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Open Letter From KRS-ONE
Contributed by: Mike Diamonds
Posted on: December 6, 2000 01:46 MST
Filed under: Rap


As a follow-up to our October 30th, 2000 Hiphop Summit held at Rev. Al Sharpton's "House of Justice," we are requesting your participation in the unity and image building of Hiphop Kulture and it's elements. The participants, organizers and speakers of the Hiphop Summit agreed through applause and attendance that Hiphop must take itself to the next level. The negative stereotyping and profiling of Hiphop Kulture must end!

Our meeting on October 30th, 2000 opened up with Dave Mays (Source Magazine) calling for more social responsibility amongst HipHoppas. James Mtume spoke about the gap between old and young people, as well as the importance of Hiphop as a strong political movement for social change. Reverend Al Sharpton echoed the longtime vision of Afrika Bambaataa with a call for "Hiphop's Unity!" He also spoke about entertainment companies supporting the communities they make their money from; and the fact that, "who defines you, confines you." Hiphop must define itself for itself. With an agreed upon identity, Hiphop begins the political, social and spiritual work needed to enhance the quality of all our lives.

Conrad Muhammad (the Hiphop Minister) said it best "...Hiphop is a Kulture...." Followed up by Sean "Puffy" Combs (Bad Boy) who said, "Who I am today, is not who I will be in the future." These are truths. Hiphop will be different in the future, but how much different? Who will define it in the future? What will Hiphop turn out to be? Will it help or hinder our children? Will Hiphop Kulture go down in history in shame or in victory? The choice is ours, for real!

As Chuck D (Public Enemy) put it at the Hiphop Summit, "...We are in an industry where we don't own shit!" We must begin the great work of defining and establishing our Kultural identity in the world. This begins with the participants of the Hiphop Kulture creating a document that outlines Hiphop's Elements, meaning and general purpose. As Lyor Cohen (Def Jam) put it "...Hiphop is in need of a code of honor...a national agenda." It would be very difficult to achieve the "union" Master P spoke of at the Hiphop Summit without first establishing this "code of honor" and "national agenda."

Just as the black police officers of New York, also at the Hiphop Summit, pledged to protect the youth of Hiphop Kulture, all of us must adopt the same attitude. In order to achieve Hiphop's unity and longevity, it is important that Hiphop publicly expresses it's unity on paper. Please review the "Refinitions" then sign your Hiphop name on a blank piece of paper and fax it to 201-227-9639 so that we may include your signature in a larger "Refinitions" document. We shall reveal this document to the public during Hiphop Appreciation WeekTM, May 14th -- 21st, 2001 at Al Sharpton's "House of Justice."

If you have any revisions, markups or suggestions, please fax them with your signature to the above fax number. Your signature proves your commitment toward the creation of a legitimate Hiphop Kultural union. Call 201-521-9742 to find out how you can contribute to this historic event.

This, we believe, is the first step in establishing Hiphop's kultural identity, meaning and purpose. Remember, you are not just doing Hiphop, you are Hiphop!

The Teacha
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