Over the decades music in the black culture has always influenced not only the black culture but other cultures as well. If we look at music as an art form, then I think it is safe to say that it is true that art imitates life. When Hip Hop began over 25 years ago, it was all about the expression life and experiences of a generation at that time! Hip Hop back then was all about raising the level of awareness and consciousness in a positive way of those individuals living in hard times! It was about having fun and rapping about ways to change challenging circumstances for a better life!

Then something happened -- the community and culture took a turn for the worse! Just take a look at just about every inner city in this country and it will tell you pretty much the same story — a problematic impoverished community. If you think back to the '80s, some of those parents today were crack babies, have we forgotten that? Some of them are un/or undereducated throwaways that have outgrown the system. How about those 20 year olds and younger who may be living in abandoned buildings left behind due to housing problems that hit our community hard!

When you see the young men today sporting sagging pants, have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, they are sagging there pants in protest and saying to their parents, society, and the world—look at what you left me with—kiss my you know what! This is the generation that listens to today’s Hip Hop music performed by those individuals that come from these inner city communities—again, is it art imitating life? Or, is it a real reality check of what’s really going on!

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