Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE)– The Green movement has affected the music industry and has created a new following among the hip hop generation. “As hip hop gets back to the basics, ‘the Green movement’ is cultivating a change and becoming more mainstream instead of underground,” said Belle Young, 25, a senior health science student from Gainesville, Georgia. Hip hop was initiated as a cultural movement by inner-city youth, mostly by African-Americans in New York City, in the early seventies. Since then, hip hop has become international and evolved into a way of life for an entire generation, from fashion and language to a way of thinking.
With numerous genres already, hip hop has added a new one to its list: “Green” hip hop. “Green” hip hop is filled with eco-friendly lyrics and messages of saving Mother Earth. “Sustainability has always been in hip hop, going back to Africa. Hip hop has always been about providing and connecting back to the earth,” said Tem Blessed, an eco-friendly rapper from New Bedford, Massachusetts. Tem Blessed was also a key speaker at the Power Shift 2009 environmental summit in Washington, D.C., attended by many Historically Black College and University students in February.
In many ways, it was inevitable that hip hop was going to join in on the Green movement. With hip hop evolving along with technology, hip hop artists are doing their share to make a difference for the environment. Many hip hop artists, such as The Roots, Talib Kaweli, and Kardinal Offishall, are also starting to incorporate sustainability into their music.
“Conscious rappers are going ‘Green.’ Groups such as Strong Arm Steady have released their albums online in order to not put out more plastic compact discs,” said Asa Rice, former urban promotions representative for Warner Brother Records. “The Internet and downloading have proved to be a source for the hip hop community and the ‘Green’ movement,” Rice added.
“Since the election of President Obama, the African-American community feels that their voices are finally being heard and a change has occurred,” said Chase Dotten, assistant production accountant for 51 Minds Entertainment. “With change brings change in our messages, and I believe hip hop will evolve and create a following where artist lyrics will become more socially, environmentally and politically stimulating,” Dotten said.