Reportback from The Co-Optation of Hip Hop: Speakers Part One


On January 7, the All Peoples Revolutionary Front hosted The Co-Optation of Hip Hop at Lincoln High School's Black Box Theater. These videos show the first two speakers, DJ Charlie Rock and Abel Macias. The first video includes the intro to the event by hosts Lorain and Enrique. Samples of their words are included below.

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DJ Charlie Rock
Origins and Foundations of Hip Hop: Before the Consumerism and Capitalism Takeover
"Right now i think that hip hop is in a dark place… This is how the media and the capitalism of consumers treat the dancers. Watch music videos. When you see dancers in these videos. How often do you see their faces? Never. They always highlight the artist. But they want to use BBoys in their videos and their commercials to highlight their product, but they will never show their faces… but how I know some of those dancers, I know them by their moves, because I have been around them for so long. Oh, that's so and so. Why aren't they showing their face? …"

"When people are using that word Hip Hop they are using it very loosely. Its really irritating to people like us that really love the culture, because we preserve it in a different way. They want to do it because they want to make money off it. Say for instance 24 Hour Fitness. Hip Hop aerobics. Come on now, just call it aerobics. Hip Hop is not an exercise, it's a culture."

DJ Charlie Rock moved from Detroit in 1976 to San Diego, where his life began. In 1977, Charlie Rock was introduced to the dance style called Popin while living in military housing in Murphy Canyon, where he was taught by Trevor Owens. Charlie Rock became a member of rap group "The Vicious Beat Posse" in 1988 and was recruited into the Rock Steady Crew in 1993. Charlie Rock continues to hold on to his DJ Roots as a Hip Hop and Soulful DJ and is very active within the Hip Hop Culture worldwide
Abel Macias
Cultural Organizing: Strategizing the Beat of a Revolution
"Because of capitalism and the contradictions of capitalism, it was those conditions that created the poverty in the Bronx where Hip Hop came out. People were living in these government housing projects where it was like a war zone. And if you have ever been in those conditions, you try to get out of those conditions. One of things that people did to get out of that place was to create something, they made something, they made Hip Hop. They created breakdancing, they created BBoying, they started to do graffiti…"

"Capitalism created the conditions where Hip Hop came out of. Now that hasn't changed, what has changed is Hip Hop. The foundations are still there, but then capitalism saw this opportunity and said look, look at all these people, how can we make money off of this?' And that's where we're at today. So we have the opportunity to take Hip Hop back from the capitalist culture. They took it from us, but it belongs to us, and we gotta to take it back."

Abel Macias is a professor of Chicano Studies at San Diego City College, specializing in history and culture. Abel is on the Board of Directors for the Centro Cultural de la Raza and the American Federation of Teachers and is a member of the Party of Socialism and Liberation. Abel has been involved in organizing in various communities for over twenty years and continues to love hip hop culture and sees it as an instrument for engaging the masses.

Translation Note: The Inglés version of this content is being displayed because the Español translation is unavailable.

Hip Hop Belongs to the People. Artist: Chris G., Writerz Blok

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cooptationofhiphopcharlierock010712.mp4 || DJ Charlie Rock

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cooptationofhiphopabelmacias010712.mp4 || Abel Macias