Young Guru: Hip Hop Is Not A Color Based Thing


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(AllHipHop News) The discussion surrounding race and Hip Hop has become a big topic over the last year. From Lord Jamar saying white artists are “guests” in the culture, to Macklemore’s controversial Grammy win over Kendrick Lamar, to Forbes initially claiming “Hip Hop Is Run By A White, Blonde, Australian Woman” via Iggy Azalea – the conversation continues to be ongoing.

[ALSO READ: Hip Hop’s Anger Over Macklemore’s Grammy Win Is About Respect Not Race]

Hard Knock TV caught up with veteran engineer Young Guru to get his perspective on the topic. The longtime Jay Z associate connects Hip Hop with Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have A Dream Speech.” For Guru, it’s not about the color of your skin, but the level of your talent.

Hip Hop has always had that different face. If we really go back and you really talk about Hip Hop music and Hip Hop culture some of your greatest graffiti writers like Zephyr and these guys were white guys. People try to take out the Spanish and Puerto Rican influence in some of the greatest B-boys and some of the greatest DJs in the beginning of Hip Hop.

You can’t tell me that the Beastie Boys are not Hip Hop. You can’t tell me MC Serch is not Hip Hop. I think that people – when they look at when it spreads, the audience themselves may not be Hip Hop. Macklemore’s audience may not be the biggest Hip Hop audience, but you can’t say that Macklemore himself is not Hip Hop. People are going to have their own expression.

Hip Hop is not a color based thing. It’s actually the one place where Dr. King’s dream has been realized. Where it doesn’t really matter what color you are. It matters how dope you are. That’s all it is. That’s what the content of character means. How good are you at what you claim you do? That’s Hip Hop. The only place you could ever see that.

During the interview Guru also speaks on his time teaching at the University of Southern California, the importance of documenting Hip Hop’s history, and the difference between a producer and a beat maker.

[ALSO READ: Young Guru Shares His Extensive Vinyl Collection In “Crate Diggers” (VIDEO)]

Watch Guru’s full interview below.