The Hip Hop Declaration of Peace

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For many years, people inside and outside of the culture, have speculated on the importance and impact of Hip Hop on society. Has it been a benefit to have Hip Hop Kulture transmitted to the masses through hip-hop music around the World? What has been the impact of individuals adopting a Hiphop consciousness and lifestyle? To some, the answers are pessimistic. To them, Hip Hop has been a negative influence on society. But to those of us who have lived it sincerely from the roots up, we know of something much deeper.

Real Hip Hop has always been something felt and practiced behind the scenes. The mainstream culture has never really followed Hiphop consciousness. Instead, they have followed celebrity-based rap culture, which is not the same thing. In fact, most people, even in Hip Hop, don’t know that on May 16, 2001, members of the inner-core of the Hiphop conscious community came together to present an historic document to the United Nations. The document was the Hip Hop Declaration of Peace, and was presented to UNESCO, (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) on may 16, 2001, to declare Hip Hop an international culture of peace.

The goals and stances proposed in the document were based on ideas argued about for years within the community and left open for revision for 12 months after the presentation. As one of the inspirational forces behind the document, KRSONE said the following;

Our work, therefore, is to lift Hip Hop out of ignorance and onward toward increased knowledge. Our work is to inspire the Hip Hop community to be a community through a unified understanding of its own existence beyond entertainment. Our work is about building and maintaining a sustainable Hip Hop culture and protecting our people from themselves first, and then from the non-productive forces that tempt us to our own demise. In short, we are cultivating an authentic Hip Hop citizenry.

The document itself is a statement of principles that Hiphoppas could strive toward as a way of leading an ethical lifestyle. However, all of us, may seem to fall short of the lofty goals the document reaches for.

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Still, the ethics discussed equally go back to business dealings and suggestions on how to interact within society.

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The beauty of the document is in its vision for the future. It asks us to contemplate building a society we can all benefit from, participate in and feel proud to be a part of. Isn’t that something worth contemplating? Or would you just rather listen to trap music?

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Kurt Nice

Kurt Nice aka Kurtiss Jackson is a behind the scenes pioneer in the Hip Hop Kulture, creating the first nationally distributed video mix tape series, Shades of Hip Hop, in the late 1990s. Since touring the country with the Stop the Violence Movement and the Temple of Hip Hop as KRS-ONE’s National Marketing Director, Kurt Nice has been a constant commentator on conscious Hip Hop and its relevance to the new rap music of today, through radio and cable appearances. contact Kurt at info@hiphoplives.net

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