are humans that can do some amazing things with their bodies and minds that other humans simply cannot do. Even the blood types of certain humans are not the same. Fingerprints and the retina in one’s eyes are all identical and unique to that human.
When you really look at the structure of the human body you see that we are really a collection of intelligent cells; tiny beings that make everything we call human possible. We often forget that the microscopic cells that make up our bodies as well as the functions of such bodies are intelligent.
Everything a human does, is, feels and will do is governed by a complex community of interworking cells; microscopic beings that think, eat, reproduce and communicate with one another on a microscopic level. Our cravings and even our urges to pursue certain things are mostly motivated by our cellular structure. Humans are more events that solid physical bodies. Our physical bodies are the results of our cellular community. They are what is really existing; our physical body, and possibly our very consciousness, are their results.
Within the nuclei of every cell are strands of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) which are coiled up within the chromosomes of the cell. Some strands of DNA is actively read and functioning while other strands of DNA remain unread and dormant. Sexual reproduction shuffles these cells around creating new humans with each generation based upon the environments such human species are born within. Other acids called mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acids or mtDNA exist outside of the nuclei of the cell.
The genes inside mtDNA are responsible for taking sugars of all kinds and transforming such sugars into usable energy and vitality. However, these genes do not get shuffled around at the moment of inception like the DNA found in the nuclei of the cell. Mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acids are largely standard and unchanging in the cell, and it is with these strands of DNA (mtDNA) that geneticists can trace family lineages as well as human development over millions of years.
You are not really your physical body; you are actually bodying. What you perceive as you is merely social indoctrination. The real you is not one thing at all. The real you is a collection of multiple cellular intelligences operating in multiple dimensions producing what appears like a unified solid physical body. However, you would be nothing and equally could do nothing without the peace, the love, THE UNITY and the joy of your collective cellular being.
Everything a human can do and become is already existent within its genes. If there really are no new genes and what makes one species of life different from another is simply the order in which certain genes are organized, then it is indeed safe to say that breakin, emceein, graffiti art, deejayin and beat boxin are also genetic. That these abilities are part of our human toolkit and are called upon naturally amongst those humans threatened or rejected in some way by their environment.
Breakin, emceein, graffiti art, deejayin and beat boxin are not socially created abilities like driving a car where all humans with some training can be taught to handle a motor vehicle. Breakin, emceein, graffiti art, deejayin and beat boxin are natural survival skills. Today, because of the oppressive socio-political environments in which we live, breakin, emceein, graffiti art, deejayin and beat boxin appear as artistic skills; as forms of entertainment. But on a cellular level these are ancient human survival skills motivated to reappear in our time because of our present environmental conditions.
Environment seems to have a lot more influence over the development of human survival abilities than we think. And when I say “environment” here I mean cultural environment, political environment, urban environment—even spiritual environment. According to today’s medical view, it is one’s culture (one’s environment) that also helps to affect certain genetic responses to one’s survival and further development as a human being.
Dr. Bruce Lipton, a cellular biologist, author and professor points out that genetic determinism is simply not true. The idea that genes dictate your life; that one’s health and the character of one’s life are genetically predetermined is simply not true. Genes are listening to the needs of the Mind. Dr. Lipton, in his DVD lecture entitled The New Biology, points out that the environment—the external universe and our internal physiology—and more importantly, our perception of the environment, directly control the activity of our genes.
It seems that we and our new cultural environment (Hip Hop) are inter-connectedly growing together. We are all affecting it, and it is affecting us all. In fact, the Hiphoppa and Hip Hop’s cultural development are indeed two aspects of the same response to urban environments. This is more of a medical interpretation of the cultural statement I am Hip Hop, but we now know that genes are only blueprints; that they do not act on their own, they are ineffective and inactive until they are read. When a genetic product is needed, a signal from its environment, not from the gene itself, activates the expression of that gene. But the term environment also means the realm of ideas.
As Dr. Mario Martinez, the Vatican’s psychologist for stigmatic research has pointed out; You experience what your culture is, or what you believe of your group. Where the Mind goes the biology follows. We have a personal bio-informational field which can be expanded or diminished. Yes, cultural beliefs affect gene development, thus creating human ability. Whatever we believe of Hip Hop shall further activate or deteriorate our physical abilities on a genetic level.
