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Taken from St. Louis American (Apr 24, 2018)

New respect for hip-hop

by Bernie Hayes

Thanks to Dr. Rosalind Norman, also known as Dr. Roz, I now have an understanding of the culture of hip-hop.

Because of a series of lectures and classes conducted by Dr. Roz at Webster University, I have new respect and admiration for an ethos that is accepted around the world. Before sitting on a panel with Dr. Norman I had been obsessively studying the influence of hip-hop music and the culture, and I must admit that I was presumptuous and condescending.

Then I was introduced to The Temple of Hip Hop M.A.S.S. – Ministry, Archive, School, & Society Hip Hop Declaration Of Peace. It recognizes Hip-hop as an international culture of peace and prosperity. It is also a set of principles that advise all Hip-hoppers on how to sustain the peaceful character of hip-hop culture and to form worldwide peace.

Additionally, this declaration is meant to show hip-hop as a positive phenomenon that has nothing in common with the negative image of hip-hop as something that corrupts young people and encourages them to break the law. KRS One, Pop Master Fabel, Afrika Bambaataa, Ralph Mc Daniels and Harry Allen helped to create the declaration.

There are 18 principles of the charter, and the 15th principle is: “Hip-hoppas respect and learn from the ways of nature, regardless of where we are on this planet. Hip-hop Kulture holds sacred our duty to contribute to our own survival as independent, free-thinking beings in and throughout the Universe. This planet, commonly known as Earth is our nurturing parent and Hip-hoppas are encouraged to respect Nature and all creations and inhabitants of Nature.”

The 16th principle is: “Hip-hop’s pioneers, legends, teachers, elders, and ancestors shall not be inaccurately quoted, misrepresented, or disrespected at any time. No one should profess to be a Hip-hop pioneer or legend unless they can prove with facts and/or witnesses their credibility and contributions to Hip-hop Kulture.”

Respect is the greatest asset which a person earns through his behavior and activities done for the community, and I have a new outlook on the culture we call hip-hop. I still can’t stand gangsta rap, though.


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