News: "I Think Dr. King's Legacy Is So Great That Hip-Hop Culture Is Not Immune To It"

Monday, Jan 16, 2012 1:40PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, hip-hop artists Talib Kweli and Big K.R.I.T. have reflected on the late civil rights leader's impact on their lives.

In Kweli's eyes, hip-hop is very much dedicated with keeping Dr. King's legacy alive.

"I think hip-hop culture does care," Kweli said in an interview when asked about his legacy. "I think Dr. King's legacy is so great that hip-hop culture is not immune to it. Hip-hop culture does not exist without Dr. King, and I think most people who listen to hip-hop recognize and understand that. I don't know if most people employ Dr. King's spirituality, vision and clarity into their everyday lives, but his legacy is certainly respected." (VIBE)

Mississippi-bred emcee Big K.R.I.T. also spoke on hip-hop helping keep Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream alive.

"But I feel like music has definitely bridged the gaps between generations, opened a lot of people's eyes, gave a lot of different people voices and gave me the opportunity to explain why I was raised like this but I don't even feel that way. It just just brings a lot of depth [to human interaction]; music is a big influence in actually being able to go back and look at Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X and a lot of people that were like, "We need to change." A lot of artists go back and listen to their speeches and a lot of their writings and interviews and get motivated like, "I need to do more than just rap for myself and whatever city I'm from; I need to be rapping for everybody and trying to make music that's overall special." (Hip Hop DX)

Rap mogul Diddy has also paid homage to the memory of Dr. King.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.," he tweeted Sunday (January 15). (Diddy's Twitter)

Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech was recently selected for induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, which oversees the Grammy awards, is adding another 25 recordings to its Grammy Hall of Fame, which honors works at least 25-years-old that "exhibit qualitative or historical significance." The works to be inducted in 2012 are an unusually diverse lot, ranging from Cole Porter's "Anything Goes," a single from 1934, and the Rolling Stones' "Exile on Main Street," an album from 1972, to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's historic "I Have a Dream" speech, taken from a spoken-word album issued in 1963, and the influential "Anthology of American Folk Music," from 1952. (New York Times)

Check out Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech below:

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