We now know that our environments and our perception of such environments have a profound effect upon what our genes may or may not produce. This is also why we take our practice of Hip Hop seriously. When you say “I am Hip Hop” your genes respond to that belief, and whatever you truly believe Hip Hop is, shall become your perception and natural ability. This is why Hip Hop’s original principles of peace, love, unity and safely having fun must be preserved; they lead to health, awareness and wealth. Once you truly believe (be and live) this, your genetic structure can respond accordingly. This is also why the preservation of Hip Hop has more to do with the preservation of its People than with its products.
The preservation of Hip Hop is the preservation of our unique way of seeing the world. And because Hip Hop is a perceptual ability, its preservation can happen outside of physical reality. The documentation, preservation and interpretation of Hip Hop requires a slight consciousness shift on the part of the scholar. Hip Hop’s history, its documentation, preservation and interpretation, falls outside of linear time and physical space. The nature and essence of Hip Hop is in superposition and must be documented superhistorically. What does this mean?
As you have already learned, Hip Hop is our cultural idea. It is not a physical thing, it is an attitude. Hip Hop is not an object, it is a subject. As a non-physical subject, the documentation of Hip Hop can also fall outside of material reality. Documenting, studying and teaching the history of an idea like Hip Hop demands that one expands one’s own consciousness beyond linear time and specific places as well as beyond race and ethnic identity. Hip Hop comes from everywhere! It is a collective consciousness.
Super-historical Hip Hop reveals how Hip Hop’s true history is not just the documentation of moving objects in physical reality; it is more accurately the documentation of moving subjects in a transcendent reality. This methodology deals more with Hip Hop’s origins than with its history; we will create a better history when we have an understanding of Hip Hop’s true origin and nature.
Beyond race, class, gender, etc., OUR PEOPLE are united by certain universally accepted interests and ideas, and these specific interests and ideas are found all over the world and at different times in the world. Again, Hip Hop itself is not a physical thing, nor is it of the physical world—it is a shared urban idea. Hip Hop’s true and accurate history is the documentation of, and search for, Hip Hop’s collective attitudes, principles, views, abilities and interests throughout and even beyond linear time and physical space.
The old historical paradigm was to identify one’s self with one’s land of origin. When studying history and looking for one’s self in the events of the past we were taught to look for, and relate to, those historical characters that one physically resembled the most. If you were Black that meant that you were historically from Africa and if you really wanted to know more about your history you were compelled to take African Studies. You would never think or be encouraged to seek your African history and heritage within the history of the Irish, or the Chinese, or the Cherokees. This same example can be applied to any race or ethnicity of people.
In the old paradigm your personal identification in history is materially based—it is based upon race and the documentation of your race in certain geographical locations on the physical earth. And there’s nothing wrong with this approach; it is just limited to physical things in linear time and physical space which makes such an approach inadequate for the historical study of Hip Hop. When you seek to document a non-physical event like Hip Hop, the rules change dramatically. To identify and then document Hip Hop you must realize that you are documenting an idea, not a person, or even an event in Nature. Hip Hop is a shared idea. The true Hip Hop historian must undergo a slight consciousness change from identifying one’s self with certain people in history to identifying one’s self with certain ideas in history in order to truly understand the true essence of Hip Hop.
Our activity today is the origin of Hip Hop’s history and heritage tomorrow. Be conscious of this always. OUR ACTIVITY TODAY IS THE ORIGIN OF HIP HOP’S HISTORY AND HERITAGE TOMMOROW! Remember, Hip Hop and all of its elements are first human skills, and the teaching of Hip Hop is the teaching of the human Skills. With this in mind, Hip Hop’s elements are also taught as:
This list is called The Refinitions. The full list is found in the Gospel of Hip Hop. Once this attitude toward Hip Hop is part of your character, you see and feel Hip Hop more accurately. However, I say here with all due respect to everyone who attempts to teach Hip Hop, when it comes to the actual teaching of Hip Hop many instructors today still fall short because they don’t actually LIVE Hip Hop; they are still objective with it, they are still observing it as opposed to being it, they are still reading about it as opposed to actually doing it. They may teach a history of hip-hop, or they may have even been a Hip Hop pioneer themselves, but when it comes to actually being Hiphop and then imparting useful Hip Hop knowledge and techniques designed to enhance and empower the actual lives of real people, many hip-hop courses remain depressingly inadequate.
