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Hip-hop has always been my escape. Listening to the musical compositions in an instrumental and absorbing lyrical genius being spit out by artists such as Nas, Tribe Called Quest and Slick Rick has always captivated my creativity and passion for this art. I’ve never come across a musical genre that’s as real as hip-hop. There is a story always being told in every song that I’ve heard. Whether the message was about police brutality or just a day in the hood, there was always a raw feeling or connection I felt with the music. Hip-hop has influenced me to write my own stories in the form of poetry or music. It was a way to have people listen to me and actually hear me out whether or not they even wanted to. The rhythm and tone being projected out my voice would capture an audience’s attention. I remember sitting on my roof during a hot summer night, eating ice cream, playing “Passin’ Me By” by The Pharcyde and listening to all the syllables being flipped, paying attention to the dope lines I’d have embedded in my brain. As the years passed, I’ve seen hip-hop progress in ways, which I never could wrap my mind around. I respected young artists on the rise such as Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Joey Bada$$ and Chance the Rapper, staying true to the roots of this art and creating stories the world could relate to. On the other hand, I’ve seen rappers like Chief Keef, 2 Chainz, Soulja Boy and The Migos say the most ignorant things ever. Yet they’re the ones getting airplay on the radio and teaching our youth how to mimic those same ignorant things. Ironically, it’s the youth in my generation questioning why women have no self-respect for themselves anymore and why men are so disrespectful and unemotional. The art of hip-hop has been misplaced by these wack rappers trying to get rich off ignorance while manipulating the minds of youth in my generation. Even though I continue to play N.W.A. and Cypress Hill on my iPod, it’s sad to see kids nod their heads to “bang bang 3hunna”. For me, hip-hop will always be my passion and through the ignorance I believe that’ll be what it once was before: an art form.