Words by Mass Dosage
Keep it GreenWassup? Welcome back to the FlipSide for 1998 - the column that covers Hip-Hop culture and related issues in depth - for all those heads out there who are ready! This the third and final year that I will be writing this column, and I think we've covered enough ground up 'til now to really focus on some important issues. So... kicking it off for 1998 we're going to look at the big picture, namely the future of this planet.
Hip-Hop as a culture is constantly criticising itself and its proponents - a characteristic which at times causes unnecessary divisions and petty arguments, but at other times benefits the culture as the harsh analysis leads to self-induced evolution. The problem is that Hip- Hoppers often become very short-sighted and view their culture as a microcosm, isolated from everything else going on in the world that doesn't directly threaten or benefit them. For Hip-Hop to survive in this changing world, we need to look to the future and find a way to esnure Hip-Hop's continued existance. To do this we need to make sure that those who truly understand and represent it, also exist - and this may mean becoming involved in issues which have very little to do with MC'ing, DJ'ing, Breaking or Aerosol Art.
Mention the word "green" to most heads and they'll immediately associate it with something they can roll up, light up and inhale. Recycling, deforestation and El Nino are non-issues in too many people's lives - from the hardest OG to the nerdiest internet freak. As a culture we can no longer afford to sit back and be apathetic while corporations and governments sacrifice our natural heritage to fuel the greedy, destructive consumer culture they are profiting off.
If we don't stand up and do something about this situation now it will soon be too late. That is no empty threat, it is a cold fact. This "I don't give a fuck about the world" attitude must stop or else the world will turn around and return the favour. How hardcore and real you think you are won't matter a damn thing in a world where there is no longer air that is fit to breathe. What do skills amount to in a world of depleted gene pools where disease and extinctions are the norm? Who cares how many Lexuses, Coups, Beamers and Benzes you own when there is no fuel left to power them?
Some of you reading this may think I'm being overly pessimistic, I honestly do not think so. The world as a whole is heading for a reality check, that will include people of all cultures - Hip-Hop or otherwise. Which leads us to an important question: what can I do? To answer that let me pose another question: How many times must it be said that each and every person can make a difference as an individual? Don't think you're too tough to be environmentally conscious, that line of thought is self-defeating. You have the power to recycle paper, plastic, glass and cans; you have the power to become a vegetarian; you have the power to walk whenever possible, instead of driving pollution into the atmosphere. You have the power to set an example for others to follow.
And ultimately, it is not even a question of power, it is a question of responsibility.