Some instructors believe that reviewing Rap lyrics, or watching the motion picture classic Wild Style is somehow Hip Hop scholarship; they are sadly mistaken. Others believe that they can read about hip-hop, and then claim some sort of scholarship on Hip Hop. They too are sadly mistaken. Even others believe that because they may hold a college degree in Black Studies, or Cultural Studies, or Musicology, or Journalism that such accreditations give them the authority and ability to teach Hip Hop. Again, they are sadly mistaken. And this is in no way to be taken as a critique of the hard work many Hip Hop educators have put toward the teaching of Hip Hop; we are all learning. But as we learn and grow it us, those who actually have a passion for teaching Hip Hop, that must take OUR craft more seriously.
Many who claim to teach Hip Hop have never even mastered any of Hip Hop’s elements, nor are they actually part of the Hip Hop history they teach. They teach Hip Hop with no formal training from any qualified Hip Hop instructor, and very few Hip Hop instructors have actually produced an authentic rap album, or a graffiti mural, or any kind of fashion statement themselves, yet they are teaching and introducing Hip Hop to young people—for money. No memorable concerts, or DVDs, or legendary battles, or even old school photos of their own; they’re just teaching whatever they remember seeing or hearing of Rap music in their childhood. How can Hip Hop grow like this? How can any Hip Hop instructor even grow like this?
Part of the reason for this however, has to do with how students/professors are trained by their college. The true teaching of Hip Hop begins with a respect for, and knowledge of, those that established the subject you are now attempting to study. The true teaching of Hip Hop begins with the origin of the teaching methodology itself, and who or what established it. What was the original point? Teaching Hip Hop on a professional level without the authority to do so is simply theft. Without the expressed permission and/or accreditation of Hip Hop’s Master Teacher you are simply doing the same things most invaders and colonizers have done to most of the Earth’s indigenous people.
For those studying with the Temple of Hip Hop, the true teaching of Hip Hop is not about adding more information into your brain about Hip Hop; it is more accurately about questioning and investigating the information your brain has already retained regarding all subjects, including Hip Hop. Here, the true teaching of Hip Hop is about stripping away useless ideas in the mind that prevent you from experiencing Hiphop. Once you’ve rid yourself of useless ideas and information, Hiphop will be all that you have left. Hiphop is already with you, it is your innate being. However, it is the combination of useless ideas along with self-doubt that blocks the apprentice from experiencing true Hiphop. To even study true Hiphop the apprentice MUST have the courage to be one’s authentic Self, and think outside of mainstream academic learning methodologies.
The point here, which is also the beginning of your Hip Hop teacher’s training, is that most college educated professors unconsciously bring westernized methods of understanding and investigation to Hip Hop which immediately blinds these professors from actually seeing Hip Hop for real. True Hip Hop scholars must be aware of this. You cannot assume that you can come to a new subject with an old mentality, or even worse, an objective mentality.
True learning is about self-transformation—a scary process for some, a welcomed experience for others. In any event, to truly engage in the critical study of Hip Hop it is YOUR mind that must make some slight adjustments in the way that it understands reality.
First, in every professional subject known to scholars there is always an acknowledgement of the pioneers and trendsetters of such a subject. Cures are named after the doctor’s who created them. Scientific theories and the biographical history of the theorist are taught side-by-side. Laws are named after the victim or event that caused such laws to exist. In almost every teachable subject there is precedence, biography and surrounding history that goes along with the subject being taught. But when it comes to cultures that exist outside of the western worldview, yet influences or even directly teaches Europe something, these original teachers are always left out of the European’s explanation of what is being studied.
