Scott’s Column: Hip-Hop’s 50th Anniversary Aug 17, 2023 | News Last week was the fiftieth anniversary of Hip-Hop. In his book Blue Note Preaching the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III, Senior Minister of Trinity UCC in Chicago, wrote: Now remember that Hip-Hop is the first cultural creation that does not explicitly come out of the church. . . . Hip-Hop is standing outside of the church looking in the window because no one is raising questions about poverty and deindustrialized urban landscapes . . . . Young people become the Griot to be able to speak prophetically when preachers said, “We will not speak.” I’ll save you googling “Griot.” It is defined as “a member of a class of traveling poets, musicians, and storytellers who maintain a tradition of oral history in parts of West Africa.” I do have one significant ministry story tied to a Hip-Hop album. What follows comes from a blogpost I wrote in 2015 as part of a series I was doing about my cd collection. It was an early morning, and I was driving along a two-lane state highway in the Arkansas Delta headed for Helena, the place that Mark Twain wrote was the prettiest on the Mississippi. I popped Mary J. Blige’s No More Drama into the cd player as I rolled along past soybeans and cotton. This was complicated terrain I was entering, filled with racial tensions. The past was not glorious–one of the largest mass murders in American history occurred nearby in Elaine when white people massacred African-American farmers in the early 20th century. The area had experienced forty years of agricultural recession and white flight. Helena has once been a city of 40,000 and was now around 6,000. Entire city blocks were empty waste lands. As I entered Phillips County I noticed the signs for the upcoming election–all the candidates were white. I knew that the population was overwhelmingly black. The colleagues I met up with showed me neighborhoods without indoor plumbing, this in 2002. So tired, tired of this drama No more, no more I wanna be free I’m so tired, so tired No More Drama is a great road trip album, no matter where you are driving, but it was quite fitting in the Arkansas Delta as I had my first serious experience seeing systemic racism in America.