Hip Hop Changed My Life

When I was about 13, I faintly remembering listening to A Tribe Called Quest. It was in middle school and my friend Troy kept telling me to check them out, and that they were “real hip hop”. To be honest, that shit was weird. I didn’t understand the sounds, the horns, and the crazy mixture of instruments that were being thrown together. I didn’t know why artists were talking so fast, and how people could even understand them. I also didn’t know what the fuck it meant to be considered “real hip hop”, nor do I stil understand that term today. Frankly, I didn’t like it — and I promptly proceeded to go back and listen to Silverstein, All-American Rejects, and Fall Out Boys, which arguably aren’t that bad either.

It took a little bit of getting used to, and mostly, a lot of what I considered shitty pop on the radio at the time, to finally push me to start exploring the realms of YouTube. Maybe it was the rebellious feeling I’d get whenever my relatives would tell me, “Daniel, that’s so awful! Do you not hear what he’s saying? You’re going to start doing that too.” Luckily I was privileged enough to be in Sugar Land, a place that certainly lives up to its exciting name. Regardless, fast forward to high school, which was was a time of experimentation with music. I explored random artists/groups like ATCQ, Luchini, Little Brother, The Coup, and many more. To say that it had an effect on me is a little understated.

When looking back I never knew it, but after listening to so much types of different music I’ve realized a lot of things:

That is to say, hip hop still has many problems. Its constant issue with drugs, sexual discrimination, and racism aren’t necessarily its selling points. In fact, it’s a main deterrant which is quite understandable. But then again, it’s still a movement and an art, so it’s consistently changing every day, hopefully paving towards a better direction.

I want to end it with this. It’s not like I don’t appreciate other genres of music. I listen to Rock, Jazz, Blues, etc. whatever I think is pleasing to my ears. But at the end of the day, I love hip hop, for what it’s done for the world, and for me.