Awkword - What Is Hip Hop? (New York, United States)

Awkword - What Is Hip Hop - (New York - United States) - hiphop

Hip Hop is more than music, it's more than the four, the five or even the nine elements the true school heads will quiz you on, and it's more than the culture that unites us across cities, states and now countries and continents. It's OUR culture, defined, among other aspects, by our music, our dress, our vernacular, our socio-politics, and our economic conditions. But more than anything, Hip Hop is what it is not: it is NOT theirs. And it might be the ONLY thing that's not.

Brands and politicians, and their advertisers and publicists, dictate discourse in our society, but no matter how much time and money Corporate America invests in co-opting our creation, we'll always be a hundred steps and twenty styles ahead. They speak our slang, wear our clothes, and "dance" to our music. They rap along with us (while no one's looking). But, they still blame our culture and music (and not America's history of slavery, or systemic racism in real estate, education, hiring practices, policing, the judicial system, etc.) for the ills of Black America. And we know this.

Awkword - What Is HipHop - world view hip hop albumAuthenticity is everything in a culture birthed out of necessity, and our fraud radars are always on high alert: more like the security at Green Haven than at LaGuardia. They can pay one of us to consult for them, or even serve as their brand ambassador, but that doesn't replace their CEO or Board of Directors, and it doesn't improve the pay scales or benefits packages for their workers. We don't forget how they've always felt. They may accept us as figureheads -- read: New Slaves -- to help them double and triple their riches, but they don't want to see us win. There's nothing scarier than Killer Mike.

So, fuck the Oscars. Fuck Sprite. No thirst. Obey your hunger: YOUR hunger, for success, on YOUR terms. What is Hip Hop? It is OURS. Ours to love, and ours to leverage, as long as we never lose sight of our original purpose: to express ourselves (the good, the bad, and everything in between) in our own way, on our own terms.

They can try to copy us, but they'll never trick us. Hip Hop is ours. We are the owners.

- AWKWORD [@AWKWORDrap]: Global Hip Hop Ambassador; Hip Hop Artist, Songwriter & Executive Producer; Activist; Journalist; and Influencer. He coined the term 'Protest Music' and created the only 100% for-charity global rap album World View. Music/Videos/more:

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