The True Meaning Of Hip-Hop Culture by Afrika Bambaataa

Introduction by Faisal Ahmed from The Bomb Hip-Hop Magazine #38 (March 1995)

He is known by a number of titles, "Godfather Of Hip-Hop", "Master Of Records", "Greatest DJ On Earth" - etc etc. Now while a number of teenage buckwild shorties who score with one hit record inflate their own egos to ridiculous levels through their own blunt-smoke induced gauge of talent, he is a man who truly deserves the above titles and more.

However, if one word can accurately describe Bambaataa Aasim, more regularly known as Afrika Bambaataa, it is intelligence. This is a man who could very easily be living in a multimillion dollar ivory tower, content with his life and focused purely upon money. But not Bambaataa. He recognises that a great deal of ignorance exists within society, and he constantly strives to educate the misguided, indoctrinated masses.

Taking his previous experiences as a gangbanger, he redirects the lessons of the streets into a positive and knowledgeable form. Serving as a source of inspiration and wisdom, he uses a philosophy of not misguiding youth, simply highlighting the facts and allowing people to draw their own conclusions. He does this from the same South Bronx streets he ran 25 years ago with the notorious Black Spades.

The main thing that always strikes me about Bam though, is his genuine approachability and how humble he is about his achievements. He always speaks to you as an equal and he`ll always hug you like a brother when he sees you. Compare this to the behaviour of 95% of the current hip-hop community and you begin to understand the difference between men and boys, and you start to see where infiltrators began to fuck up our culture with that policy of "divide and conquer."

The very fact that you are able to buy and read this magazine means that you owe a debt to Bambaataa, whether you acknowledge the fact or not. Now it`s crunchtime. Read the following and peep out your response. If you can understand and open your mind to the bigger picture, contact the Zulu Nation. If you have difficulty, check your head and ask yourself if you consider yourself to be long term with hip-hop or whether you are treating it as a fad. Remember, knowledge is infinite, and there is no power greater than the power of the mind, but it`s up to you as an individual to use it.

peace, Faisal Ahmed --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hip-Hop vs Hip-Hop (Take it for what it is).

I, Afrika Bambaataa, have heard it all, read it all, in many magazines throughout the world, and seen almost all in this continuing bullshit about which rappers are better, east coast v west coast, Miami bass hip-hop is bullshit, British Rappers sound funny rapping, electro funk, techno rappers are soft, I like hardcore rap and beats, this one group is like that, old school vs new school, Rap wouldn`t be rap if it wasn`t for the battles, I`m the quickest, baddest rapper, deejay around, Go Go music in Washington D. C. is dead. It`s all about hip-house or house music all night long. I dis you, you dis me, my crew will take you out or kick your ass, fuck this or that, Nigger, Bitch, Nigguz, Nigguh, Hoe, Hooker, Bitches with Problems, Hoes with Attitudes. Just look at yourselves, sounding like a bunch of fools, who really don`t have any true knowledge of self and knowledge of hip-hop culture and what it`s all about.

First of all, let me tell you that the music (beats) that makes up hip-hop, comes from different nationalities and races, especially from black people, and if you think I am a brother who don`t know what he is talking about, just check out many of the music, beats, grooves and sounds that many of your rappers use to make their records or rap over. Hip-hop music in general is colorless and not racist.

It comes from many categories in music, for example: Hip-hop music is made up from other forms of music like funk, soul, rhythm & blues, jazz, rock heavy metal, salsa, soca (calypso), TV shows, kiddie shows, horror movies, techno, pop, disco, african, arabic, reggae -etc. . . . and if you use any records from these categories, you will see that the music is made by people from different races or nationalities from all over the planet, but it`s roots start with black people.

I have read many interviews by different rap groups throughout the world, just to see where their heads are at, whether they are really knowledgeable about hip-hop music/culture or whether they are just plain assholes. Many of the rappers will down(dis) another rapper because he or she wanted to experiment with hip-hop by singing or adding a different sound in hip-hop to create something new.

When are all of you in the hip-hop world going to "wake up"? You love to keep dissing each other for nothing and if you were wise in your disrespect of each other, you would know how to make money with respecting your disrespect of each other, if you truly understand what I am saying. Many who are into hip-hop or part of hip-hop culture throughout the world need a check up from the neck up.

In fact, and in truth, the whole human family needs one. Everyone needs to check up on their own roots and culture and seek the real truths on life on this so-called planet Earth. Knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, facts and truths about black, brown, red, yellow and white people and not that brainwash white supremacy shit that white people in power have taught all over the world and to their own people of the so called planet Earth.

Yes there are many wrongs in the worldwide hip-hop community, but there are also many aspects of positivity within the hip-hop community that the media or trade magazines rarely focus upon. Many of you in hip-hop culture don`t even listen to the rappers who are trying hard to wake your asses up to what is going on in the bigger scale than of what you see in your neighborhoods, their message goes in one ear and out the other.

The media does play a big role in destroying the hip-hop culture movement, but many of you in the hip-hop community are the biggest enemies of hip-hop and you will be the ones who will help the enemies of hip-hop to destroy it, or to bring it back underground, because of your ignorance of knowledge of hip-hop. This has started the difference between "old school" and "new school".

To myself (Afrika Bambaataa) there is only one school and that`s the learning, evolving, going through the different phases or cycles school of hip-hop. That is the real hip-hop school. A lot of you in the world of hip-hop better start looking at the problems in your own backyard as well as the world, because while you are enjoying yourselves etc. there are many plots being sprung to destroy hip-hop in the world.

Because many people in government look at hip-hop music and its culture as a radical music that gets straight to the point and music that will wake up the youth and young adults throughout the world. They can also use hip-hop to backfire and destroy itself. You can believe what I`m saying. But time will tell and I see what you see not.

Peace be unto you,

Your brother In music and faith, Afrika Bambaataa.

Related: Afrika Bambaata Bio, Universal Zulu Nation

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