The [New] Home of Hip Hop

When the lights dimmed on Kanye West’s Adidas x YEEZY  debut fashion show, the only thing more noteworthy than the first season collaboration was the front row of guests.

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From left: Alexander Wang, Rihanna, Cassie, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jay Z, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian West, Anna Wintour.

It was an eclectic mix of people- royalty in their own right. Sean “Diddy” Combs, Beyonce, Jay Z, and Rihanna all shared space with large names in the fashion industry such as Anna Wintour and Alexander Wang. Kim Kardashian West seemed to be the link to bring both sides together; her entry into hip hop’s elite group through Kanye reflects his entry into fashion through her. His front row of guests demonstrates the changing tides of the world- hip hop has transcended its place as a musical platform and become synonymous with a pop culture landscape where anything is possible.

Hip Hop grounds itself in the movement of the people- it was an aspect of black communities used to demonstrate their dance (breakdancing), music (DJing and rapping), and art (graffiti). At its essence it is about humanity, and later the struggle of black lives. While keeping its roots alive, it has now grown into so much more than lyrics and beats. Jay Z has moved on from rapping about the hustle that created him, to the opulence and luxury that surround him. Kendrick Lamar still keeps it real by making the political personal, as noted most dramatically on To Pimp a Butterfly. The most notable way in which these artists are using their craft is through a time tested element- the relevancy of their subjects.

Beyonce during her MTV VMAs performance.
Beyonce during her MTV VMAs performance.
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Kanye West on the cover of TIME.

When Beyonce, or Queen B as she is known by her Beyhive, dropped her self-titled album without a moment’s notice, the world immediately began talking about her messages of feminism. Her music helped to give further credibility to an already strong movement, and became chart toppers and club bangers in their own time. The [in]famous Kanye West was named one of TIME magazine’s most influential people, categorized with the likes of Barack Obama, and Narendra Modi. With elevated visions of artistry, there is not a moment when Kanye hasn’t been relevant in his career. Anticipation of his newest album only strengthens the pull that hip hop has on the people. Kanye and Beyonce prove that hip hop encompasses a broader category of thought- it is becoming a defining force on the global landscape.

Why I Write

A few months ago I used to be a part of a bookclub- I know what you’re thinking when you hear that.

Grey Haired Grannies.

Seven Cats.

Doilies.

Tea.

This was anything but. This was a group of women in their prime talking about the relevancy of fact and fiction, and learning healing through conversation. We led one another onto a train to Pakistan, through walks on Beale Street, and even found Power in our Secrets. We captured the essence of life, and created a platform for our thought processes. Alas, the club disbanded when our lives got too busy, though it remains a whisper on the winds to come some day. When the book club let out, I lost an outlet.

Writing is sharing one’s voice without making a sound.  Words are set in stone- in blog posts rather. They give us the freedom to let our thoughts tumble out of us, creating streams of conscience that merge into rivers. They are everything that I had with my book club, but of my own mind. Only of my mind. This is why they are necessary.

WP_20150520_005Every time I crack open a new journal, the first entry is always about “why I write”. The reason changes every time. This time, it is less personal. It is about my need to share with others. Writing online is about cultivating relationships with kindred spirits around the world. It’s about looking for an outlet that is bigger than me. I want to share things that I think are relevant, whether literary, analytical, musical, political, or problematic.

These thoughts are a part of my story. Won’t you read with me?