WORDS BY ANISH PETIT
In times of desperate need, what do we look for? Hope, love, motivation, answers… the list goes on and will differentiate depending on each individual person and what they consider to be fulfilling. As we traverse through the unforgiving, ever-changing jungle of surprises and challenges that we call life, we all face hurdles that we feel we have to overcome in order to live the happiest life we possibly can; at the end of the day, life is short (so they say), so live it to the fullest.
We are all trying to lead the lives we desperately want to obtain, but often in the process of doing so we tend to cross paths with things that may slow down the process of finding what we feel we need. It becomes easy to fall into the mind-state that you’re alone or lost. These unhealthy thoughts and emotions can be detrimental to the maintenance of one’s psyche.
Who do we turn to… friends? Oh, you mean those who can easily, at any given opportunity, leave your side and walk away without consideration of the trust they so effortlessly tossed on the ground and stomped out – leaving you feeling worthless and unwanted? Family? What about family – those that we are bound to through blood, whom we are cared for and nurtured by through each stage of our lives? Unfortunately, as much as they may possess the power to shine light on the darkest of situations, they also wield the ability to block the light we crave for at the end of a dark, lonely tunnel.
If there’s one thing that I’ve found myself consistently relying on in my day-to-day on-goings, it’s the unstoppable force of Hip-Hop – the glue that cements sanity to what would otherwise be my feeble, unstable mind.
People can leave my life, money can be taken from me, and love can diminish as easily as a candle flame in gale-force winds. But music, Hip-Hop, is always there, and will continue to be there, permanently. You can remove it from my phone and take my CD’s and vinyl’s, but Hip-Hop has the everlasting effect of following me everywhere whilst continuously surging throughout my thoughts; seemingly being the reason my blood runs warm. This true artistry is the reason I am the person that I am today.
Music, specifically Hip-hop, has helped from a young age to build me as a person. It is not only an impeccable platform for storytelling and expression of oneself, but also incredibly relatable. Hip-hop continues to support me through life; it keeps me standing in times when it feels like it would be easier to lay down and accept gruesome defeat. It’s more than music; it’s a lifestyle. It is a weapon against all that is hated and simultaneously a shield against all that is hating. Within the art form, I find peace. I find solace. I find answers. The most astounding thing about it all being that if I don’t find the exact answers to the questions I ask, I seem to be presented with new critical questions to ask myself (as oppose to asking society/external forces).
When I am thinking wrongly, or when I am asking ignorantly, hip-hop seems to put my mind back on track… or at least point it in the right direction.
This far in, you may be asking why I haven’t mentioned a single artist yet, and the answer is simple. What are the similarities between you and me? Equally, what are the differences? Actually, don’t answer that. The beauty of hip-hop really lies in the individuality of it, the many open doors it provides its listeners with, and the acquired tastes and preferences that the genre caters to. Why should I say any artist on this article as if they are worthy of a mention, yet your favourite rapper isn’t? EVERYONE is different, and EVERYONE is capable of finding an artist that truly connects with them and hits home regardless of whether they like it or not. A hip-hop artist that makes a difference in my life may not even have a slight effect on yours, and vice versa.
So, why do I love hip-hop? In summary, I love it because it’s me. It’s become an integral part of who I am, it’s part of my daily routine, its part of my entire mind, it’s the building blocks to a lot of my understanding. The power of hip-hop truly lies within its ability to grasp me and pull me in, and keep my attention locked within its universe of opinions and stories. I’ve heard stories of hip-hop fixing lives, bettering lives, and most importantly saving lives.
The genre seems to have this empowering force that can be found no where else. Sometimes I really do feel it surging throughout me. Trust me, it’s there – and one day it may just save your life too.