About Me

“The most powerful political voices are those with a different way of seeing and processing the world and the sounds that emanate from it”

-Saul Williams

Photo on 2012-10-24 at 09.44 #2

Hello, my name is Aleena.

For me, the study of hip hop is something that is very important to my life. The story of hip hop and the connection I feel started when I was in my adolescence. My mother encouraged me to play instruments when I was a child. I played the violin for much of my childhood and honestly felt trapped in my own expression. I hated music for a long time because it felt like a chore to play the same notes and arrangements over and over by the standard held by some composer who has been dead for almost a hundred years. I felt this way for some time until I listened to hip hop for the first time, Common. I was able to feel a rebellion towards music that I had not been able to understand before listening to hip hop. To me, hip hop embodied free expression and the willingness to step out the box and be creative with music. When I started to play hip hop music on my violin, I felt free. I felt a rush of happiness in expressing my art and what I felt at the time. Music became sacred to me, all thanks to a funky beat and the simultaneous rhythmic expression of sorrow, anger, and rebellion. That is my connection to hip hop. I know there is more to hip hop than beats and music and therefore I am ready to find out.

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