Citizens of Hip-Hop Break New Ground

“Hip-hop, hip-hop is dead. Hip, hip-hop, hip-hop is dead.”

Despite what rapper Nas says, hip-hop is far from dead; instead, it has never been bigger. It is everywhere: on television, on the radio and on our campus.

Hip-hop is a movement with a huge following of people from all walks of life. The underground movement is alive at our school, with many students wearing hip-hop styles and listening to rap music.

It began as a way for urbanites to get out the frustrations of living below the poverty line. But today, it is an opportunity for free expression and for musicians to talk about their situation.

“What people fail to realize is that hip-hop was a culture before it was a movement,” English teacher Michael Smith said. “You can’t stop a culture.”

Hip-hop has branched out from urban areas to the suburbs and even the heartland of America, moving away from its gangster roots. The flavor of today’s movement is less about the struggle that life brings, instead focusing on themes that are constant throughout life. Many people are drawn to hip-hop by its universality. A lighter tone has helped draw in new fans who relate to descriptions of the human struggle.

Hip-hop has spread to all cultures and all corners of the globe, revolutionizing the movement.

The music aspect of hip-hop is the most recognized, but other elements add to the dominance that hip-hop has in society. Dances, clothing styles and dialect combine with the music to form the hip-hop culture.

The dancing element ever apparent at our school dances include the “Soulja Boy.” Hip-hop dancing is an expression of personal style, a genre where innovation is the key.

Hip-Hop Organization, a student group at the school, operates on the bleeding edge, both teaching the latest moves and inventing tomorrow’s.

Hip-hop is more than just music or dance; it is a style. It’s a walk, a talk, a way of life.

“It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it,” senior A.J. Parillo said.

That is what hip-hop has evolved into; it’s not what is done, but how it is done. The movement is no longer just the music—it’s a culture. Every citizen of hip-hop is an innovator; every citizen helps decide what hip-hop becomes. Hip-hop explores the human condition. And no matter what Nas may say, hip-hop is here to stay.