I STILL LOVE HER
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York in the eighties. Before HOT 97, there was DJ Red Alert on Kiss FM. And Mr. Magic before him. I was there for all of it.
Hip Hop informed me of who I was, listening to Public Enemy, Jungle Brothers and Boogie Down Productions. It also showed me evolution and innovation, as every year a new version of hip hop was introduced by new artists who leveraged the past but created new visions of the future. I think the Native Tongue movement was the most impactful for me, because I saw De La Soul create brand new words, new hair cuts, new clothes and completely bend our understanding of what hip hop was or could be.
Like so many other practitioners of the culture of hip hop from my generation, I never imagined a time where the culture would have such an incredible grip on the world. It is now hands down the most powerful genre of music in the world. I think, similar to soccer, hip hop is an incredibly accessible form of music. A beat and the rhythmic poem is all you need to make the music, and that can be made without any instruments at all.
Hip Hop is the reason that I never finished college. When I was supposed to be in class, I was in the studio making music. I don’t regret it one bit. It made me who I am, and to this day Hip Hop is still the soundtrack of my life. When it was time for me to do a TEDx talk, I relied on Hip Hop to frame up my narrative, resulting in my Nashville Hustle talk.
Hip Hop makes me happy. I plan on finding ways to weave Hip Hop into my work whenever possible. That might even mean creating some. Who knows 🙂