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DJ Raf - What Is Hip Hop? (Kansas City, United States)

DJ Raf - What Is Hip Hop (Kansas City, United States) - what is hiphop

Hip Hop is a form of expression. In its most basic form, Hip Hop allows people to express their inner thoughts through poetry, dance, music, or art.

Contrary to popular belief, Hip Hop is NOT a new phenomenon that took place in the last few decades. In fact, Hip Hop is one of the oldest cultures in the world. People have been using poetry to express themselves since the dawn of time. Poetry has been used by humans to express pain, love, happiness, sadness, and everything in between. In parts of Africa, people were celebrated for their poetic intelligence. In the Middle East and the greater parts of Asia, society has always celebrated poets with the power to move audiences. Even 100 years ago, Indians rhymed poems and recited poems in public spheres.


In fact, during the liberation movement of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan from the British, many poets used this form of expression to express their fears and problems. At that time, poets like Kazi Nazrul Islam, Rabindranath Tagore, and Mahadevi Varma, have all used the power of words and poetry to bring light to societal issues long before the term “hip hop” was born.


With this strong connection to a poetic history, Desi Hip Hop is of cultural importance. In the early 1900s, Tagore and Varma talked about the issues faced by people at their time. Now, in 2016, artists like Lazarus, Mumbais Finest, or Uptown Lokolz talk about the current issues faced by Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis around the world. The only difference now is that these current day poets have a larger stage to perform on – online, social media, and youtube. With this power, poets/rappers have the utmost responsibility to connect with their audiences in a positive manner.


This is the power of Hip Hop. It helps humans express themselves in a beautiful way that can have an impact on ideologies and bring people together. On top of that, if we look into Desi Hip Hop, it represents a united front. The term Desi indirectly refers to a united South Asia. And with the power of hip hop, this unity can be used positively nurtured in our Desi communities around the world.

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