Hip-hop is one of the most misunderstood and disrespected cultures in history. It has a long legacy, one stemming from Afrikan roots, modeled from griot storyteller-musicians from West Afrika as well as freeform jazz, funk and soul. The whole culture is based on the precepts of peace, love, unity and having fun and emerged from troubled New York neighbourhoods where community elders were tired of seeing the endless slaying of young blacks and latinxs. The block parties brought the community together in celebration and saw rival gangs solving disputes through dance battles, the environments being reimagined through graffiti, DJs reinventing funk into the drum-heavy breakbeats and MCs who would control the party, address the public and make sure that everyone was having fun, while being educated. The spiritual significance of hip-hop is often lost to the uninitiated, but the culture was all about the circle, the cypher and the bridging and sharing of communities. MC actually stands for Master of Ceremony, a nod to the ritual and communion that birthed civilisation from the heart of Afrika. A displaced populace whose history, languages and land had been stolen from them suddenly returned back to the art of ritual, seeing royalty emerging from the rubbles of the broken society they had been forced to inhabit.
It was all going so well, with afrocentric poetry that told stories of the diaspora and their struggle for survival, moving through the world and catching the ears and hearts of youths worldwide. Unfortunately, as most readers will know, hip-hop was infiltrated and corrupted by big business and now is often used to spread negative stereotypes of the black experience and an obsession of misogyny, crime, drugs, gangs and violence, the very thing the artform was created to transcend.
At Hip Hop Palace, we say that this phase is over and we have had enough of the attack on our culture. We have been reduced from kings and queens, warriors and sages to B’s and N’s, hoes and thugs. By weaving together the artforms of dance, rap, circus, graffiti and turntablism, we took Underbelly Southbank by storm on April 26th 2019, with heart centered, world-class performance that reminded our audience that they too are royalty. We don’t think of royalty as some elite concept of separation and control of resources, but as the birthright of sovereign people. We now bring our show to Rich Mix on November 7th 2019 as part of Certain Black’s Circus, Circus, Circus festival, merging the exciting worlds of dance, beatbox, burlesque, circus and music, hosted by The Jester Kings: Marv Radio and Mutsolace. The night will be a rags to riches story with a difference, reminding us that the riches have been with us the entire time and the illusion of hip-hop being a low brow, low society culture is over. Join us in celebrating hip-hop as the most exciting and unique cultural phenomenon of the last century. Let’s take the throne and reclaim our royalty.
Thursday 7th November at Rich Mix, 7.30 Hip Hop Palace – True values of Hip Hop are all too often, hijacked by consumer culture, becoming synonymous with bling lifestyle and connotations detracting from core Hip Hop art forms.
This multi-faceted performance night celebrates the empowerment of minorities, unity and collective fun with classic elements including dance, beatboxing & spoken word. Join dance artist Muti Musafiri and beatboxer, sound artist and theatre maker Marv Radio for this one-off night of Hip Hop innovation.