Hip-Hop is without question the most influential genre of music known to man. The near 50 year odyssey of the movement that has altered the society we inhibit has shown and proven its validity as a staple in American culture. In our quest to capture the culture and lifestyle of Hip-Hop, we have to take both the good and the bad in terms of the influence that it has on us as a people.
As one of the writers for TenthLetterMedia I act as a correspondent to bring you the readers of Straight Official Magazine the heart of what this Hip-Hop thing is all about. A week ago we reported on the murder of Nipsey Hussle and the ripple effect of that has triggered the masses, producing an overwhelming show of love and admiration for the slain West Coast artist. Eerily similar to when 2Pac died, there is now an abundance of conspiracy theorists inhabiting social media platforms and it seems as if the world is fixated on the impact that Nip had on the game.
Now I won’t delve in the arena on who took his life and the build-up on whether or not the government is involved. That’s not what we do here. I can admit that when Nipsey first debuted I was impressed with him as an artist, but not intrigued by him personally. But as time always has a way of revealing a person’s intentions, I saw how he was quietly making moves that were reinventing the way that his community was perceived. Contrary to what his counterparts were doing, he was fueled by the goal of the overall betterment of his people and utilizing his influence as an artist to expedite his mission.
This made me look at Nip in a new light, and it just bothers me that it took his death for everyone to realize what we truly had. But I guess that’s what gives life meaning. The old saying is that you’re nobody til somebody kills you and in this instance, it’s an unfair trade-off. Why couldn’t this man get the admiration he warranted from his efforts before his demise? That’s why it’s so important to celebrate the achievements of those while they are here. It just doesn’t have the same effect that it would now that we have to rock R.I.P shirts and posts memes about the greatness this man exhibited.
Hip-Hop needs more revolutionaries and less martyrs. It’s high time that the cultivators of the culture receive their just due in the present time and not when they’re gunned down in front of the world. Perhaps we need to focus more on the relevant and not the ratchet but, these are just my thoughts.
Submitted by Lee Kimbrough