The western academic model seems to start reality and all knowing with itself regardless of where it may have acquired such knowing from. This is why in the European model of education you first learn of Christopher Columbus before you learn of the indigenous tribes that where living and thriving in the so-called Americas centuries before Columbus. You learn first about the United States Constitution before you learn about the Iroquois Indian nation that influenced it.
Many young aspiring philosophers learn about Greek philosophy before learning about Egyptian and/or Sumerian philosophy, or Arab history which actually preserved the ancient Greek texts that everyone studies today. Many more learn the English alphabet without ever learning about the Phoenicians from which it comes. It seems that the same way in which we are taught Greek philosophy before we learn of where the Greeks got their philosophies, is the same way Hip Hop as a philosophy and teaching methodology is being treated by academicians everywhere today.
Many college educated professors never approach Kool DJ Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grand Master Flash, Crazy Legs, Chuck D, Just-Ice, Wise Intelligent, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, KRS-One, or any of Hip Hop’s first teachers as actually knowing more about Hip Hop than they do. In fact, all true scholars know that you cannot even fully understand the depth of what you are studying without some kind of historical context pertaining to those who first originated your field of study—even if your learning institution buries this information. But the westernized academic pursuit of knowledge has more to do with capturing information than actually knowing what you have captured, and many college educated professors are perpetuating this mental form of invasion and colonization upon Hip Hop. Meaning that, the Hip Hop landscape (its culture) has a unique reality as well as a distinct set of principles that accompany Hip Hop’s unique reality. But professors of all sorts are ignoring such principles as well as the way in which Hip Hop approaches itself in an attempt to make Hip Hop understandable and palpable to their westernized academic institutions.
Perpetuating a colonizer’s approach to foreign cultures and peoples, that is, to settled down upon THEIR cultural landscape in an effort to establish your own, totally disregarding the actual reality and meaning of what or who you are observing so that you may make up a reality that fits YOUR basic worldview, seems to be the normal educational model today toward Hip Hop both theoretically as well as scientifically. No one is really learning anything about Hip Hop because Hip Hop is a new experience; it produces new knowledge. And because new knowledge usually replaces old knowledge and shatters existing ideas, ideas that people have become so comfortable with that anything else conflicting with these accepted ideas is met with fierce resistance, the study of Hip Hop now has to fall in line with the same outdated and in some cases blatantly wrong teaching methodologies just to be heard in these institutions of so-called higher learning.
It’s my way or the highway! This is the present style of thinking Hip Hop is faced with within the academic arena. We know, and you don’t know, even your own culture. This is how Hip Hop’s original teachers are being treated in my time, and it is this colonizing approach to Hip Hop’s fertile intellectual landscape that every true Hip Hop scholar must be aware of.
The idea of setting your view aside in an effort to fully understand the view of another or the other is virtually impossible for a student trained in this colonizing way. And on top of that, as a scholar trained with a colonizer’s character, even if you happen to lightly understand what you are observing you would still give no credit to the actual thing itself as being your source of information and thus your first teacher. With a colonizer’s personality you approach Hip Hop like land, for its use, not for its actual existence and further development.
The true Hip Hop scholar asks within himself; does my teaching of Hip Hop advance Hip Hop or does it advance Hip Hop’s further exploitation? The true Hip Hop scholar is a guardian of Hip Hop, a custodian of Hip Hop, a member of the international Hip Hop tribe. The Hip Hop scholar is not a colonizer, nor does such a scholar think through a colonizer’s personality.
To truly understand what is being said here try to remember that the very order of the societies in which we live is kept together by military force—not science, or human cooperation, or even religious belief. Social order is kept together by the threat of imprisonment or death by some militarized group, and this is because of how most of our modern nations were formed. Most industrialized nations began with the invasion and conquest of an indigenous tribe whose view of reality was to subjectively be not to just objectively know.
Through medicinal herbs, stories, dancing, drawing and singing original people BECAME the reality they wanted to know—being as a form of knowing. However, the reverse, knowing as a form of being is the result of observing something that you are not in an attempt to either eat it or assume its resource for your own survival. This seems to be the historical model for the colonization of most of the World’s tribes and their lands by Europe. Most of the educational methodologies presented to the students of an invading nation can only be objective.
