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Dee

Akala- It's a hip hop planet

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When understood in its full context, rather than as a misogynistic, materialistic handmaiden of American capitalism, it is easy to see why hip-hop has such power. It may still be, as Chuck D of pioneering 1980s hip-hop group Public Enemy said, the "black CNN", but it has increasingly become a news network of the downtrodden, oppressed and the socially conscious across the globe.

 

Each branch of this worldwide family brings its own specific stories and cultural reference points to the movement and it has happened because of the inherent democratic values of the genre and how adaptable and open-minded it is as a cultural world view.

 

With its modern incarnation having originated through the African-American struggle against white racism, the best of the culture of black people in the Americas has become a symbol of strength and resistance for humanity across the world whatever shade they, or their particular struggle may take. Most crucially, however, this now worldwide cache was achieved by way of incredible beats and great lyrics.

 

Today we have MCs in Brazil rapping in Portuguese over the berimbau, multilingual MCs in Copenhagen expressing themselves in English, Danish and Arabic, Iranian MCs like Hickas speaking in Farsi, telling tales of the everyday struggle in Tehran and French-Congolese rappers like Bajoli addressing one of the largest conflicts of the 20th century in his home nation, a conflict all but ignored by the world's "traditional" media. As far afield as Vietnam and Mongolia you can find paintings of the bat-like "W" symbol of, perhaps, hip-hop's most poetic collective, the Wu-Tang Clan.

 

There is no other genre through which such diverse voices have found themselves, all sharing a common sense of what it is to "be hip-hop". You either have skill or you don't, gimmicks never last.

 

Hip-hop has even generated its own media, represented by production companies like Nomadic Wax and their Democracy In Dakar documentary, that deals with the role rappers play in the political process in Senegal. We even have hip-hop schools such as the Herman Brood academy in Holland.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/13/hip-hop-planet

 

What do you guys think?

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