Ready for a pop culture explosion of facts? Here’s the thing, I didn’t mean for this and the last blog post to be about pop culture, but it’s where my creativity took me. This past week, many people celebrated the birthday of Hip-Hop…yup, that’s right! I’ll be honest, I had no idea it was its birthday - I heard something about it on a podcast. After hearing about the origins I jumped on my computer and started reading!
On August 11, 1973, at a house party in the Bronx, which is known for explosions of creativity that were sparked as an outlet to cope with social and economic challenges, a big ass party was hosted. People weren’t interested in gangs, drugs, etc, they wanted community.
Quick pause, you might be thinking what other famous people do I know that are from the Bronx? Here are a few: J-Lo, Kerry Washington, Cardi B, Al Pacino, Ralph Lauren, and many more.
The one you probably don’t know, DJ Kool Herc, is credited with the “breakbeat” or as we know it, the beat drop or the looping bass that keeps the vibe and dancing going at the part that night in August. One other awesome fact about that night, his sister Cindy charged a cover of 25 cents for girls and 50 cents for boys…she made over a couple of hundred dollars that night.
Herc had a pretty rough life, never made an album, became an addict, and struggled a lot. He and his sister ended up realizing they were ready to move forward and sold all of their memorabilia from that era and ended up making almost $ 1 million dollars from their sale, and now Herc is going to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I know Hip-hop is music I love, but what I didn’t know was that there are four defined pillars: MCing (rap), DJing (turntable), breakdancing, and graffiti art. Many artists expressed their ideas, opinions, and concerns for politics, culture, and societal and systemic issues. What I realized while reading about hip-hop is that it’s not just music it’s true cultural and creative expression. People are continually inspired by hip-hop and continually creating hip-hop.
So other than it’s a cool fact that we just celebrated Hip-hop’s 50th birthday, I think it reminds me how multifaceted yoga actually is. Both hip-hop and yoga offer creative outlets for personal expression and growth, both blend tradition with modern innovations, both offer and encourage diversity and interconnectedness, the beat in hip-hop and the breath in yoga empower movement, and finally, both are grounded in pillars to promote awareness and collective growth.
Big takeaway: hip-hop is not just music and yoga is not just movement. Both of these have been misunderstood and misrepresented, and knowing their complexities have impacted people all over the world.
It make me think and reminded me sometimes we get lost in the finite details of whatever is going on, like getting the exact part of our hand right in downward facing dog, and yes, that is important, but at the end of the day it’s about remembering the big picture and the purpose of connecting breath, movement, and focus into one.
So, next time we play hip-hop in yoga class, prepare to have an explosion of creative growth - oaky no actual promises, but still I think it’s super f*cking cool.