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Afrika Bambaataa Breaks Down the 5 Parameters of Hip-Hop Culture
Legendary OG of Hip-Hop, Afrika Bambaataa, recently sat down with VladTV and discussed the distinction between Hip-Hop’s music and its culture, and how the world’s voice has impacted popular American Hip-Hop.
First off, the Zulu Nation founder addressed Star’s comment that Hip-Hop is a genre and not a culture, saying, “Hip-Hop as a music can take you anywhere, from space, to political, to silliness.” He then clarifies, “So, Hip-Hop could go anywhere it wants to go as a music.”
Speaking further on the topic, Bambaataa asserts, “There’s definitely different laws and regulations dealing with it.” After naming off the first four elements of Hip-Hop, he then expounds upon one element in particular, knowledge. Although he lists it as the the fifth element, Afrika considers it to be the most important, saying, “knowledge, is really the first element.”
Soon the conversation segues into artist appreciation, and Bambaataa discloses that Cee-Lo Green, Missy Elliott, and Busta Rhymes are among his favorites because of their progressive minds which greatly impact their creativity. He contends, “Those are the artists that I respect to the fullest. They don’t care what the industry say, or what somebody else say.”
The full clip also includes his thoughts on newer artists like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and J. Cole, plus his opinion on Iggy Azalea being a foreign emcee who’s making such a huge impact in the culture.