HIP HOP. . .This thing called Hip Hop. This music called Hip Hop. This LOVE called Hip Hop. A Dark Love, a Black Feminine LOVE, which has spread all over the world. One of the musical genres of Black American/African-American culture, with it having its roots in blues (one of the aesthetics of Southern Black American culture). And more than simply rhythm, beats, and the coolness aura of hip hop, its power is one which tells a story. A story of African-American/Black American, urban youth from the Bronx, New York.
That cultural storytelling through the use of block parties is one which illuminates this love story. Birthed from African-American/Black American women, it foretells of cultural realities of Black women’s culture. The fluidity, synchronicity, invisible energies; and allure or darkness’ sensation continues to flow through this rhythm of love.
One of the beauties of travel is how you can find music in some of the most authentic places. In Cairo, the culture of Hip Hop has not only been embraced, but is being performed by young Egyptian artists who have been inspired from the Queen Latifahs, Tupacs, McLytes, A Tribe Called Quests, Lauryn Hills, KRS Ones, Run-D.M.C.s, De La Souls, Salt-N-Pepas, and Notorious BIG’s of the world.
At the American University in Cairo, teaching Hip Hop in the Department of Athletics has propelled one to return back to the source. The foundation and origin of Hip Hop, from which this energy came. A source of invisible energies, that forced a culture of people to recognize that power. Creating and bringing that invisible energy into dynamic, sporadic, fast-paced, slow motion movements. That connective energy which allows fans to see the miracle and work of the Black feminine. From Hip Hop Divas and groups such as TLC, Yo Yo, Rage, Azealia Banks, Mondays (2:00pm) and Wednesdays (3:00pm) of the main athletics room is filled with feminine dames and sounds of Hip Hop’s maidens!
Hailing from the Bronx, New York, from urban, Black American/African-American youth, the art of teaching Hip Hop in Cairo to AUC Students, forces the skill of creativity. And most importantly, it forces an age old African tradition of attuning oneself to the beat. Yes, THE BEAT. Or as artist Azealia Banks would say THE BIG BEAT!
The first step of teaching Hip Hop in the Department of Athletics at the American University in Cairo is making students who have never taken a Hip Hop class before, to be comfortable. Knowing that Black art forms such as Hip Hop, are not learned by “memorizing moves.” Improvisation and feeling power sources, yet to be seen, is key.
Comfortable feelings of attuning to a culture, and a women’s culture that many Egyptian women have not been attuned to is key in the teaching of Hip Hop at AUC’s Department of Athletics. And it is the story. . .Hip Hop turns into understanding the story of one chapter and culture in American Her/History. In many respects, one is teaching one part of U.S. Her/History and culture. The story of a people who did not die. . .but who created!
And in the Hip Hop classes, taught by Lauren K. Clark (a Black American/African-American flower who has come to Cairo), the sharing of this story will inspire the Egyptian dames who chose to take a break from the daily stresses of classes, exams, and all the other responsibilities that come with the college life.
Telling the story, seeing the story. . .and DANCING the STORY. A story called Hip Hop.