I WAS terrified for us. I realized Our mindset had to shift. We needed to be and stay dangerous. This country reminded US, we were never going to be safe. Safe in a world coldly flagging itself with hate and ignorance. Then pretending to show warmth under a blanket disguised as patriotism. This realization happened because the presumed leader of the big house is treating minorities like they belong in the field, picking off ones not playing by his rules of mass appeal.

We watched Colin Kaepernick, who is still unemployed from peaceful protest, for requesting equality, justice and respect for minorities, become sponsored by Nike. Met by a national white rallying war cry for disrespecting the military. This was the real fake news — Ignoring proof showing he was respecting and honoring Veteran’s requests for him to kneel instead of sit.

Propaganda spread swift as a bird, smearing the world with dirt. Covering stolen money is the new rich, and forgiven if done by a son of a bitch.(For those of you who don’t know, that’s what Trump called NFL players who supported Colin Kaepernick)

Attention averted. Crisis converted to dirtying a race, where black is a stain, erased and covered, paving an off-white way. This country has studied and evolved through history, never learning how not to repeat its bigotry. We have smarter technology and faster ways to travel, but still use racism, hate, and violence as the tool to write a clear message stating, Women, LGBTQ, and Minority lives don’t matter. Also affirming Black lives never have.

The United Segregated America elected its role model-Master Professor Emeritus with a specialty in discriminating and dividing us. Transforming from the elephant in office to the bull running wild. Destroying and leaving its shit as evidence for the world to breathe and be stuck in. Using the propaganda of the sly news to spread lies because they are more convincing than truths.

Then something happened. We became entertained in a different way. BLACK PANTHER showed the beast to be reckoned with, and conquered all with its proud culture kings and mightier queens. Black culture showed its creed. Killmonger was Malcom X to T’challah’s Dr. King.

We once again rose up after Moonlight could no longer block out the hate we received from other cultures because, we were still overshadowed by a world living in la la land. (I cannot let that one go.) I am amazed how sneakily and unnoticed it goes when they steal our soul. Dame Dash puts it best, they are culture vultures getting paid and full from our pain.

So, When KRS ONE said, rap is how we listen, hip hop is how we live. (I paraphrased). He Stated an obvious message, listening to black culture, is more than surviving. It’s living. And like the title, Hip Hop advises. We chef up food for thought like Raekwon, or Snoop and Martha to make something special. Something of our own, and Lawd have mercy, they sure love our food. They love our soul, ironically, it’s so Goodie, it makes the world have a mob mentality.

From the hymns sung through full lips, to the swaying of our rhythmic hips. From the jazzy splits, to the stomping and smooth walking of our feet, we spread love, and reported the real news by telling the world it’s blues. The music was more than good, Yeezy Ye’s included. Even though he needs a Pusha — (T)wo from someone other than his wife, he is a perfect example of expression through pain. Nas let out what they didn’t want us to know, they were scared of us and shot the kid because they would rather the world see us as ghosts.

T.I. reigned supreme. Meek Mill, a man the opposite of his name, showed his fearless heart. He caused a little ruckus and was judged by uncle law. He defined our culture. Hell no, it’s not because he went to jail, it’s because he suffered through every possible (L)oss and still prevailed, coming out as a boss. Rhapsody, elegant and definitively, stated-she is that feeling! Black thought — that name describes his level of excellence and mental wealth. He has the Roots to it all. A live band, playing alongside a thought-provoking artist, one of the reasons the world sees and lives hip hop. They are on repeat every night, giving Jimmy Fallon life.

This year has been a reminder of what was already known. Black culture is the heart of all art. We celebrate ours and others, even when being torn apart. We stand, even when getting whipped to our knees. Our voices will never be muted because of our belief.

