KRS-One is considered to be one of the most profound and influential hip-hop artists of all time. He discusses that hip-hop is not only a culture, but also one of the oldest civilizations of mankind. Young people from all over the world can relate to it based on their daily life experiences.
All hip-hop fans should know that the culture is composed of four elements: breakin’, emceein’, deejayin’, and graffiti writin’. Breakin’ is a form of dancing, one of the oldest forms of communication. Second comes emceein’ allowing people to produce rhythmic patterns through speech.
Next is deejayin’ which basically describes the breakdown of a record through the art of scratching and mixing on turntables. It is about combining two things that do not make sense and creating something magical. Finally, there is graffiti writin’, one of the most powerful forms of expression in hip=hop culture. Graffiti writin’ sets the tone providing artists with the opportunity to display their artwork at free will on trains, buildings, murals, and T-shirts.
Hip-hop is a world culture similar to the way fans come out and support their NBA team. People that understand culture are more likely to be engaged in it than those that do not. Hip-hop has an identity and culture the same way that the Japanese people do.
In the interview shown below, KRS-One gives us a great example that he is Japanese. However, many people will say that he is black. Knowing about a culture and embodying it are two different things.
Understanding Japanese culture means that a person has a certain level of knowledge about their beliefs, values, and their traditions. For someone to say they are Japanese, they have to embody the culture through cultural immersion. This includes speaking the language, eating their food, practicing their customs, and living there.
It is no different than taking the knowledge that we learned and applying it to improve ourselves on this journey called life. If anyone wants to become something, they have to put action behind their words and not just say it.
KRS-One is the true definition of hip-hop because he eats, breathes, sleeps, and lives the culture responsible for shaping him into becoming the person we know today stretching from the South Bronx, Europe, Tokyo and beyond.