Hip-Hop Beginnings, Appreciation and Growing Pains

“Hip-Hop is the most vibrant and cultural art you’ll ever come across. Respect that.” – Dau

Google came through with the best Doodle to ever grace my home screen for the 44th anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop and I kind of love it.

Google Doodle. Ha! It rhymes!

Moving On.

The Doodle is set to run for 40 hours and gives an interactive introduction to the inception of Hip-Hop, narrated by Hip-Hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy (remember ‘Yo! MTV Raps’?).

It also features a turntable tutorial that allows users to sample some of the most iconic Hip-Hop classics (Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, anyone?) and unlock achievements that highlight early industry pioneers.

It’s so much freaking fun! I’m too old to play with turntables online, but I can’t bring myself to care enough to stop. It’s nostalgic in the best possible way.

hiphop_gif03.gif

Anyone with even the slightest appreciation for Hip-Hop knows that 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx is where their love can be traced back to.

It’s an address as recognizable as 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or 2300 Jackson Street (you started humming, didn’t you?) and with it comes specific memories that most who know it hold dear.

For me, 1520 Sedgwick Avenue is part of my coming-of-age story.

I’ve always loved music, breathed music, consumed music in all its forms — everything from Gospel to R&B to Jazz and Country Music to Hip-Hop and Neo-Soul — and it all moves me.

My childhood home was an exercise in musical confetti. My father cleaned to the sounds of Earth, Wind & Fire; my mother cooked to the crooning of the Temptations; and we got ready for Sunday School to the conviction of Commissioned and The Winans.

Music has always moved me.

When I was 5 (possibly 6), my father put me down for a nap and I heard the sounds of Kurtis Blow’s ‘The Breaks’ streaming from the oldies station on the kitchen radio.

I remember peeking my little head around the corner and watching my father bop his head to the beat while rinsing and stacking the dishes . . . and I was hooked.

I didn’t quite fall in love with Hip-Hop until 5ish years later when Queen Latifah reeled me in with Black Reign, but I had my first taste of the energy and complexity and vitality of Hip-Hop and I wasn’t letting go.

Thirty years later and I’m still holding on. Hip-Hop has evolved into a culture, a genre, a movement — sometimes misunderstood, oftentimes imitated — that has global influence in music, art, dance, fashion, politics and activism.

It’s so much bigger than that block party in West Bronx could have ever predicted and the gentle reminder of its continued relevance is always welcomed.

Thanks, Google. 😉

P.S. Rap and Hip-Hop are not interchangeable, vis-a-vis. Hip-Hop is a culture, Rap is one of the elements contained therein. Just a little FYI for the Parental Advisory soldiers that always conflate the two. 

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