I do it because of Hip-Hop

I’m back! I haven’t written a blog in a few months and think it’s due time that I express some of my thoughts with you. Yes, you!

As many of you know music is a very important part of my life, I cannot go a couple of hours without listening to a favorite artist or song. Music is with me everywhere I go, on my way to work, on my way to class, while doing homework and even at this very moment as I write this blog. I love all types of music, as long as there is seductive or head knocking beat and meaningful lyrics, but more specifically I love Hip-Hop music. My love for Hip-Hop is because I can relate on many different levels. I am Hip-Hop, mind, body & soul.

Hip-Hop is more than just a genre of music to me, it’s a way of life and more importantly it motivates me. Whenever I am feeling unproductive and I need a boost of energy I play a Hip-Hop track that inspires me to do what I need to do. For example, if I need a boost of energy while doing homework I may play the song “Go Getta” by Young Jeezy. “Go Getta” has a head nodding beat and a catchy hook, “trap all and play all night, this is the life of a go getta.” Although, Young Jeezy clearly makes numerous drug and fast life references throughout the song, that’s not what I relate to. I flip the true meaning of the song and interpret it to fit my lifestyle and situation. As a college student “Trap all day and play all night” can mean go to class and excel academically during the day, but at the same time enjoy the college experience and hangout with friends during the night. This is what the artist intends for listeners to do with their songs, relate it to themselves.

I have been interpreting Hip-Hop songs to fit my lifestyle and situations as long as I can remember. I remember back when I was in the 7th grade Jay-Z released the song “Change the Game” and at the end of the song he said a phrase that will always stand out to me, “I will not lose.” Ever since I heard that phrase at the end of the song, it became embedded in my memory. Whenever I wanted to conquer something I remember reciting the words “I will not lose” over and over in my mind. Me reciting “I will not lose” boosted my confidence and kept me motivated. Although I don’t recite those words anymore, there is no need to because “I will not lose” has become a part of my everyday life.

Hip-Hop motivates!!!

Young Jeezy – Go Getta

Jay – Z – Change the Game

About Edmund Adjapong

Edmund Adjapong, a native of the Bronx, NY, is a student at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Science Education and received a Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry with a minor in Africana Studies from The State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Edmund believes every student learns differently. He also believes that engaging young men with media–despite its unconventional method–is an effective way to educate. Edmund enjoys working with and mentoring youth, especially young men of color, as they are our future. He fell in love with Hip-Hop after memorizing Puff Daddy's song "All about the Benjamins," in the third grade. Following the completion of his masters degree, Edmund plans on teaching science in a New York City public school and pursuing his Doctorate of Philosophy in Science Education. His ultimate goal is to become a science educator and researcher. This blog is a reflection of Edmund’s thoughts during his journey toward a terminal degree. For more information about Edmund Adjapong please feel free to contact him at: E.adjapong@gmail.com
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One Response to I do it because of Hip-Hop

  1. Anonymous says:

    Like you, I was also trying to cater to Hip-Hop lyrics as though it was my everyday life, and if it works for you, then great. Except it didn't quiet fulfill the dark emptiness, and don't get me wrong, hip-hop beats are dope!, but then again that's about as far as it goes. “I WILL NOT LOSE,” wow! you took me back a little. That was a line that I too ponder-ed on, and besides his (meaning Jay Z's) the individual ego and then battle with former friends, I do not think he had any deeper meaning to it.I had 2pac and he had a similar phrase like that, which was, "I PLAY TO WIN." Since then, I became very selective to things I do because once I decided to participate in any activity, I was in it to win; plain and simple as that. Then I heard him say in an interview, "I am not a role model…. I am an MC" or something to that extend. I was obsessed with this guy and you could only imagine how that made me feel; I mean, I wanted to be part of the thug-life movement and all of the sudden he the leader tells you he's not leading. I was confused as hell, but he was right, and his life showed that you could not win in the fight as a thug.Why did I say that? Well, I hope you don't hit a dead end like I did when I followed Pac, because now I listen to his songs and I see why he was able to predict his life and tell creative stories around it, I thought he was unique and so did everyone, but he knew he was not. To make this part of the story short, we live in a loop, like captured wild animals – we lived in a docile controlled environment and fail to questioned anything. It is funny you mentioned 7th grade because that was the same time I tried to explained reality with music. Fortunately for me, 2pac had adopted the alias Makaveli from the Renaissance era philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli, and for some strange reason i picked up his most popular book [The Prince] and read it (first book to read cover to cover by choice). Truth is I didn't get all of it but it still changed my life. The truth 2pac was philosopher and people who don’t think deeper may never understand what his music truly stood for. I mean he tried to dumped it down with "Changes", which became a recitation rhetoric like Obama's "yes, we can", or Jame's Brown's, "I'm black and I'm proud." Well, I am writing way too much so I will end with this, Pac said, "TO GO FROM BAD TO WORSE, IS TO IGNORE FROM WHICH YOU CAME," and if you truly love music like you said, then I invite to listen to a true music with heart; not to "DIS" modern hip-hop. Listen to the truly suffrage songs like beginnings of Salsa, no wait… TRUE HI-LIFE! Listen to Fela Kuti's "Gentlemen" [the extend one]. Don't fast forward anything, listen to true reality music; and then follow that with “MISTAKE” from his Zombie album. And Oh… Please feel free to thank me later.

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