Using The Knowledge of Hiphop To Transform Self and Society Article One: Reality Check

Society would have us to believe that if we don’t have money that we cannot be rich or powerful. According to society, young people living in the South Bronx in the late sixties and early seventies didn’t have anything of monetary value and were seen as expendable. Battling this label, young people began to tap into other forms of wealth: they began to get the knowledge of their histories, they began to find innovative ways to express themselves, they started formulating crews, the caught a vision for how they could better their lives and the lives of people living in their communities. These young people tapped into something that was so rich that the bi-product of this movement was a billion dollar industry. When hip-hoppers say that they learned how to make something outta nothing, it is a challenge to the mainstream because the mainstream cannot see these other forms of wealth that go beyond finances.

The billion dollar industry is just a bi-product of this more real wealth. A bi-product is something that is created on the side from what the real focus is. For example when people extract oil from the earth and turn it into gasoline or diesel, the bi-product of this process is petroleum jelly. Now Vaseline, or petroleum jelly is something that you can buy at just about any store. Those who own the company that sells Vaseline jelly make millions of dollars a year. This is nothing in comparison to those who sell gasoline and make billions of dollars a year because that is the real substance that is more valuable. What I am saying is that Hip-hop is so raw, so powerful, that the bi-product of this movement is a billion dollar record and entertainment industry. However, so many people are now focused on the industry that they have lost sight of the real wealth, the knowledge that is the real substance. This real substance, otherwise known as the knowledge of Hiphop, is the real reason why Hip-hop has spread like wild-fire all over the world.

Hip-hop culture has empowered youth all over the world to find ways to express themselves, tell their stories, and build communities that are changing their realities. It is empowering young people in Brazil, Senegal, Cuba, and Hong Kong to challenge the oppressive realities around them and make real changes. It is this consciousness that is allowing youth to transform themselves from being consumers addicted to buying the next trend to being the creators of the next trend. Hiphop Culture says that no matter how little we have, we can be creators, and that we can be powerful. Hip-hop culture says that we don’t need to escape from reality, but that we can face reality, and equipped with the knowledge of Hip-hop we can change our realities for the better. The purpose of this series of articles, is to help you discover this power that is within you and your community and use it to follow your dreams and change the world for the better. The world is waiting for you to stand up and reach your true purpose and potential.


About goodlifealliance

This blog is dedicated to the engagement, empowerment, and equipping of young adults who are using the arts to create change in both themselves and the world. It is connected to a global network of cultural change agents that are using the arts, primarily hiphop, to name the world and in doing so also changing it. Key topics include Hiphop Culture, Liberation Education, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Justice, Hiphop as a movement, and Spirituality. It is authored by Roberto Rivera, Hiphop artist, educator, and author of educational curricula such as Good Life and Fulfill The Dream. Roberto speaks publicly around the nation on issues covered in this blog.
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