The official birthday of the Universal Zulu Nation is November 12, 1973.
The official birthday of Hip Hop is November 12th, 1974.
With consideration to the above mentioned dates, nothing makes more sense than to celebrate Hip Hop culture and it’s history during November, which is exactly what the Universal Zulu Nation has been doing for over 27 + years. November is also significant in the fact that it kicks off the “indoor jam season”. The Hip Hop community jams, enjoyed outdoors in the parks, throughout the Summer, had to move indoors for about 7 months to community centers, gymnasiums, schools etc. for the Fall and Winter seasons. The Hip Hop World should recognize this month and pay tribute to those who laid the foundation and paved the way as well as to those who continue to preserve the rich tradition of the culture.
Of course, The Zulu Nation appreciates all efforts to preserve the whole of Hip Hop culture, including any days or weeks set aside to conscientiously appreciate Hip Hop, but would rather that all of these days and weeks combine to celebrate in unity every November as the tradition has been since the beginning of this culture. Founded by the godfather of Hip Hop himself, Afrika Bambaataa, The Universal Zulu Nation is the world’s oldest, largest and most respected grass roots Hip Hop organization. It’s members and supporters are Hip Hop’s most famous and legendary artists. True school enthusiasts travel from all around the world to be in New York City, in November, for the annual Zulu Hip Hop Anniversary, the only true Hip Hop Anniversary since the beginning. The Anniversary hosts a positive Hip Hop community coming together from all walks of life to celebrate the true essence and excitement of what Hip Hop was meant to be. Many artists who have donated their performances to help raise funds at Zulu Hip Hop Anniversaries have gone on to become legends and many of these legends continue to return to NYC, in November, to give back to the core community who supported them since their careers began.
A Little Background Information: In the early years of the culture, the movement went untitled until Afrika Bambaataa, started calling it “Hip Hop”, a term originated by Lovebug Starski. In the 70’s, ten years prior to it’s gaining global recognition, Hip Hop was a celebration of life gradually developing each of it’s elements to form a cultural movement. Due to it’s energy, dynamics, and momentum, Hip Hop culture has become, ultimately, a key to upliftment and reformation, as well as a billion-dollar industry.
From the 80’s on, the Rap industry and media have helped to make the terms “Hip Hop” and “Rap” synonymous, leaving out the other elements included in the culture. In light of this enormous oversight, the Zulu Nation promotes the “5th element” of Hip Hop, which is KNOWLEDGE, and actively tries to educate the masses about the history and foundational elements of true Hip Hop culture. Bambaataa declared: “When we made Hip Hop, we made it hoping it would be about peace, love, unity and having fun so that people could get away from the negativity that was plaguing our streets (gang violence, drug abuse, self hate, violence among those of African and Latino descent). Even though this negativity still happens here and there, as the culture progresses, we play a big role in conflict resolution and enforcing positivity.”
Hip Hop is the Vehicle to Deliver Innumerable Lessons! Afrika Bambaataa doesn’t believe that Hip Hop heads should just have knowledge of Hip Hop. He promotes and proves that Hip Hop can be used as a vehicle for teaching awareness, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, freedom, justice, equality, peace, unity, love, respect, responsibility and recreation, overcoming challenges, economics, mathematics. science, life, truth, facts and faith.
The Elements: Hip Hop culture is defined as a movement which is expressed through various artistic mediums which we call “elements”. The main elements are known as MC’ing (Rapping), DJ’ing, WRITING (Aerosol Art), SEVERAL DANCE FORMS (which include Breaking, Up-Rocking, Popping, and Locking) and the element which holds the rest together: KNOWLEDGE. There are also other elements such as Vocal Percussion/Beat Boxing, Fashion, etc. Within the past 20 years, Hip-Hop culture has greatly influenced the entertainment world with its creative contributions in music, dance, art, poetry, and fashion.
Due to their lack of knowledge about the whole of Hip Hop culture, many of our world’s youth are mistaken in thinking that activities such as: smoking blunts, drinking 40’s, wearing a designer label plastered across their chest, carrying a gun, or going to strip clubs, are “Hip Hop”. Hip Hop is being portrayed negatively by many artists who work in the element of Rap (emceeing), and this negativity is usually instigated and promoted by the record industry and various other corporations who exploit the culture at the expense of the youth’s state of mind and morality. The Universal Zulu Nation believes there is a difference in speaking out about negativity (activism) and promoting it as a desirable lifestyle. Gangsters, pimps, playas, hustlers, niggers, spics, and many other derogatory words once used against us are now self employed in our everyday vocabulary. Our ancestors who have fought and died trying to free us from these sicknesses and slave mentality are probably turning over in their graves! Bambaataa asks you to just think about this, “How in the hell did we turn from gods to dogs?”
Afrika Bambaataa encourages you to do more research about our story, his/her-story, and what you think is your mystery is actually your history. Where are our Hip Hop thinkers, lawyers, holistic doctors, scientists, agriculturalists/herbalists, revolutionaries, politicians, judges, researchers, teachers, police, army, accountants, anthropologists, etc. Where is our own Hip Hop Museum? Many talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. Many straight out sell-out to the liberation of our people as well as to all humans on the planet so called Earth! He also encourages you to do research on any Hip Hop organization that deals with consciousness and the upliftment of all people. To all those who purposely make up your own history and lie about the culture- DO YOUR RESEARCH!
You can contact the Universal Zulu Nation at their main website www.ZuluNation.com and to explore links to other Zulu chapters and websites.
Thank you in advance for forwarding this announcement to everyone you know!
Peace and Blessings Afrika Bambaataa & the entire Universal Zulu Nation.
As we say in Zulu – respect the many universes and especially mother earth – cause if you don’t she will spit your asses out!
PS: If you are planning any events in honor of Hip Hop History Month in November please feel free to write to the webmaster at ZuluNation.com to keep us up-to-date!