Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
Words by C. Renegade
I’ve been serving in the military in Afghanistan for about six months now and during my time over here I’ve seen some crazy shit.
I can’t go into details about some things and say exactly what I’ve seen, but I just wanted to tell you about two encounters that surprised me. The surprising thing isn’t the bombs exploding, or bullets flying because that was expected. The surprise is the power Hip Hop has to reach this third world country. It is well known that Hip Hop is favored by the masses all over the world. But who would think Afghanistan of all places had stan’s.
The first time I saw it was not long after I got here, on patrol in a little village in the Helmand province. The Afghan merchants will try and sell you any and everything. One of the locals walked on me like, “What’s happening bro? What’s up my nigga?”, and then tried to get me to buy watches, melons, blankets, souls, etc… After browsing his mud hut for a little he threw on a old truckers hat backwards and started jigging and freestyling in Pashtun (his native language) and wanted me to record him doing it. I wish I had my iPhone on me that day so I could show y’all.
The second time I seen it was a few days ago. Locals handle most of the odd jobs on base like the barbershops, garbage disposal, and food preparation. So I went to go grab me a bite to eat and when I walk in I hear Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” and one of the guys singing along with it word for word. The amazing thing is this man probably couldn’t speak a word of English but he can rap along with Wonder Mike and them. I wonder if he knew he was rapping about “super sperm” and calling Superman a fairy in pantyhose. But I digress.
It amazes me that Hip Hop can grab the attention of a nation where a large part of the population can barely get water and has no electricity. That just goes to show the influence Hip Hop has, and even the influence America has as a whole, on other nations. It’s been plenty of times I caught my interpreter head nodding in unison with me to some Hov or NWA. I mean in a few ways they can relate…these guys ACTUALLY walk around with choppas and shoot out in broad daylight. Not to mention they grow kush in their front yard, but that’s another story. No exaggerating… Hip Hop reaches the world.
Words by C. Renegade