U.S. Senate pays homage to hip hop

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Did you know that the United States Senate designated August 11, 2021 as Hip Hop Celebration Day?

Yes, you heard that right. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced a resolution paying homage to hip hop, and it passed with unanimous consent.

But the senators didn’t just devote one day to hip hop. They designated August 2021 as Hip Hop Recognition Month and November 2021 as Hip Hop History Month.

Why August 11?

According to S.Res.331, hip hop was born at a Back To School Jam organized on August 11, 1973 in the Bronx, New York. That’s where DJ Kool Herc, a Jamaican American whose real name is Clive Campbell introduced it to the world.

Not only did the style stick, but the Senate also recognizes that hip hop “has become a culture” that spans across the US, and it's a worldwide phenomenon.

The Senate recognized that hip hop is more than music: it’s lyricism, dance, fashion, and art.

The origin of things is often blurred, if not buried, so it’s commendable that the resolution acknowledges that hip hop artists and the supporters were originally people of African heritage. Hip hop is mainstream now, but it’s not as if the government always embraced it or the masses associated themselves with hip hop or those in the hip hop community.

In addition to designating a day and two months to hip hop appreciation, the Senate “recognizes the contribution of hip hop to art and culture.” The resolution says that it’s from hip hop that other genres of music were born—Hyphy on the West Coast, Trap in the South, Drill in the Midwest.

Hip Hop recognition lingers in the house

S.Res.331 was introduced and passed on July 29—swift and easy.

But its sister resolution in the House, H.Res.579, was introduced on August 6, enough time to make it official before August 11. But it was referred to the education and labor committee where it still sits.

August is almost gone. So, will the House at least make a move before November?

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