Today, every media in Chile is talking about the 9.11, the military coup which happened 40 years ago today. But there is another important 40-years-ago event which influenced my life. And it is something I believe could contribute to the education.
Yes, Hip hop, yo.
While there are various theories on who, when and where Hip hop started, the most reliable one is that it was DJ Kool Herc who held the “back to school party” in South Bronx – the black ghettos of New York, one of the poorest quarters on August 11, 1973, 40 years and a month ago from now.
In the party, he repeated the instrumental breaks between verses, during which the dancers came out to the dance-floor and showed their skills. He called those dancers “B-Boy”, “Break boys” – for those who are moving in the manner of breaks, and the dance was called breakdancing style (breaking). I initially thought B-Boy meant “Bad Boy”.
This party has sparked the 4 elements of Hip hop culture:
I personally believe that Hip hop is a good source to be used in education: not only because does it include educational elements but because it also could allow youths to express themselves through creative, inexpensive, disciplinary, challenging, and inclusive art form, as described below.
As I wrote before, Hip hop could include educational elements:
1. DJ (music)
2. Rap (Playing with words and singing)
3. Graffiti (Drawing)
4. Break dance (Music and physical education)
Hip hop continues to be a direct response to an older generation’s rejection of the values and needs of young people. The driving force behind all these self-expression was people’s desire to be seen and heard. Nowadays youths, especially those living in conflict areas, have a lot to say but unable to do so, which often lead them to join the gang groups.
Hip hop is basically inexpensive and disciplinary. It was an art form accessible to anyone given that one didn’t need a lot of money or expensive resources to rhyme. One has to invest time and effort, not money in lessons (although many do recently). Hip Hop, especially Rap and Breakdance were skills that could be practiced almost any time.
Hip Hop also became popular because it offered unlimited challenges. Except some broad rules (i.e. following rhythm, respecting each other), anything was possible. One could make up a rap about the man in the space, dancing with ninja movement, or playing anime song in between R&B, etc. The ultimate goal was to be perceived as being ‘def (good) by one’s peers.
Besides the free form it has, Hip hop is pretty inclusive; it allows one to accurately and efficiently inject their personality and it does not matter where he or she is from.
I think that the first thing to do in order for Hip hop to be included within education system is taking out the stigma that people tend to have toward “Hip hop”. I was one of them who thought Hip hop was something unacceptable until I actually knew the real virtue of it. So my job is to inform good part of Hip hop to achieve my objective.
Hip hop will widen the world（in Mexico）