We have all heard the expression"Hip-Hop nation" at some point in our music listening lives.However, have any of us ever pondered on what precisely that term means or what its meant to describe? Or have we all instead assumed we knew what it meant although perhaps we were unable to articulate it?.What do we mean when we say "Hip-Hop nation"?
Well the "Hip-Hop nation" clearly does not exist in conventionally recognised terms for the simple reason that it does not posses an acknowledged territory. Faced with this dilemma we now ask therefore who is the sovereign of the Hip-Hop nation and who are its subjects?
A prominent Historian(I've forgotten his name) once said a nation exists as an imagined community.Imagined in the sense that the inhabitants of a territory feel "connected" to one another perhaps due to some underlying commonality such as culture.Thus each inhabitant imagines a certain level of familiarity and connection with each and every citizen in his country even though the majority of citizens in a particular territory have never met and will probably never meet.This is in-fact the essence of nationalism.
It would seem to me quite obviously that the common strand that binds the Hip-Hop nation is the familiarity with "Hip-Hop culture(s)".This familiarity is the basis of the imagined community that we term the "Hip-Hop nation". The territory of the Hip-Hop nation is quite clearly the individual and collective consciousness of those who adhere to Hip-Hop culture. The minds which harbour the "Hip-Hop nation" are scattered all over the earth.As such, the territory of the Hip-Hop nation is beyond metric definition.
However, it would seem that the Hip-Hop nation is in crises. the philosophy of Hip-Hop nationalism was previously expounded and available from the Hip-Hop proffered by the mainstream music industry.Nowadays there is very little if any Hip-Hop nationalism in rap music from within the mainstream.
Thus the ideals of Hip-Hop nationalism are no longer clear.Others such as Blastmaster KRS-One through his "I am Hip-Hop" philosophy are striving to forge a particular sort of "Hip-Hop" nationalism.What remains clear however is that the imagined community that we term the "Hip-Hop nation" is under threat.It finds itself in the midst of a consumerist vortex that threatens to destroy the principles that underlie "Hip-Hop nationalism" and which are responsible for the very existence of the imagined community recognised as the "Hip-Hop nation".
The only territory that the Hip-Hop nation is soveriegn over is the individual minds of its listeners.Thus what we feed the individual Hip-Hop consciousness has a direct effect on the welfare of the nation.The Hip-Hop nation exists and will probably only ever exist as an imagined community.Thus we must ensure that the music we put out nourishes those minds because once we destroy those minds the nation will undoubtedly be destroyed.Peace.
Editorial:Where art thou Hip-Hop nation?
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