This I Believe

Marissa - Santa Monica, California
Entered on June 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Free spirited break dance crews dance on every street corner, a car which passes by me bumps my favorite Run D.M.C song, teenagers create multi-colored graffiti art on the side of the wall, a group of emcees challenge each other with huddled up gazers at their sides.

I believe in hip hop.

I believe in this art form looked upon so contreversialy, simply because of the power it holds in todays society. Hip hop is more than a genre of music, it’s a culture, a community, a lifestyle. Its the culture in which rap emerged. Hip hop is is one of the few art forms that openly deals with the harsh and candid realities of life.

It must be said that Hip Hop and Rap are two separate things. Rap is the musical aspect of hip hop, but there is alot more to it such as fashion, dance, poetry, art, and values. More than anything, I believe in the values that run through hip hop’s veins.

The idea of hard work and perseverance are what drive hip hop artists to the top of their game.

Other beliefs in the hip hop world include open mindedness, considering hip hop was so new the people were very open to it. Also creativity, and being free spirited, speaking your mind, letting the world hear what you have to say, and doing what you please are core beliefs. I believe in the hip hop philosophy of following your own consciense. Hip Hop is a movement and all of these values are represented in it.

“If you believe then you can achieve

Just look at me

Against all odds, though life is hard we carry on

Livin’ in the projects, broke with no lights on

To all the seeds that follow me

protect your essence

Born with less, but you still precious”


Lyrics such as these influence me to keep going. Some of the lyrics can deal with very serious issues, but we can still relate to the feeling that is being expressed in our own personal issues. When my parents first got their divorce I was at a downpoint. I had no inspiration, no motivation, nothing to keep me moving forward. I felt very unstable. I needed an outlet of expression, so I turned to hip hop. I became engaged in hip hop dance and lyric and was consumed by it. It kept me focused. No matter what hardships I was dealing with or at any other point in my life, I was reminded that no matter how bad a situation is, it could always be worse. I see artists and every day people making something out of there lives, when they started out with barely anything. This proves that anything in life is obtainable.

“If the truth is told, the youth can grow

Then learn to survive until they gain control

Nobody says you have to be gangstas,

Read more, learn more, change the globe” Nas