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When I Fell in Love with Hip Hop...

Happy 50 years of Hip Hop!

I don't think I can hardly function without music. If you know me and you love me you know that I absolutely love all types of music. However, this particular post is all about hip hop.

I fell in love with hip hop because of my older brother Phee. It was the 90's and I am dating myself, but our TV would always have music videos on repeat (come on "The Box"). I grew up on Missy Elliot, Timbaland & Magoo, Busta Rhymes, Master P, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Lil' Kim, The Fugees, Diddy, Mase, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Biggie, Bone Thugs & Harmony...I can go on and on and on. Rappers had a story to tell and that's why I would love to listen to them. I also loved how the word play would just work and they found ways to make the words rhyme.

Being a writer and a avid reader, I would write down the words or look up the lyrics to memorize them. Now that I look back I lost count of how many times I would rewind cassette tapes to get the lyrics right.

When I was little, I would take A LOT of road trips with my mom, twin, and stepdad. Road trips meant that we would listen to music to and from our destinations. When my stepdad controlled the radio, he introduced us to many artists but there was one particular artist that he introduced me to and that was Curtis Mayfield.

The first song I heard by Curtis Mayfield was a song called Pusherman. I was 10. I was laughing at the lyrics because of my maturity level (haha). That's Dad's for you. Anyways, this song doesn't technically fall under the genre of hip hop, however I believe that the song made a huge impact on hip hop culture. By listening to music of the 70's it made me want to go back to old school hip hop and research how they found the inspiration. Going backwards made me appreciate the genre and love it even more.

I recently watched the BET awards with my family & friends and one of my friends mentioned that Hip Hop is SO much more than just the music. It's culture, fashion, style, trends, language, rhetoric, creativity, dance, etc.

Imagine growing up in the hood. No hopes, no dreams, no food to eat. Seeing your loved ones die from violence in the streets. Hip hop offered freedom for people that couldn't just go get a 9 to 5 because of their past. Hip hop exposes the magic of my culture. How WE (BLACK PEOPLE) can turn nothing into something. Being able to create art in an environment that was met to hold us back is beautiful. Hip hop brought attention to the everyday social and political black struggles that get swept under the rug and not exposed on news outlets. Shout out to the conscious rappers that shed light on these issues.

Hip hop gets a real bad rep. Learn the history of hip hop before you bash it. If you want to learn more you can start here. This is to 50 years of hip hop and more.

Hip Hop is always changing and evolving and I'm here for it. Shall I rank my top 5 rappers in my book? Don't @ me either ;-)

Males -

  1. Nas

  2. Rakim

  3. Tupac

  4. Biggie

  5. Eminem


  1. Missy Elliot

  2. Lauryn Hill

  3. Lil' Kim

  4. Queen Latifah

  5. Nicki Minaj

Love, Rach


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