Those who invade other nations only study those nations to invade and plunder them. Invading nations have little interest in becoming who or what they are invading. In fact, most western invasions of the east were over gold, spices, knowledge, slaves, plants, oil, water and other valued resources. This is what formed the educational view of observing your subject as opposed to becoming your subject.
Invaders analyzed the ways (the being) of Nature and called it mathematics; the study of patterns. But they never united with Nature itself; they observed it with the intent to conquer and control it. Original people relying upon their intuit knowledge were united with Nature from birth; there was no other understanding of Nature other than the fact that all of Nature was you. Anything you did was natural and in harmony with Nature. Outsiders, those people with the sickness of Nature-phobia, sought to explain Nature by observing it as opposed to becoming it. Outsiders and invaders seeking only the power and the riches of the original people they encountered were only interested in observing the patterns of Nature and Nature’s people in an attempt to place both under their control; and this they called “mathematics” and “science”.
This could mean that the greatest philosophical minds of Europe were merely observers trying to interpret and/or reproduce the results of indigenous peoples at natural play. Observation as opposed to being is the foundation of westernized philosophical thought, and many great minds are paying a lifetime price for being educated like this. Western man never really learned what they were studying because they were studying it as opposed to being it.
Being has to do with total transformation if you are an outsider, and this is terrifying to a person only interested in stealing what you got. Why would I want to be you if my intent is to plunder you? This is the foundation of western education around the World; observe, but don’t become. Look, but don’t join in. Take, but never give back.
This is the difference between a real Hip Hop educational system and Hip Hop being used by an educational system. If our children are to really know who they are and what they are capable of they are going to have to return to hours and hours and hours of playtime. Not free time, but play time, creative time, experimentation time, let’s break something time. They need hours of being not hours of learning.
Industrialized people are trained to analyze that which they are not. Natural people simply ARE! They DO! They BE! They EXIST! They are REAL! Their very movements in physical reality match up harmoniously with the mathematics of the universe itself which amazes the scientists of the future trying to figure out how such primitive people could have known such advanced mathematical concepts. They forget that mathematics is not the thing itself, at best it is only an interpreter, a describer; it is not however what it is describing. Math and science are only techniques used to describe and calculate perceived reality, they themselves are not the reality they are describing and possibly perceiving. This distinction is what every serious Hip Hop scholar should know when seeking to indentify real Hip Hop.
I can only imagine what scientists will say of Hip Hop in just 100 years! We already know that you can never truly know anything through observation. You can interpret, you can mimic, you can even act like what you are studying; but until you become the subject of your study you will never truly know it. As with any profession, you can read about it all day, you can study your subject for many years gaining high honors in your studied field; but until you are actually BEING and DOING what you’ve studied you really have not truly learned anything about the subject you’ve devoted your time to.
As great as math and science are as sources of knowledge, it is the unconscious act of random play that truly creates them both. Play and the continuous return to joy and pleasurable moments is what causes human awareness to grow and expand. The true basis of knowing; is being. You cannot really know what you are not. Reality itself surrounds and plays with beings of all sorts, and it is this playing with reality itself that reveals Truth and knowledge. Again, mathematics is not the thing itself; it is an interpretation of the patterns that such a thing may create. However, in Nature patterns are created by beings at play. Ultimately, if you cannot play and experiment you cannot really learn or know, or even learn to know.
This is the beginning of an authentic Hip Hop education. It is not so much about the practice of breakin, emceein and/or deejayin. A real Hip Hop education has to first undo centuries of bad learning and replace such learning with productive being and doing. A good Hip Hop education teaches its apprentices first how to learn; not what to learn. Hip Hop’s teacher (or teachings) must be able to separate the illusionary world of a colonizer’s symbols from the actual reality of doing and being.
In his 1973 film Enter The Dragon Bruce Lee and his teacher has a conversation on this very topic. Bruce Lee explains; a good fight should be like a small play, but played seriously. A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready; not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract. When he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, I do not hit, IT hits all by ITSELF. The teacher replies, now you must remember; the enemy has only images and illusions behind which he hides his true motives. Destroy the image and you will break the enemy. The IT that you refer to is a powerful weapon easily misused by the martial artist who deserves his loss.