Jay rock put out that dope that had us sprung. SZA , made us lose it with her control. Jorja Smith mesmerized, and Ella Mai, made you want to find someone to hold. Vince is the new staple, Nipsey’s Hussle showed us YG’s are the best. 69 and Tre-way f*ucked the game with no rest. Durk, and G-herbo are cold blooded. Slim thug, Z-ro, Sauce Walka, Bun B and Propane, Texas has too many fire artists for me to name. Much respect to J-prince and Master P for everything they accomplished.

Nick Grant-(ed) us with his lyrical gifts. J. cole, gave us even more soul. The god named Charlamagne gave us something special through a book. He left the world shook revealing its pain. Showing through the title alone, societies feelings when interacting with black folk. A wide lens influencing how we view ourselves.

We are here to stay. Black women should feel secure when watching Issa Rae. Thank the stars for Nicki Minaj, she helped black barbies fly off the shelves. Wayne came back; Young boy NBA is like an underrated Iverson in the game. Kevin gates is scary good. Tee keeps it grizzly. All eyes on Daniel Caesar, Khalid, Kehlani, Jessie Reyez.

Hip hop culture has run wild and free planting it’s prosperous seed. From Gucci, to Blac youngsta, Drake, Eminem, 6lack, Belly and Mozzy. The Migos 2, broke the chainz of the game. Kodac snapped, Maino repped. Jimmy helped Dip set it, and the beloved Dave, showed his style and became the beast of the east.

Rest in Power to all the lives lost. Blacks are the only race with a generational holocaust. Freddie Gibbs kept gangster fresh and has the album cover of the year. Childish Gambino aka Donald glover reminded everyone how much they love the A — boogie and Cassanova 2x made you remember, to protect what’s under the hood because This is America and they think we’re always up to no good.

Asap and Skepta gave us a new hustlers prayer. Black culture doesn’t approve of anyone nosy, but we loved when Cardi B invaded our privacy. She exposed another world secret. They love our sexuality. Then, Idris Elba was named sexiest man and graced the cover of a magazine.

I haven’t seen or felt this since the fresh prince was the only real show on television, and rap music busted into the world birthing a new generational mindset of learning through music. Not Since spike and Denzel. Since Mary J’s voice put the world under a spell. Black images on magazines, which previously would have never been seen. Images and sounds across the world of black beauty.

Jay and B are the wave. They took tidal and drowned the competition. Then boarded Princes message and told them we won’t be their slave. Ava Duvernay and Courtney Kemp Agboh showed power, by breaking and literally re-writing the rules. Full blackish shows are taking control of the empire. Women are running this mutha.

Black culture educates about lessons that were missing in school and religion. Dave Chapelle , Tiffany Haddish and Kevin are the heart of comedy. Steve, D.L., Tracey and Ced showed the last OG’s can still entertain.

We have come a long way. Once public enemies, Wu Tang Clan, who, because they are intelligent, black and more than one, were looked at as a gang. Because the brilliant, but notorious NWA. Sadly, even with our success, some still view us that way.

Revolt, which is owned by Diddy (sorry for your loss, but at least you kept your sense of humor shouting out all the single dads) has a show called State of The Culture. It’s hosted by the BEAUTIFUL Remy, who has always been and is literally about to become a MA. She drops knowledge bombs. Also, by, Scotti BEAMING with beauty. Her vulnerability, and composed emotion cause commotion. She has a reserved dominance. Jinx who looks, dresses, and speaks like a smooth, but as Remy would joke, criminal, savvy cultural sense. Joe Budden surprised me the most. He represented A black power move focused on inclusion.

Lebron, Diddy, and French Montana built schools, and AKON is providing actual power for his people.

BlacKkKlansmen, another joint by Spike, who put it in the punch again, lured white people to the theater to watch how brilliant black people are. Antoinette Nwandu wrote a play called Pass Over, that made you feel like you were revisiting a nostalgic nightmarish dream.

Black and Hip-Hop culture has always been more. More than what society teaches the world to believe. But here’s what it doesn’t teach and what you need to know. The nightmare comes true when the world denies that Black and hip- hop culture are the dream.

Anthony Markland

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