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.
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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
About the Creator
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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