Where do we go from here?

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Over the last several years, I’ve confronted the idea of whether or not my devotion to Hip Hop Kulture has been worth it, given the state of rap culture today. On one hand, I don’t feel like people, including myself, did enough to fight for the positive gains we made with Hip Hop and pass it on to the next generation intact. Right now, we don’t see a youth culture fortified by the same principles of integrity and originality we once admired. Instead, we see a youth culture bathed in the same excesses of mainstream greed and narcissism that the underground Hip Hop Kulture used to warn against. In one sense, we failed to pass on Hip Hop the proper way. That’s something I’m disappointed by everyday when I observe things outside my circle.

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On the other hand, I’ve been blessed to live a life behind the scenes of Hip Hop Kulture that many would dream of living. I’ve been honored to be around some of the most talented and inspirational pioneers and innovators of the Hip Hop Kulture over the last 25 years. I’ve been in the room where legendary events have taken place and even participated in helping others ‘come to plan’ (happen). Most importantly, I’ve seen Hip Hop grow from ‘nothing’ into something over the course of my 47 years on the Earth. And knowing the obstacles we faced in the past as a culture, I feel optimistic about the future of Hip Hop. Our options for growth are actually more attainable than in the past.

Kool Herc and Kurt Nice @Get Healthy Hip Hop

Kool DJ Herc and Kurt Nice

Still, our foundation had flaws. In fact, before I really begin to specify all the reasons Hip Hop is beneficial to the World, as we get closer to Hip Hop Appreciation Week in May, I will first examine some of the drawbacks. Over the next few posts, you might see a spotlight on the short-comings of modern rap music, that places much of the blame squarely on ourselves, the First Generation of Hip Hop. I’m not going to front, some of the things I promoted in the past with a positive intent, were exploited for their negative properties by subsequent users. That is the story of Hip Hop in a way. People ‘stealing’ and ‘misusing’ concepts can likely be traced back to our own sampling ideology. We grew up on the idea of ‘stealing’ and ‘misusing’ pieces of other artists work for our own raw-ass purposes. Just like those artists didn’t appreciate that shit then, and we didn’t give a fuck; rappers nowadays steal and misuse Hip Hop Kulture, plus the institutions it created and don’t give a fuck. That seed we planted 40 some years ago, grew and became the tree we see today, with all its crooked branches and flaws.

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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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