Hip-hop and I go way back
We first met in primary school
A friend I so desperately needed
Yet unsure about my own identity
I pushed her to the side
We didn’t meet again until secondary
It was legendary
She voiced my feelings
The struggles I faced
Understood my pain and stuck by me every day
She taught me how to be confident
Increased my knowledge
And cocooned me in a warm hug
She became my happy place, away from reality
How has hip-hop influenced you?
Growing up there was never anyone I could relate to. Little did I know that’s the case for most Punjabis. From the motherland (2% in India) to the west, we’re the minority for our whole existence. Floating in limbo, questioning my identity, all I ever wanted was acceptance or someone who could understand. I found solace in hip-hop. The music that touched my soul through meaningful stories. It gave me the strength to battle the world that once teased me. Hip-hop is more than a genre, it’s a voice for the underrepresented, a culture for the people. Holding a presence in my life, I decided to share three ways hip-hop has influenced me.
Fashion is my playground, my happy place, that’s influenced by hip-hop’s playfulness and sense of freedom. Running riot in graphic t-shirts, loud prints and custom made pieces – I enjoy making a statement. Growing up, I adored TLC’s style, they bought some spice to the game. Strong women that were authentically themselves, never afraid to try something new. What influences your personal style?
Get into the habit of reading, expand your mind. I have a thirst for knowledge, there’s always something to learn or master. Education doesn’t end when we leave the school system. Documentaries, Ted Talks and books are my professors, teaching me a new lesson daily. Currently, on my bedside table lies The F Word by Lily Pebbles, an exploration of modern friendship. I’m excited to read this one, what’s your thoughts on friendship?
Hip-hop has taught me to become a storyteller, to turn pain into beautiful art. Whether that’s through writing, spoken word or photography, I have a message to share. During lock down, I decided to challenge myself to step out my comfort zone creatively. I jumped onto TikTok, did a successful self-portrait shoot at home and turned my words into spoken pieces. Basking in the little victories, lock down has been good to me.
If you enjoyed this post, share it on your socials. Continue the conversation, how has hip-hop influenced you?