Hiyello! Today’s topic isn’t just a normal pick among the mostly talked topics categorised under Hip Hop. Certain experiences and observations made me think – how crews make us hip. The word “crew” is used by people around the world in two ways – a crew working on the ship or a dance crew in hip hop. In my opinion the latter one is only understood skin-deep but is another elephantine topic to be discussed later. Ask yourself – what is a crew? To make it easier –
Let us rewind and reflect a bit. Yo! Let’s decipher it.
There exist so many living beings on our planet like animals, mammals, birds, insects along with HUMANS. Living and prospering in groups is the most common practice amongst all of them. I am sure, Discovery and NatGeo have successfully educated y’all with it 😉
Pushing the jokes aside, the above stated is a fact and one of the reason to our existence until now. Humans being socially receptive are bestowed with discriminative power which helps them decipher information beyond materialism. They learn, flourish and achieve through knowledge obtained from their way of living and other environmental factors. Thus, living and prospering as groups made the process easier to understand. It occurred in Hip Hop as well. The crews brought in unification and education, hope, social awareness, providing support, entertainment, togetherness, belongingness and much more.
Gangs to Families, Guns to Knowledge.
NYC’s gang culture vanished eventually when gangs like Black Spades, Savage Skulls, Savage Nomads, Seven Immortals reformed into an organization called Universal Zulu Nation. Of course from them rooted the Mighty Zulu Kingz and Rock Steady Crew. These crews prosper in every generation because everyone in there shares the same vision; just like Bboy Amjad says.
The crews served the purpose of belongingness. The individuals helped uplift each other in order for the crew to flourish and be known. All problems were discussed, sometimes resolved and sometimes just vented out. To be precise, their problems were converted into an art form with people sharing similar stories and struggles. Their worries not only took form of the first five performing elements of hip hop but they witnessed more. Their sense of unification and education was also seen through the way they dressed as a crew.
Crews made the hip hop elements hip!
Back in the time, each crew would have a certain style of dressing. Printed and customized accessories, jackets, denims became traditional. Individuals take pride in wearing them. Can relate, right? We all love going back to a place where we find love and warmth. A crew serves it well and thus repping it bright is a natural human gesture of showing gratitude.
Same goes with the birth of slang in a particular group or hood. Homies hanging out together share a soul slang that makes them feel as a clan. Just like “Bantai bacchi bamai” is a slang code for “brother” in a city like Mumbai. Y’all must be using a different slang code in your mother tongue or slang. Language differs; but the feeling and meaning stays same.
And if you ask me about education; then recall all those post-cypher sessions when y’all sit, chill, talk, discuss and may be smoke up with your homies. Haha, JK! Actually these times together are much knowledgeable and yielding. An obvious way of exchanging shall be on the floor. These post-chilling sessions actually fill you with socio-political and spiritual knowledge. Sometimes every individual feels motivated, supported and hopeful about something they want to achieve together or individually. One obtains and nurtures this kind of energy consciously. That’s how a crew grows.
Art of digging your roots
Thus in my opinion, trying to find a crew to get fame or fast success is seriously pointless. Be a crew by heart and not just for the sake of being one. Be a family, not just a dance crew or any other crew in specific. Interact and love each other. Be aware of all the foundations you are standing on. Dig deep, it is important.
Word up brother! I can sense a lot of heads nodding in agreement that our generation is loosing the essence of it.. Digging deep doesn’t just make you understand the progress as a clan but also in yourself. To precisely sum it up, I take KRS-One’s words as gospel.
“Know thy self and thou shalt know, the universe and God”
The real meaning of digging is to realise that we are highly intellectual beings who are capable of surpassing animal instincts in order to understand the purpose of life. Hanging out with your crew makes the process easier obviously depending on the kind of company you are in. The Church gatherings or Satsangs held every few days help us communicate, grow, exchange and aim for a good peaceful life.
Hip hop now, is just a modern and a much sorted version of our ancient traditions and lifestyle. It’s a path to realization with the four Principles of Hip Hop as the pillars. Crews here are just the right medium to understand and experience it all. overcoming daily hardships or working towards a greater society. Thereby understand the instruments presented in a newer form by hip hop. Uplift your brothers!
Dig deep; into your soul and crew lineage. Respect your people. This era may lead us humans to development or destruction. Who knows what lies ahead? Inshort, just make sure you experience and learn it with your people. Show the world what is UNITY and someday I believe that we shall be at peace.
And again, I wanna thank all our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters for all the love they have shown us. Follow Do Your Research on Instagram and Facebook. They drop great knowledge. Thanks to them as well.
And on that note, share your crew stories with me in the comments. Your inspirations, slangs, fashion and any other stories. I would love to hear a lot more from you all and…
Hope to see y’all next time.