Last week we celebrated the birthdays of 2 of Hip-Hop’s founding fathers and icons, DJ Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa. This got me reflecting on the origins of Hip-Hop and how far we’ve gotten away from them. Afrika Bambaataa defined Hip-Hop as Peace, Love, Unity, and Having Fun. He used Hip-Hop to unite the gangs in New York City and give the youth in poor communities a outlet besides fighting and drug abuse. Most of what is being marketed to our children as Hip-Hop, is in fact the very opposite.
One of the most powerful comments to come out of the whole Rick Ross and Rape controversy was by Hip-Hop activist and former Vice Presidential candidate Rosa Clemente when she declared that artists like Rick Ross were not Hip-Hop, they are part of the Rap Industrial Complex. She’s 100% right, especially when looking at Hip-Hop’s roots. Hip-Hop is social activism, as stated in the above video, which features, Davey D, M1 from Dead Prez, Stahhr, Aisha Fukushima, Boots Riley, Jahi, Mark Gonzales and myself. And if you’re spitting raps promoting drug use, the abuse of women and glamorizing violence just to get paid, you ain’t Hip-Hop.
Feel free to check out and share my latest video about us rising up and challenging these forces that continue to exploit us and divide us. It’s called “Raise Your Flag” and it’s off of my new album “Ascension”