Hip hop is a music art form that has come far from the streets of Compton and South Bronx. It is today a big industry worth almost two billion dollars and there is even a show named ‘Hamilton’ playing in Los Angeles, a hip hop musical. Hip hop or rap music as it is often referred to, is a genre of music that is universal. It evolved in the United States of America among the black community. Hip hop music soon became the voice of the black community. It came to be used synonymous with the black community and the music became representative of them. However, the commercialization and globalization of the genre has diluted its message over the years and critics argue that it no longer represents the black community.
Rapper Mos Def in 1999 made a statement that was way ahead of its time. In his very famous song ‘Fear Not Of Man’ he says “We are hip hop”. At first glance we might think that he was referring to the black community, but pertaining to the context of the song, we see that he meant everybody. He saw hip hop as an art form for everybody, with everyone having a say as long as they love the art form. He saw that anyone who promoted hip hop, whether it be black or white, rich or poor, American or foreign, literally anybody who loved hip hop could identify with it.
In today’s scenario, hip hop is far from just the South Bronx style art form that it was in the 1970s. Hip hop has clearly grown out of the shell of the black community and reached all over the world. It represents a vibrant subculture that has grown wings and flown out into the world as a new world order music art form. So Mos Def was right, hip hop is bigger than the black community.