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‘Legitimizing Moment’

TEDx MidAtlantic gives hip-hop another 'legitimizing moment'

TEDxMidAtlantic gives hip-hop another ‘legitimizing moment’

By Gil Perkins

Jay Z published ‘Say Hello’ on his American Gangster album. On the song, Jay invokes the same ‘Dark Skinned Jermaine’ epithet to draw a sharp contrast to his advanced social status. (Scott Gries – GETTY IMAGES)Since its inception nearly 40 years ago, hip hop has often been regarded by dominant music culture as a base aesthetic. And hip-hop’s journey to “respectability” has been a long one: First, in the 1980’s, Yo! MTV Raps helped make it mainstream. Then it gained acceptance when DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince  took hip hop’s first Grammy Award 10 years later. Most recently, Common performed at the White House and seized another legitimizing moment for the art form. But while hip-hop has become mainstream music today, its inherent literary genius is still suspiciously neglected.

Until now…

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