Hip Hop Is Indeed Black Culture
An Article written by Adissa The Bishop Of Hip Hop
For anyone to even try to insinuate that Hip Hop is not of a complete and unique African/ African American tradition is an insult to everyone who truly loves the art. While it is true that all people who enjoy, buy, write about and participate in the culture TODAY are of different races- in the beginning it was black.
Rap music, is African oral poetry. It has been traced through rock, jazz, the blues and gospel to originate in West Africa. West Africa is where a majority of the first so-called slaves ( they were prisoners of war) were kidnaped from. This is documented in intmate detail by Dr. Kwaku Person-Lynn in his presentation "Rap Music: Afrika to Hip Hop". It can be purchased by Spirit Flight Productions at PO Box 2946 Inglewood, CA 9030. I don't remember how much the tape is- I just own one.
To say that Hip hop is not of African cultural origins is just like saying " Rock, Jazz, Blues and Gospel have nothing to do with Black culture- because it's universal and everybody listens to it". Everything Black people make- whites, Asians, Latino people and others rock to. But berfore ANY of you were writing about or participating in it. WE, the Black African masses CREATED IT. May I remind the writer that the Godfathers of Hip Hop ( Afrika Bamataa and Kool Herc) were African American. Actually Kool Herc had Jamcian roots- but Black is Black. Has the reader ever heard of an organization called the ZULU NATION?! Zulu's are African people!!
The original members of Afrika Bambaataa's Zulu Nation were mostly Black.Our pain, Black pain, our struggle, our music is a soulful expression from our hearts. And none can deny this. So all who have ever felt pain, feel us when we speak our minds. I don't know the race of the person who wrote this is. I don't even care. But it is obvious to me that this person is quite ignorant when it comes to Hip Hop. I knew Q-Bert, Mix Master Mike and a host of other DJ's before the world recognized their worth. But I ask you, who invented scratching? Answer: Grand Wizard Theodore- an African American.
Don't disrespect his legacy that the Invisible Scratch Picklz honor so well by negating the man they openly revere as the creator of scratching!!!! Did you know that a majority of the breaking moves you see come from the African-Brazilain art of Capoeria? I wrote about it in the Rap Pages issue with Eazy E on the cover after he died. It's called "Beyond Shaolin". Crazy Legs, Wiggles and I have even discussed these things. They have been confirmed by martial arts Masters like Sultan Ud-Din. He is a former bodyguard for the Saudi-Arabian Royal family.
And when discussing grafitti, no one can dispute the oldest bruners in the world, Egyptian Hieroglyphics. Egypt is a Greek name which means "land of the burnt skin people". They (so-called Egyptians) called themselves Kemetians. Kemet means land of the Blacks. But for a more modern reference I give you a few names: Futura, Phase 2 and Fab 5 Freddy. Understand that no matter what you THINK, Hip Hop is of soley African origin. And that no matter how you FEEL, it will never stop the fact that Hip Hop is Black.
I will even be so bold as to say that not only was it of Black origin, but, check it. ALL others who participate in Hip Hop culture MUST follow African American dress codes, slang words etc. in order to be "down". No one can show me a Hip Hop trend outside of using the Latin term loc (from loco) that is of ANYTHING other than African origin. Word, word is Bond, Black, G (Short for God- NOT Gangster), all of these come from the 5% Nation of Gods and Earths. They believe that the Black man is GOD on earth. They believe that the white man is a true DEVIL. But I bet that you use these words with your friends and never know the origin of which you speak. Brand Nubian ( In God We Trust), PRT (Every album), Public Enemy (Can't Tuss It), Ice Cube (ever listen to Death Certificate), WC, MC Ren, Rakim (every album), KRS-One (Aw Yeah), the list goes on. They have all incorporated 5% theology into their albums. As my brother Everlast once wrote "Truth crushed to the earth shall rise again". I call him my brother because he embraces truth. You might wanna follow his lead.
When KRS said you must learn, he musta been talking to you. Infact, last time KRS was in town I spoke with him about the major influnces whites, Asians and Latinos played in fortifying Hip Hops infastructure. I plan to publish it in a book I am working on entitled "Contemplations of a B-boy". But please don't deny it's root. Africa is it's root.
Yoga Frog (from the Piklz) and I speak about stuff like this all the time. We talk about African history and the ways it evolved into Hip Hop here in America. To admit that is is African, does'nt mean you can't enjoy it. But you must always respect it. Do you have the fear of a Black Planet Chuck D wrote about?
And keep Mumia's name outta your mouth. You disrespect us all when you try to shit on African culture then try to slip his name in as if you are sincere. Soldiers like myself, who were in this game when your mom'z was afraid to let you go to the Fresh Fest might wanna bust ya grill. Read a book. Ask someone who knows- then speak ( or in this case write). Hip Hop is and always will be universal. But no one can be denied or ignored. Unfortuantely, not even you.
Adisa Banjoko"The Bishop of Hip Hop"
Adissa is from the Bay Area.. He is a rap artist, journalist, author, martial arts expert and community activist. He has written numerous articles that focus on Hip Hop and religion, hip hop and it's connection to the martial arts and Hip hop and its history.. He also does a hip hop television show called The Bridge...You may contact Adissa at The Bishop
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