I consider myself lucky to be born on the 29th of December in the year of 1970. On the other side of my Mother’s womb awaited Afro’s, bell bottoms, black power and soul music. However amidst the black love lay a dark cloud mixed with despair, poverty, racism, violent protest and civil unjust. Soul music was the one constant that seem to make it all go away if only for a few minutes. I can remember my parents spinning the 12 inch vinyl’s and 45’s of Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, James Brown and so many more in our living room. There was a dark blue couch that looked like it was made of fur with two white leather straps across the arms. Crystal vases held fresh Crown and black musk incents filled the air. Often my Aunts, Uncles and their friends would gather at our place on the weekends to dance, play spades, drink and party. That feeling of family, joy and togetherness still warms my heart every time I hear one of the soul classics from back then.
It wasn’t until I started elementary school that I realized how messed up the world really was. I wasn’t in my little box anymore, protected by my parents, the music and family love. Racism was evident and still strong in the public schools back during the early 70’s. I fought in school every day because of racial remarks toward me from white kids and sometimes even my own kind. As African American’s we were so confused in school that we even hated ourselves. All we had really was the lyrics of Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Michael and the like. Soul music thrived on making people feel good; it took our minds away from the negativity of the world. But it always knew when it had to focus on the bad just as well. As the decade moved along, the bad economy, racism, dirty politics and poverty had begun to take its toll and the soul music couldn’t mask our feelings anymore.
A new generation had found a way to speak out through music but this time it would change the world and destroy anything or anyone in its path. Its content would be raw, bold and transcending. One might compare the wrath of Hip-Hop to a tsunami because nothing was going to stop this freight train. Fueled by desperation, police corruption, poverty, self-expression, crime, violence and soul, this new genre of music would stand on the shoulders of giants while trailblazing its way to unthinkable heights. This is the history of Hip-Hop; circa 1970-2010 in a three-book series; it is through this time travel that you will see how it became a multi-billion-dollar corporation and innovative industry. It is said to actually see something for what it is, you need to step away from it and look at it from a distance to see all the moving parts.