This phenomenon shows the power of another phenomenon - Hip-Hop. Before hip-hop, it would have been unbelievable that a six foot three, three hundred and sixty pound Black Man could make everyone from small, hole-in-the-wall bars in Accra, Ghana to elite boarding schools in Plymouth, New Hampshire throw their hands in the air. Where Brooklyn At? We right here. We everywhere.
Now that Hip-Hop is officially old enough to be president other important questions emerge: What were we nodding our heads to and raising our hands for? What promises were made? Can we fulfill on them? What of legacy?
What stories remain to be told? Who needs to be kicked off the stage? If emcee really means Move the Crowd then where are my real emcees and where are they moving us to?
As is, Hip-Hop’s resume is gangster. What other phenomenon on earth has created a global template for expression, community-building, resistance, sales, marketing, personal empowerment, cross-cultural connection, journalism, job creation, and movement-making? Hip-hop has kept the ancient call and response wisdom alive from person to person, street corner to street corner, cypher to cypher, block to global block. And today the cultural, political, social, economic potency of Hip-Hop is more relevant and imperative than ever.
Make no mistake. No magical being in the woods, Hip-Hop is. We are Hip-Hop, with every moment we look into the face of isolation, depression, cynicism, tyranny and hypocrisy, and relentlessly choose life. This is the work that we have been doing all of these years. These are the moments we were preparing for. The world is watching. How will we answer the call?