Senator Pedro Espada Jr. of the 32nd Senate District,
in the State of New York, recognizes November as the Official Hip Hop History
Hip Hop culture is defined as a movement which
is expressed through various artistic mediums which are called "elements."
The main elements are known as emcee’ing (also known as rapping), DJ’ing, writing
(aerosol art), several
dance forms (which include breaking, up-rocking, popping, and locking) and the
element which holds the rest together: KNOWLEDGE. There are also other elements
such as vocal percussion, also known as beat boxing, fashion, etc. For clarity,
when I refer to “Hip Hop” in the following proclamation, I am referring
to the culture of Hip Hop in it’s entirety, as just described, and not
only to rapping.
That having been said, Senator Pedro Espada Jr.
officially recognizes November as Hip Hop History month. We would like to thank
the godfather of Hip Hop culture, Afrika Bambaataa and the Universal Zulu Nation,
the world’s oldest, largest and most respected grass roots Hip Hop organization,
for their commitment to using Hip Hop culture as positive tool for social change
and for keeping Hip Hop culture, in it’s most positive forms alive throughout
the past 3 decades.
Since the inception of Hip Hop culture in the
Bronx, during the early 1970’s, it has been a vehicle for breaking down
racial barriers on a world wide level as well as a means for teaching awareness,
knowledge, wisdom, understanding, freedom, justice, equality, peace, unity,
love, respect, responsibility, recreation, overcoming challenges, economics,
mathematics, science, life, truth, facts and faith.
In the 70’s, ten years prior to its gaining global
recognition, Hip Hop was a celebration of life gradually developing each of
its elements to form a cultural movement. As a result of its dynamic energy
and momentum, Hip Hop
culture, once dismissed as “just a fad,” has become, ultimately, a
key to upliftment and reformation, and the element of Hip Hop has become a billion-dollar
industry. Hip Hop culture has greatly influenced the entertainment world with
its creative contributions in music, dance, art, poetry, and fashion. Hip Hop
is the vehicle to deliver innumerable lessons!
Due to the contributions of the pioneers forefathers,
Kool DJ Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, and Grandmaster Flash as well as the many Hip
Hop legends, youth throughout the world have found means of supporting themselves,
Hip Hop artforms and have a means of making a positive difference in this world.
People throughout the world participate in Hip Hop Culture.
Why November for Hip Hop History Month? November
is significant in the fact that it kicks off the "indoor jam season."
The Hip Hop community jams or parties, enjoyed outdoors in the parks, throughout
the Summer, had to move indoors for about 7 months to community centers, gymnasiums,
schools, etc., for the Fall and Winter seasons. The state of New York recognizes
this month and pays tribute to those who laid the foundation and paved the way
as well as to those who continue to preserve the rich tradition of the culture.
Afrika Bambaattaa, the first Hip Hop activist,
explained to me, that “Hip Hop was created be about peace, love, unity
and having fun in order to help people to get away from the negativity that
was plaguing our streets (gang
violence, drug abuse, self hate, violence among those of African and Latino
descent). Even though this negativity still exists, as the culture progresses,
we play a big role in conflict resolution and encouraging