Ideas on Culture (hip hop II- black culture)

by Lana Jean Mitchell

Looking at the subject of hip hop culture is relevant, for me at this time, as I see and hear the word spoken by practitioners of hip hop; musicians, MCs (Masters of Ceremony) writers, singers, actors, performers, dancers, pundits, and combinations of the above groups. Successful African American director, producer screen, and play writer Tyler Perry, for example, used the word culture to promote his programs. “Stream Black Culture”, his promotion says. I’ve given the subject (hip hop culture) thought as I think about the general concept of culture, which I talked about in two previous posts.

What I’ve learned in brief sessions of research, is that in Europe during World War I (1914 – 1918), the word hip was used by black jazz artists. To be hip was to be in the know and to be stylish. Hippies in the sixties were in the know about love and tuning in and dropping out. Being in the know is a quality shared by both groups.

The term sock hop ( an informal dance), some say gave the hop to hip hop in Brooklyn apartments where the music was played and danced too. Born of African American, Caribbean, and Hispanic rhythms hip hop originated in the Bronx, New York, USA, says Mary J. Blige talks about the neighborhood competition where she stumbled and a hip hop step was born.

In the reality series Love and Hip Hop (Reunion Edition) show, Yoya, food truck vendor and organizer of the episode featured her entrees and sides of Mac & Cheese, coy fish, oxtails, and Jambalaya, “food of the culture. ”

The NAACP Awards show suggests we “Celebrate the Beauty of Black Culture” and The Grio site wants to “amplify black culture. ” “Dance for the Culture,” says some of the BET (Black Entertainment Television) entertainers.

When I look at the above uses and celebration of Black and hip hop culture I am reminded of the quote by the author, Johann Golfried Herder speaking during the time of India’s independence from the British Empire. Explaining India’s desire to return to aspects of their culture prior to British rule Herder says, “This language in this place for this people.”

Improvisional, entrepreneurial, stylish and creative hip-hop culture, rises from many cultures.


Author: mitchellworksweb

Lana Jean Mitchell is a writer. She writes poetry, books and movies reviews, short stories and essays. She wrote a movie review blog for more than a year, and currently has an author's blog, She's on social media, Facebook, twitter, linked-in, goodreads, google+ and of course Visit her with a tweet, a comment, and/or a Goodreads review of her children's diversity, indie published book A Birthday Story.

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