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  • ShakaLu - Editor in Chief

Managing Stress: The HipHop Community

How much stress do you think you deal with on a daily basis? On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest rate, where would you land on the daily stress scale? Depending on your race, gender, ethnicity and geographical location, you’re probably contending with higher levels of stress than most. And if you are a member of the Hip-Hop Community it’s almost assured you are. The dangerous thing about stress is, many people don’t manage it effectively. Which in most cases lead to physical and psychological dilemmas. A lot of people fail to realize just how real stress is. Some people are so accustomed to contending with hardships they have conditioned themselves to accept and exist with high levels of stress. Ultimately placing themselves in the express lane to an early grave. To anyone contending with stress in levels beyond reason, I say, please do something conducive to reducing and or managing your stress, before it is too late.

Stress comes from all facets of life. Unfortunately, if you are organically Hip-Hop, it’s likely harsher than whats considered normal. Think about this according to the American Psychological Association, ethnic minorities have lower health outcomes and greater psychological stress because of systematic disparities within the economy, education, housing and health care domains. Couple this with the understanding that people who live in large metropolitan areas compete with more stress than, an individual living in a rural or suburban environment. Ethnic minorities from large metropolitan areas? Well, that’s Hip-Hop all day. And if you are organically Hip-Hop, you know all about the social ills that lead to stress; Racial Profiling, Gender Discrimination, Slanted Legal Systems, Cultural Appropriation and banking institutions that deny loans to black families (at an atrocious rate compared to whites) just to name a few. For some of us, all of these ills are common place. But the thing is, it shouldn’t be acceptable.

Now, I don’t know what "Stressors" you are contending but I do know what might help alleviate some. Music. Good soul soothing, thought inspiring music. If things are getting too stressful, play a couple of tracks from De La’s 3 feet High and Rising. Or maybe some of Tribe’s People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. And I know, Potholes in My Lawn might not be what you’re looking for to get some stress off. So maybe you need to hear Survival or Fittest or Shook Ones Pt II from the Infamous album to get you hype real quick. When things are a little chaotic in the home, when a little order and refinement is needed, I send the wife and children to the mall so I can put on a little music to clean to. It’s funny how Reasonable Doubt can help you with finishing the laundry and organizing the linen closet. That’s one thing I learned from my mother, a clean, tidy and orderly environment is wonderful for reducing stress. So, do what you can to manage stress. Put on some Scarface and workout or some Nice and Smooth and bake a cake. Whatever you need to do. Put on some of your favorite Hip-Hop, it will help you to live longer.

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