By Spyridon “Spin” Nicon“How did we get here?” pondered class participant Andy McCone at Phinney Neighborhood Association’s new series titled “Comprehending Hip Hop.”
A very insightful and somewhat esoteric question: not necessarily asking how did we come to exist on planet earth, or even how did we ultimately end up enrolling in this engaging course offered by the PNA, but rather, how did hip hop get to this point?
Hip hop has racked up less than half a century of history, yet its ever-present force, full of incredible influence, wiggles its way into every corner of the globe. Hip hop unfurls a wide-open landscape for many and varied discussion topics.
You name it, hip hop can take you there–innovation, social trends, gentrification, intellectual property, perseverance, cultural appropriation, positivity in the face of inequality, and life expressed through the unheard voices of America.
I spend a fair amount of time thinking about how hip hop got to this point.
At the beginning of the school year, I commented on my neighbor Lauren Campbell’s fresh new kicks. Lauren’s school requires a uniform, so, of course, a definitive method of self-expression is one’s footwear. And what was Lauren sporting, you ask? Shell Toe Adidas.
Also known as “Superstars,” these are the same Adidas that the pioneering Queens trio RUN-DMC rapped about in 1986. The same Adidas that I bought at Chubby & Tubby on Aurora when I was in eighth grade. The same Adidas that became an iconic staple in hip hop fashion. Is it any coincidence that Lauren sought out these specific shoes as her generation embraces a resurgence of the late 80s and early 90s? Nope. Hip hop sets trends–trends that inspire for decades.
|Photo by Paige Campbell—older sister of Lauren, senior at Ballard High, young thespian and budding photographer|
At Comprehending Hip Hop’s fifth and final fall session–an interactive rap analysis and discussion of the MC –class member Pierson Brooks passed along his appreciation by saying, “It was so refreshing to discuss hip hop in such an open and multigenerational setting.” I agree. We all had a blast, and we look forward to more of these stimulating conversations.
Register for the upcoming class series!
Mondays, 7-9 pm
February 6-March 13
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