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Hip-Hop and “The Hunger Games”: Why We Shouldn’t Miss Out on a Worldwide Phenomenon

I read The Hunger Games while home sick one weekend. By that Monday, I was officially addicted. I follow the games on Twitter, am a fan on Facebook, have visited the website numerous times, especially in the week leading up to the film. In fact, the week before the debut has been nothing but a big distraction from the waiting for The Hunger Games to begin.

The premise is simple. In the distant future, children are chosen at random to compete in annual games where they are forced to fight each other to the death. The “Hunger Games” are a national pastime in Panem, the new world, and therefore, the winner becomes fabulously famous and wealthy.

Sounds like an interesting story. And it is. What makes the stories so compelling are that they are not a completely fictionalized world like Harry Potter, full of things that could never happen. The Hunger Games is so plausible, that you worry about the future. Even more fascinating about The Hunger Games and the other two books in the series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay are the underlying subplots. This is a love story. It is an adventure story. It is a story of revolution, one that will be televised.

The Hunger Games is actually a story that should appeal to the Hip-Hop generation. Katniss Everdeen is a young woman who is trying to be a provider for her small, single-parent led family. She bends rules when necessary to provide for their needs. She and her community are under the influence of a greedy and manipulative ruler and an oppressive security force. Katniss is forced into a situation out of her comfort zone where she has to show and prove that she is more than just another competitor. She has to fight for her life, while yet retaining her own humanity.

The Hunger Games trilogy has sold over 20 million books. There are action figures, costumes, recipes, and of course, a soundtrack. The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond features only one Hip-Hop artist, Kid Cudi with, “The Ruler and the Killer.” MTV describes it as “dark and haunting.” Perfect for this book and film.

The Hip-Hop generation should not miss out on The Hunger Games – not the film adaptation of the book, or the books themselves. As a worldwide phenomenon, the film is getting comparisons to Star Wars and is breaking opening weekend, box office records nationally. The Hunger Games is an opportunity for the Hip-Hop generation to support a storyline about what can happen when one person stands up to what appears to be an indomitable system. The Hunger Games is an amazing book and film about activism, something that has been sorely lacking from much of Hip-Hop, but remains a seed within the generation, waiting to bloom.

The Hunger Games is in theaters now. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Biba Adams is a Senior Staff Writer and Book Editor for Allhiphop.com. Follow her (like a Mockingjay) on Twitter @BibatheDiva.

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