In our case, the IT is Hiphop. However, mainstream education rest upon an objective symbolic approach to the nature of reality. Most students are not taught to handle reality directly, the IT; they are taught to approach physical reality through symbols. Mathematics and numbers are symbols of real forces in Nature. However, most students do not work directly with reality itself, they work with certain symbols like numbers and letters to explain reality. Like in the example of letters and writing; both of these are symbolic. They are not real unto themselves, they point to what is real; they describe reality, they are not reality itself. They are simply not IT.
Letters and writing are the symbols of direct human speech. Direct human speech is the real word, the real living word. A true Hip Hop education reveals that pronunciation is the actual form of words, letters are their symbols. The living word is sound understandable by the ear which is then symbolized through letters to reach the eye. Letters (let-ters) allow you to see sound; brail allows you to touch sound.
A true Hip Hop education is not exclusively interested in the symbols others may place upon our sounds. A true Hip Hop education explores OUR sounds OUR way, and creates its own language and symbolic interpretations to the reality we strive to manifest. This style of education is not about learning anything, it’s about being anything. IT is about being anything you have the imagination for. Once the Hip Hop apprentice realizes that she can change her reality by changing the symbols she uses to interpret her reality, she begins to free her mind. Other people’s symbols and interpretations of OUR lives no longer hold any validity. We can create our own word symbols like breakin, emceein, deejayin, even Hip Hop, etc., and experience the realities that these word symbols create for us.
I am not the letters K-R-S-O-N-E and I am the reality that the K-R-S-O-N-E word symbol refers to. K-R-S-O-N-E the word is not what is real—I am. I am the meaning of the KRS-One word symbol that everyone responds to, not the actual letters K-R-S-O-N-E. These letters are not the real thing at all; I AM. And once the Hip Hop apprentice realizes that she is the real thing, that she is the IT and not all of these illusionary symbols, she begins to live from the reality she creates.
This is what I am Hip Hop means psychologically. It means that the world no longer tells us who we are, we now tell the world, not only who we are but what the world is and how it is going to respond to us. This is the first teaching of Hip Hop—the actualization of one’s real Self free from the paradigm of a colonizer’s education.
Once this is fully overstood, the Hip Hop apprentice now has the right mental attitude to begin studying Hip Hop properly. Unlike other disciplines which require that you sustain your education before your education sustains you, an authentic Hip Hop education sustains you as you learn. In fact, the teaching of Hip Hop at the High School and college freshman level could arm students (and teachers) against being overwhelmed by the paying-back of college loans and other debts during their study/teaching and even after they graduate, take a break, or are laid-off. Hip Hop is a real financial aid to both students and teachers.
The teaching of Hip Hop speaks to the fact that for many young people today it is becoming more and more difficult to ‘make an honest dollar’. Jobs that use to be reserved for first-time employees are now the literal ‘bread and butter’ of many out-of-work elders—many of which are holding prestigious college degrees.
Years ago a young freshman student with a little rap or DJ skill would hear the advice; make sure you get a college degree in case your rap career doesn’t work out! Today the advice has completely reversed; make sure you can rap in case your college degree doesn’t work out! DJ-ing alone is exploding all over the world, and it pays well! Graffiti art, Rap music and Breakin’ are also in high demand all over the world and they too pay well! Critics can say whatever they like about this rapper or that DJ, but people all over the world are paying for Hip Hop! Our people need to know this. They need to know where to go to pay off their student loans (if any) and find support for the further study of their chosen profession. Properly understanding and then overstanding Hip Hop can help with this.
When properly understood, Hip Hop actually provides a supportive income to the student while in study and actually pays for itself in the end. Those students engaged in a real Hip Hop education are earning money while they are learning Hip Hop because the study of Hip Hop is the being of Hiphop. They are being and doing a very valuable and ancient activity in the world, and it is this style of education that raises one’s self-worth, self-esteem and self-respect.
There it is.
Source: The official KRS-One website