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Happy Birthday Hip Hop

My love letter to Hip Hop on its 50th birthday.

By Joe PattersonPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 4 min read
Top Story - August 2023
Happy Birthday Hip Hop
Photo by Ben Wiens on Unsplash

I absolutely cannot believe that today, August 11th 2023 is the 50th birthday of Hip Hop culture. This means so much to me because Hip Hop plays such an important and positive role in my life. 30 of Hip Hop’s 50 years on this earth have been part of my very foundation and upbringing, so I have to write a letter expressing my love for Hip Hop, the positive impact that it has made and pay tribute to the Hip Hop artists who have inspired me.

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

What exactly is Hip Hop? Well that’s not exactly something that can be answered so simple. Many people have the wrong idea about what exactly is Hip Hop. First off, many people refer to Hip Hop as “Rap”. The people who do this don’t understand that rapping is a skill, a talent, a vocalist alternative to singing, it is not the name of the culture and music that it comes from. The name of the musical genre that rapping belongs to is called Hip Hop. Music itself has always been the voice of the youth in every generation and just like Blues, Jazz, Soul and Funk and Rock that came before, Hip Hop was and still is the voice of young Black youth in 1970’s especially the Black youth of the ghettos of which it was born in New York City.

By aiden marples on Unsplash

Who are the artist behind Hip Hop? These talented beings take on many forms. Of course we know the rappers who are artist, but the other artist consist of graffiti artists, DJ’s, break dancers as well as fashion creators and icons. When these artist first became known to the nation and eventually to the rest of the world a lot of people didn’t understand them, especially the elders. They were confused and didn’t get the trends of this new thing called Hip Hop. They were like “who are these crazy young folks dressed up in Kangol hats, baggy clothes, carrying big boom box radios around on their shoulders and showing off their gold chains and ropes?”

By Gordon Cowie on Unsplash

The rest of the world had no idea that these young and impressionable beings were about to change the world. If anyone were to ask me I would definitely say it was Hip Hop music that played the biggest role in showcasing Hip Hop’s quality to the world. I know this very well in the Hip Hop artist who have inspired me in my rapping talent. I have so many favorite Hip Hop artist with so many different styles that it’s ridiculous. These favorite artist talk about subjects ranging from the most conscious issues of self and the world around us, to the people who represent the life of the party and having fun, the hardcore roughnecks with a gritty edge of content and of course the lyrical powerhouses who represent the sports side Hip Hop culture.

By Harry Swales on Unsplash

I love the artist who are my biggest influences that inspired me to rap like Ice Cube, Tupac, DMX, Nas and Scarface who talk about the most important issues that are effecting our community and our individual selves, even when that expression comes at a gritty price of display. I love my favorite artist who represent the best displays of Hip Hop personality and lyrical ability like Redman, Snoop Doggy Dogg, LL-Cool J, The Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Jadakiss, Eminem, Cassidy and Tech Nyne. I love my favorite artist who craft the music that you can just have fun and party with like Missy Elliot, Nelly, and Lil John.

By Chase Fade on Unsplash

These artist are incredible because they know how to capture every dimension of life that unfolds among us. These Hip Hop artists have been so impactful that they’ve been able to cross over with every other genre of music and become their alternatives. I think this detail is amazing when one considers that Hip Hop was doubted in its earliest years. Many thought Hip Hop was gonna die off and be nothing more than a passing fad and now 50 years later Hip Hop has managed to become the most dominant form of music in the world.

By Shane Rounce on Unsplash

Dear Hip Hop, on your 50th birthday I want to tell you how much I love and appreciate you. You have given my community so many opportunities and you’ve become such a positive alternative to the world as a whole. I too have been rapping my whole life because of the footprints you have left. You have bred some of the world’s most brilliant minds, as well as changed the way many people think. You have given me a voice as a writer and artist and have strengthened me in my most challenging of times and I would not be who I am today without you.

~~Dedicated to all my favorite Hip Hop artist who have inspired me: Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, DMX, Redman, Nas, Scarface, LL-Cool J, Snoop Dogg, The Notorious B.I.G., NWA, OutKast, Public Enemy, Goodie Mob, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Eminem, Techn9ne, The Game, Cypress Hill, Wu-Tang Clan, Da Lench Mob, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Prophets Of Da City, Bone Thugs N Harmony, The Lox, Rah Digga, Lil Kim, Heavy D, E40, The Geto Boys, The Def Squad, Missy Elliot, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Timbaland & Magoo, Pharrell Williams, Lil Jon, No Limit Records.

Happy 50th birthday Hip Hop. You shaped the world.

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About the Creator

Joe Patterson

Hi I'm Joe Patterson. I am a writer at heart who is a big geek for film, music, and literature, which have all inspired me to be a writer. I rap, write stories both short and long, and I'm also aspiring to be an author and a filmmaker.

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Comments (14)

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  • Gina B.about a month ago

    Excellent birthday post. Seeing Busta Rhymes this summer was a true highlight for me.

  • A. Lenaeabout a month ago

    What a tremendous dedication - beautiful piece. I love the history and the way you touched on all of the ways hip hop artists have enhanced your life - the aspects where Missy elevates, the illuminating knowledge and importance of Nas and Tupac. I just loved this a lot, and your writing is so effortlessly compelling.

  • Mariann Carrollabout a month ago

    Congratulations, thanks 🥳👏👏👏👏

  • Lamar Wigginsabout a month ago

    An amazing, well-deserved tribute and Top Story! Congrats!!!

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    Fantastic & fabulously written!!! Congratulations on Top Story!!!❤️❤️💕

  • Congratulations on your Top Story🎉🎉🎉😎💯

  • Stephanie J. Bradberryabout a month ago

    That was a magical tour down memory lane. I couldn't help but smile each time I saw an artist I loved named. I love the inclusion and clarification of the definition of rap in relation to Hip Hop. What a wonderful way to celebrate Hip Hop's birthday. Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Heather Lunsfordabout a month ago

    I am nearly the same age as Hip Hop. I think a testament to how influential and huge Hip Hop is I grew up in a town of 1000 people in South Dakota which is about as far from the communities that Hip Hop started in and yet I absolutely love the artist on your list. I did then and I still do. Well written tribute to an amazing artform.

  • Jazzy Gonçalves about a month ago

    How amazing!!!! My husband and I just listened to all of J Coles's first album, and then Ether by Nas bc of your articles!!!

  • Dana Crandellabout a month ago

    Great tribute to the culture, Joe! Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Ashley Limaabout a month ago

    Awesome article, Joe! Congrats on your Top Story!

  • Cendrine Marrouatabout a month ago

    Great read! I grew up listening to a few excellent hip hop artists in France. Mc Solaar is one of the most iconic the country has ever had. I think he is still active to this day. Have you heard of him?

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    This was so fascinating to read! Well done!

  • This is Cool 😎 🎶👌I was Just Looking at a Bunch of Post with the Hip Hop Celebs Shouting each other out💯😉❗

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