February 23, 2009

M.K. Asante's "It's Bigger Than Hip-Hop"

So I received a copy of M.K. Asante Jr.’s book “It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop” from my father for my birthday, and it’s very much an eye-opener that snaps your attention to the future of our culture.

Now, like many of you I first heard the phrase “It’s bigger than hip-hop” from Dead Prez. The concept was always intriguing, but I never really thought of it as describing the progression of our culture. When reading Prof. Asante’s book, I began to understand how even though I’M part of the next-generation of Hip-Hop there are youth behind me that will shape the culture even further than I could have imagined.

Kind of how like in the 80’s we were making movies like “Krush Groove” and today you can see films like “8 Mile” and “Hustle & Flow”. Not saying they were as classic or pioneering as the original, but it re-invented what was already there to fit with the present.

And that’s pretty much the way Hip-Hop culture will continue to be… there will always be the pioneers of the past to influence the current generation, and while the current generation is doing their thing there is a whole new wave of youth that will take elements of what you’re doing and create something brand new. We can continue to say that “Hip-Hop is this” or “Hip-Hop is that”, but what will ultimately drive us forward is the realization that we can take what Hip-Hop gives us and make it bigger, better, and more applicable than anyone could have realized. And THAT’S bigger than Hip-Hop.

- Steve Tyson Jr.

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