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#2189 - Friday, July 1, 2005 - Editor: Jerry Katz  

"Hiphop must also be seen as a way to actualize the aspects of ourselves that we block out constantly; a way to overcome fear and our ego, a way for us to enjoy all that life has to offer."  

"Being Hiphop is attained from practicing the elements in a transformative way, to the point where you come to the conclusion that there is no difference between my inside and outside worlds, they are the same."  

Hip Hop. Hate it? Love it? It's spiritual. It's nondual. And nondualty is not only for white 50-somethings. Nonduality has a significant, smart, and growing youth awareness. What better way to show what nonduality's about than through the extremely influential form of music and culture known as hip hop? The article included is unedited. You'll find uncorrected spelling errors, or maybe they're supposed to be there: I don't totally understand the whole hip hop thing.  

In any case, Toto, I don't think we're in Tiruvannamalai anymore.  


The Art of Being Hiphop pt.1  

by J-Who Worldwise the Sun of Hiphop  

Whenever writing about a subject like spirituality you have to be careful. Everyone's got their own
opinions, as well as their own fears about what it is they think they do or don't know. Personally
I feel obligated to report on truth that goes beyond our feelings of fear and opinion by putting
out into the air what many have known to be true across many different traditions. That way if you
don't believe me you can go and look for yourselves. Combining Hiphop with spirituality brings up
more fear and terror for people, because just like the world of religion and spirituality, (which
are two different things) people cling to their reference point whether it be the infamous
arguements between the positivists and negativists camps, or the underground vs. mainstream feud
where both sides im afriad to say, fail to fully express Hiphop Kulture all together.    

DEL: tha funkee homosapien    

Hopefully this article will both enlighten and scare the shit out of most of you as well as illicit responses
of hate, confusion and thanks. Perhaps we should start with an discussion of what is Hiphop. The
most commonly thought of definition would go something like "an urban form of musical expression
that combines rhythmic wordplay and repetitive beats...". Hiphop is most commonly thought of as
music, and I can't blame anyone for saying so. That's what's mostly out there, people using Hiphop
as a medium for having a good time and making money. Other adepts would say something like " a
worldwide counterculture that containins its own language, rules, and unique forms of expression
etc. that emphasizes individuality and anti mainstream values that serve to act as a voice for
disenfranchised youth". That's true too. People all over the world use Hiphop as a means of not
just having a voice, but for political activism and creating awareness of a variety of social
issues. Another group of adherents would say Hiphop is something that cannot be defined, it is the
essence of us, "I AM HIPHOP", it is the way that "God" speaks through and to us. All three of these
definitions are correct. None of them alone can accurately describe Hiphop. Spirituality seems to
fit the third definition, but lets look first one of the more commmon definitions of spirituality.
Many believe spirituality refers to the quality of ones relationship with the essence of all
existence, spirit. Religion is one of the practices of ataining that relationship, but whatever it
is we practice can bring us to a deeper understanding of reality. No matter where we are in our
spiritual life we can all have glimpses into our deepest selves because spirit is everpresent. It
was there before time. So spirituality can be present at any level of anyones understanding of
Hiphop Kulture. However it makes it very hard to express authentic spirituality when wrapped up in
a merely egotistical (definition 1) or ethnocentric worldview (definition 2) because both of those
views are about either "I" or "We"; both points miss the mark of "Us" or spirit which is the
whole(definition 3). Definition 3 is the way that most do not look at Hiphop and if they do it is
purely a mental association, so why should we care? Spirituality has not only been denied in Hiphop

Kool Keith

Kulture but around the world in all disciplines. Many in the fields of biology, medicine,
psychology etc. have dismissed the existence of primordial essence. At the same time human beings
all throughout time have developed ways to go about reaching this seemingly invisible essence and
make it a part of their lives, because it provides them with more fullfillment than anything in the
strictly material world ever could. People believe in what the consensus says is legitimate;
anything else isn't real, but if you look at the consensus, everyone looks like they hate
themselves or that their ego's are so out of control as to one day lead to their untimely demise.
Ultimately the reason why it is important to look at how spirituality and Hiphop connect is because
spirit is both the Ground and the Goal of everything, meaning everything starts and ends with
spirit. It is the alpha and omega state of everything all the time, therefore if we as Hiphoppers
act shortsighted in the spiritual area, we in essence are foregoing our destinies as Hiphoppers by
relegating ourselves to the lower aspects of our existence. We are the cause of our own suffering
even when from the inside we have the yearning to be greater than weve ever seen ourselves. Before
I go on, I would like to say that the elements of Hiphop are a practice just as much as law is a
practice or martial arts is a practice or being a father is a practice. In all practices there are
lower areas of existence i.e. the law student, white belt or missing father and there are higher
areas i.e. supreme court judge, 10th degree black belt and the everpresent father. The question
then becomes if Hiphop is my practice then what the fuck am I doing it for? Money, the community,
consciousness? All three? Hiphop is really about figuring out where you are in its spectrum of
consciousness. You can make the decision to either regress to lower levels of its expression for
selfish reasons, stay where you are, or transcend your fear of losing what you think of as your
"self" and search for a deeper meaning to your expression. Unfortunately in our Kulture many are
blind to what their doing (usually with their music) and like swinging a machete in the dark, end
up hurting other people, usually themselves. Hiphop is powerful, but it does not have the power to
hurt. It is us being blind to the elements of Hiphop as a practice and not a way of life.
Practicing anything is just one aspect of your life, but you can't call yourself that practice. You
could say that your an emcee, but you'd be lying if you were a doctor or someone's son, or an
activist. All those things are practices in order to improve your current state of being. Being
Hiphop is attained from practicing the elements in a transformative way, to the point where you
come to the conclusion that there is no difference between my inside and outside worlds, they are
the same. When the b-boy fully imbraces the world the highs and the lows; When the categories are  


all reconciled and accepted, then life and art become synnonymous. Mos said it the best, whatever
you are doing Hiphop is doing. The reason why people die in Hiphop Kulture is because they don't
see that they must treat it as more than just a practice to make money or for social improvement.
That is the artists curse. Hiphop will not save you or the community, no more than the hand of God
will reach out of the sky and save you. Hiphop must also be seen as a way to actualize the aspects
of ourselves that we block out constantly; a way to overcome fear and our ego, a way for us to
enjoy all that life has to offer. A way for us to grab our evolution by the reigns as my man Born
would say. For now im afraid that's not where we are, but we can be. Practice makes perfect and
when we decide to use all of the elements as away to challenge ourselves, to look at the full
reality of our experiences, we will find much more functionality and fullfillment in what it is
that we call Being Hiphop. Next time...what would the Practice of Being Hiphop look like?  

~ ~ ~  

J-Who Worldwise the Sun of Hiphop is a Buddhist practitioner, family counselor and the head of
Hiphop Alive: Institute of Education, Consciousness and Integral Music

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