An opportunity to change the world – that’s how some hip hop artists think of rap music. At BandLab we couldn’t agree more. That’s why we supported the True Colors Festival last month, where representatives from all over the world came together in a virtual event to discuss breaking the stereotypes associated with hip hop and the genre’s empowering potential.

Panelists for This Is Hip-Hop!, a True Colors digital event, included Indonesian rapper Saykoji, Singapore’s Wheelsmith, Ghanaian-Japanese sibling rap trio Tamura King, Canadian breakdancer Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli. American Sign Language interpreter Amber Galloway-Gallego and New Jersey rapper Sparsh Shah. UK emcee and spoken word artist, Jonzi D facilitated the digital event.

During the discussion, each artist shared how they’re using their platform and skills to help change the negative perceptions of the genre. 

Just how do they think hip hop can change the world? For Tamura King, Saykoji and Wheelsmith, they want to take down these stereotypes by remaining authentic and making people smile. “You always have the option to create something different,” Saykoji said. “People are looking for music that can relate with daily life. If we are there to provide this type of music, I think it’s the opportunity that we can change the world. We can show them a different side of hip hop.”

Patuelli, on the other hand, said that the beauty of hip hop is its ability to connect with people of different skill levels: “Hip hop is all about peace, love, unity and having fun. In [breakdancing], for example, it’s not about taking a dance class where a teacher teaches you moves. But you’re gonna go and some learn moves and you’re gonna be in a room surrounded by people of all different skill levels. Everyone just wants to see each other succeed.”

Watch the True Colors Festival full panel with English subtitles below.

This Is Hip-Hop! concluded with a music video premiere of a collaborative track from the guest speakers, which also featured a performance by dancers from Jakarta, London, Singapore and Tokyo. The beats used in the clip were supplied by Wheelsmith.

Check out the segment here:

Read more: Tracklanta: A hip-hop journey with BandLab

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