What do you value?
Is it riches?
As a child, my values were simple.
I wanted, what I wanted, when I wanted it, and anything that got in the way.
I had to get CRUNK!
NOTE: Crunk is the source for the term TURN UP.
And then, one day, Hip Hop entered my life and everything changed.
It was different than anything I had ever experienced.
It was not music, but it was.
It was not dancing, but it was.
It was not art, but it was.
It was not fashion, but it was.
And the more I embraced it, the more it changed me.
And for the first time, the bible words made sense.
In the Biblical sense, Hip Hop “Moved” across the Atlanta Landscape and “ENGULFED” me with its divine touch.
I was possessed.
But there was no pea soup.
No evil voices.
No crawling on the ceiling.
None of that FOOLISHNESS!
I was “moved” by Hip Hop and suddenly, it entranced me and my life was never the same.
Since I was enamored about this event, I went to the library to get more information.
There were no books on Hip Hop.
I went to my parents.
They said, “that’s just talking, that’s not real music.”
I asked my teachers and they said, “you need to leave fads alone. You should think about your future.”
With no help, I went WITHIN and began to ask for help from Hip Hop.
Dear Hip Hop, Can you tell me why I feel so much different now?
Dear Hip Hop, why don’t the other kids see what I see?
Dear Hip Hop, when will I know my beliefs are true and not fake?
For weeks, I asked these questions and it was weird.
Nobody never asked, but I did.
Why was Hip Hop, like Wisdom, always referred to as “Feminine” Energy?
I was there from the beginning and I promise you, I have never heard the term “Father Hip Hop.”
Hip Hop was, and always has been, called “MOTHER HIP HOP.”
Why did we “inherently” refer to it as Female?
This question drove me crazy and I searched and searched, but there were no answers.
Over time, Mother Hip Hop’s message was the same.
“Dear Troubled Son, Trust me and my message. Embrace Hip Hop and develop your gifts. One day, your gifts will take care of you and give you comfort.”
As a Teen, I embraced Hip Hop as my “Lifestyle” and, in a sense, my Lifelong Love and Spouse.
As a result, I have had wonderful experiences that are beyond priceless.
For example, I witnessed HIP HOP channel Heaven within a group of teens and watch it “destroy” EVIL and IGNORANCE in its tracks.
One weekend, I was doing my normal B-Boy routine:
Work on my new breaking moves
Freestyle from Kings Ridge Apartments to Greenbriar Mall
Rock my new gear in the Mall
Battle at Rainbow Arcade
While at the Mall, several guys from a rival crew were breakdancing to get the attention of the girls in the mall.
When they got their attention, the girls rushed over and began clapping and shouting.
A guy, obviously not part of our culture, got mad.
He argued with his buddies, then lost his mind and rushed over to the breakdancers.
The girls stopped cheering and eyed the mad teen.
The first girl giggled, “Oh My God Kenyette, that guy is trying to fight.”
The second girl yelled, “Shinetra, can you bring your friends over here please?”
As the girls from all the mall piled into the food court, the mad teen stood frozen.
Kenyette and her crew were pointing.
Shinetra spoke, Oh My God Kenyette, can you believe this guy is ACTUALLY trying to fight somebody? Yeah, that fruit loop head boy right there. Come here girl!”
The mad teen stepped back from the breakdancer, let go of his Lee Jeans, and he walked away in shame.
Shinetra and her crew yelled out in his direction.
“That’s right, you loser, don’t come back here. This is not for fighting, we want to see dancing.”
And as he walked to the mall’s entrance, he looked back at Kenyette and Shinetra.
They rolled their eyes and looked at each other.
“Ole stanking shoes!”
“Those cheap Kmart knockoff Members Only Jacket!”
“Fake Two-Dollar Polo Sebago wearing Loser!”
And the mall resounded with their chanting.
And he ran away, crying.
And from the middle of the mall, the joners joined in with the girls.
NOTE: Joning is the term we use in ATL to describe “the dozens.”
Go head on, Dusty Doughnut and Taco Meat Face Azz!
Go head on, Mushroom Mint and Maaco Face Azz!
Go head on, Dusty Doughnut Booty!
Go head on, Barbecue Bulletproof Baby Dough Face Azz!
“That’s the power of Hip Hop!”
It took a bully and made him leave the mall crying home to his mama!
I want you to stop right now and think about that.
We didn’t need our parents.
We didn’t need our teachers.
We didn’t need any weapons.
We didn’t need the Police.
All we needed were the support of Girls and others teens supporting Hip Hop.
And from that day, I realized that Hip Hop was not a fad like my teachers said.
It was not the fad my parents said it would be.
It was something big.
But I couldn’t describe it and this pissed me off.
I asked around and my friends got mad at me.
Man, stop wasting so much time studying. Hip Hop is not in books, it’s out here dancing and getting phone numbers.
I didn’t say anything, but I knew then that we wouldn’t be friends that much longer.
Hip Hop was not a way to get numbers or to get dates.
It was bigger than that FOOLISHNESS.
So I did what all Hip Hop Scholars do.
I went back to the library!
And I studied the dictionary for months until I found the word.
This was Hip Hop.
This word was defined as “the arts, beliefs, customs, institutions, and other products of human work and thought considered as a unit, especially with regard to a particular time or social group.”
And I sighed relief.
Now I knew Mother Hip Hop more intimately and as I closed the book, I exhaled.
Suddenly, the doors opened and my friends rushed in.
“Shawdy, what you doing? We got a battle in two hours. We can catch the 83 Ben Hill and be at Ben Hill in 30 minutes!”
I packed my bag and left the library.
Down on Fairburn, I eyed the bus turning the corner.
“Shawdy, we gotta run for it!”
As the wind blew, my friends and I crossed the street, avoiding the cars, and running for one thing.
The WHITE BUS STOP.
It stood in the grass, proud and resilient.
Like Mother Hip Hop, it sat there unseen by the adults, by the cars, and by the women walking with strollers.
But I didn’t care.
I saw Mother Hip Hop in her divine beauty.
And as I closed in to the bus stop, a second wind came upon me as we skidded to a stop and several cars bobbed.
The drivers gave us the finger and leaned out their cars.
Freaking Teenagers and Hip Hop!
My friends laughed and shot them birds, but I leaned softly against the bus stop.
I grabbed it and gave it a soft hug.
I knew Mother Hip Hop would take care of me for the rest of my life.
Can you say the same?
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