We Are Hip Hop Festival

Irasema Gonzalez

Hip-Hop is our CHOICE, it's up to us to have a voice and make it positive or negative!

“Aint one thing positive about hip-hop. Nothing but people struggling out the struggle with nothing else but poverty and struggle to race to. Youth turn to hip-hop because that’s all they are shown. South side stand up…” statement made by Omar Fernandez which seemed to stir the pot on our Facebook 6th Annual Event page. Clearly there can be many points of view on hip-hop which is the great thing about it. Controversy has been with hip-hop since the beginning.
 ”Incorrect.” was Sengvilay Aphay’s response.  Another friend of ours stated, “Hip Hop came from poverty and turned into a political movement as well as a billion dollar industry. Youth turn to it because it’s all over the media - the negative side. We have to show them the positive side to balance what’s real and what’s fake. That’s what this event is for. To show the positive side of Hip Hop….”
We here at We Are Hip-Hop Festival know that there is a positive side of hip hop indeed! Our festival is “For the People, By the People”. We respect Omar and his point of view and speaking up but we here feel the opposite. Sengvilay then commented “Hip Hop was created by the poor and oppressed. Creates its own culture. DJing, MCing, BREAKING, POPPING, LOCKING, Street Art!! What?! Hip Hop is world wide now. There are international Breaking battles that unite the world and gives individuals from poor families a chance to shine…..nuff said.” 
 Ramon Loeza then turned the tables and commented, “Hip Hop is what it is, not what is was…Lets not romantisize this facade of Hip Hop being something that will bridge a gap with the problems of society. Dont get me wrong there are a very small handful of artists that actually push positive change and raise more awareness of the actual struggles being played out on a daily basis and dont push the stereotypical agenda that most “hip hop” acts try to push in order to make money…”
I also agreed with Ramon. Yes it is true that there are not too many artists that base there music on things other than material objects like money, cars, and clothes and not to forget the degradation of women because of popular demand and the glamorization of mainstream hip hip. However this is exactly why the We R Hip Hop Festival was started 6 years ago to prove to people that there ARE indeed positive aspects to the world of hip-hop such as anti-violence, PEACE, being healthy etc.
Being a youth, myself, I can say that this is not the only thing that I have been shown. In our day and age music is easier to find more than ever. And if you have done any research the younger and younger the kids are the more they are using the internet.  So I say that Hip-Hop is not the only thing we are shown, IF ANYTHING HIP-HOP IS OUR CHOICE AND WE CHOOSE TO DO WHAT WE WILL WITH IT, IT IS UP TO US TO MAKE THESE CHANGES AND HAVE A POSITIVE PURPOSE WITHIN THIS INDUSTRY.

-Elizabeth Del Valle & Lizette Garza

positivity, negativity, hip-hop controversy, Pilsen, Chicago