Posts Tagged :

culture

1024 683 Malia

Why we should stop referring to Hip-Hop as “Old- School”

Written by: Jermaine A. Shoulders

Jaswriter122@gmail.com

I decided to speak my peace after I had recently read a Twitter post by Kevin Powell, a writer from Brooklyn, NY. He and I are both a part of the Hip Hop generation, the musical phenomenon that has taken over the world, and has  been such an influence on so many cultures. Watching the world embrace an art form that I saw blossom right in front of my eyes, literally, like outside my window, is simply amazing. To watch the millennials and this newest generation totally live in this culture is something we never thought about. Especially, when all we knew was the turntable and the microphone.

I am Hip-Hop through and through, and so is Kevin Powell. My kids tease me all the time about it, not even realizing it was my generation that gave them their style and language. Are we that disconnected? Is the generational gap that wide? No, I don’t think so. But, what we are as a generation in this day and age is not “old school” but “classic.”

Classic is defined as: serving as a standard of excellence: of recognized value. Traditional, enduring”. (Webster’s Dictionary).  When you think of Hip-Hop as a culture, not just the music, you cannot deny its influence. Hip-Hop is full of creators, innovators and game changers. From the way DJ’s scratch records and create mood and rock a party, to the way emcee’s use words to evoke every emotion imaginable to the listener, to the style of dress and speech that is imitated the world over.

I think the term: “classic,” is the perfect way to describe Hip – Hop music. Much like other genres of music (rock, R&B/Soul, jazz, classical), Hip Hop has more than solidified itself in the fabric of American music culture, but also a seminal offering to the rest of  the world. Kevin’s premise in his tweet was that the term “old school hip-hop” is outside the realm of what the music truly is.  And I would have to agree.

There are classic Hip-Hop songs, lyrics, sounds, vernacular, dress styles and movies. Not to mention dance styles, that vary from region to region. That element of Hip-Hop is still alive and well. Our overall “get down” indeed serves as a standard of excellence and is recognized for its value. When you use the term “old-school” there tends to be a negative connotation that creates an idea that it is out-dated or old.  The culture itself is so fluid and it’s always evolving. Therefore, it can never get old. In today’s day and time, lack of respect for the art form and lack of overall creativity from some in the culture only slightly threatens Hip-Hop’s constant evolutionary existence.

We have created other terms that could be synonymous with classic like “foundation” or “essence” or even “roots”, but none of those terms holds the weight of classic as it is undeniable in its influence. When something is considered classic, people tend to listen. People tend to give that thing, whatever it is, a little more respect.

It takes a lot to be considered a classic and think Hip-Hop has earned that right, especially, with many of our classic artists, namely, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, NWA and Beastie Boys, Run DMC and Public Enemy, now sitting and honoring Hip-Hop in the Rock in Roll Hall of Fame.

So let’s do away with that term “old-school” and embrace the term “classic”. Once again the fluidity of the culture demands things change and embrace a new view, a view worthy if it’s name.

 

Check-out the The Art of Hip Hop Trailer, which is a documentary spearheaded by rapper “Ice T” to paint a better picture of my passion for the culture.

 

1024 683 Khari Jones Jr.

How to change a system that wasn’t meant for us

The summer of 2016 was a wake-up call for many that justice for the African American community would be a long shot. And, it became pretty obvious from the police shootings that killed black men & women without any consequences. Though some may argue that justice was served, it is pretty clear that the consequences don’t equate the crime. A paid leave for a murder crime simply undermines the act, as well as the lives that were lost.

In order to understand the challenges that African-American’s experience, one has to picture themselves in our shoes.  And if they did, would they be content with a police officer killing one of their  unarmed family members? Let alone get away with it and still get paid?

Personally, I couldn’t imagine the pain and agony my family would have to go through if something were to happen to any of the men in my family due to police brutality. The victims’ families should not have to suffer because a system refuses to stand for our African American people. It affects many young men like me tremendously. We go around every day worried about being the next hashtag. The system was built to protect us, not shoot us.

It’s time for a change. I mean some real hands-on change. We have to do something and take a stand. There’s a quote that says, “Stand for something or fall for anything.” That is what we have been doing for so many years–just letting our race get dominated by another race. It’s even worse now because there are black men in positions being used as puppets about the crisis that is going on with our people.

If we look at history, and see what the civil rights leaders did in the 60s to bring change, we can do the same–if not even better. We are more powerful than we think! Coming together as one is the best thing we can do right now. But first, we need to start building ourselves to be economically independent, by delving into fields like law enforcement, entrepreneurship, criminal justice, etc., to be competitive and also to be able to take care and stand for our own. This will give us the power to alter and affect the economy more effectively in cases where justice is not served, like back in the day when the civil rights movement refused to utilize the buses and it affected the whole country financially.

Then, they decided it was time to change the laws. That is what we need to do for us to get their attention. The time is now, if we don’t start soon, we will continue to get oppressed and eventually get back to where we once were–and that is with no rights at all. If we were to do the same thing today, who knows what can happen, especially with the money we are generating as a black community.

We need real leaders to take initiative to make change and not be afraid of the backlash! Just like Martin Luther King, Tupac Shakur, and Malcolm X, three magnificent leaders who used their platform and died for a cause. Those guys were relentless in pursuing change in our world.

These are my thoughts as a young black man.

Black people, let’s rise!

802 532 Ellen Branch

Millennial Spotlight : Moice Morancy

After scrolling on my personal Facebook page; I came across this video of a young New York resident, Moice Morancy.

He was riding the transit and witnessed an older man attempting to sexually assault a young girl.

In a crowded bus, he noticed many patrons turning the other cheek and not defending this young girl; If not for her own honor, for the sake of knowing in their heart it was wrong. Moice spoke up and confronted the man thats why I select Mr. Morancy for this weeks Spotlight Top Video. His courage and ferocity in the transit clip evokes a feeling of duty to his community and compassion.

Not to mention the music video response he made “No means no”.  Sexual assault is a crime against our own humanity and when we turn a blind eye to its existence, it says more about us as citizens than it does about the victim or the perp.

Take a moment to check out and subscribe to his YouTube channel NEGUS NATION or follow him on instagram @moicemorancy . Moice’s action forces us to decide who we would be in that same situation.

What would you do if you witnessed a sexual assault take place?

Would you defend the victim or pretend it didn’t happen?

“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized… I was somebody. ” -Lily Tomlin

Leave a comment below!!

500 88 Zakyree Wallace

CALLING ALL COOL BABES DOING COOL THINGS: The Coalition Zine Wants You

Do you ever feel like the environment you live in doesn’t allow space for your success? Are you looking for any online community that is specifically made by and for girls, non-binary, and trans youth of color?

If you answered yes then, the Coalition Zine is for you. Their slogan “Cool Babes Doing Cool Things” tells you just about everything you need to know about them.

Their website and online zines create a safe space for people of color to share their art and stories in a way that encourages them to name adversity they’ve experienced and be real about how discrimination has impacted their lives.

No where else have I seen folks of color come together online to be painfully honest about their stories, struggles, and successes.

I became introduced to them in my first semester of college, through their tumblr during a low period in my semester.

The Coalition is your reminder that you’re not alone. It is the answer to your questions: “what are other people like me doing? How are they making it in toxic spaces?”

Check out their website here