Our movement began in 1989 with the Stop the Violence Movement which produced an all-star recording entitled , “Self-Destruction”, which featured Doug E. Fresh, D-Nice, Heavy D, M.C. Lyte, Just Ice, MC Delite, Wise, Daddy-O, Fruit Kwan, Kool Moe Dee, Ms. Melodie, Public Enemy, and KRS ONE, advocating the unity of Hip Hop through non-violent conflict resolution. Through the Stop the Violence Movement’s many summits and conferences, we began to establish an authentic Hip Hop common spirit and began to give meaning and purpose to Hip Hop globally. It was around this time that we began to see ourselves as a community of specialized people; we began to refer to Hip Hop as a “culture”.
The STVM went on to inspire the West coast peace anthem, “All in the Same Gang,” featuring King Tee, Body & Soul, Def Jeff, Michel’le, Tone Loc, Above The Law, N.W.A., J.J. Fad, Young M.C., Digital Underground, Oaktown’s 3.5.7., M.C. Hammer, and Eazy-E. This effort was followed up by the 1991 Human Education Against Lies (H.E.A.L.) movement, which advocated the conduct of advanced civilization within the Hip Hop community and human ingenuity over destructive technologies and technological dependency. HEAL also produced an all star recording entitled, “Heal Yourself,” featuring Kid Capri, Big Daddy Kane, Freddy Foxxx, L.L.Cool J, M.C. Lyte, Ms. Melodie, Queen Latifah, DMC, Jam Master Jay and KRS ONE.
In 1994 we realized that rap was something that was done, while Hip Hop was something that was lived. We realized that Hip Hop was far more than just a music genre, that it was a collective urban consciousness that produced not only the expression of rapping, but also breakin, Deejayin, graffiti writing, and beat boxin. Through much debate and observation we realized the term “Hip Hop” never actually enters the physical world, and that it(Hip Hop) only becomes physical when we become it. This led to the “I am Hip Hop” philosophy in 1994 and the establishment of the Temple of Hip Hop in 1996. The Temple of Hip Hop began as a Hip Hop preservation society and urban ministry focused upon the cultural expansion and spiritual development of Hip Hop. Since our beginning in 1996, our existence has served as an actual balancing force within Hip Hop’s cultural image in world history.
Our approach to Hip Hop is indeed unique. While others are still preoccupied with how Hip Hop got started, the Temple of Hip Hop focuses more upon why Hip Hop got started. Why Hip Hop and why now? These questions led us to issue a worldwide census and questionnaire in 1997 which asked thousands of “Hiphoppas”: what is Hip Hop? How would you improve upon it? What would you like to see from Hip Hop? These responses, along with the notes from our Hip Hop conferences and summits, in addition to numerous interviews with Hip Hop’s founders, artists, activists, and authors, as well as 20 years of hands-on experience, with Hip Hop’s arts and sciences, produced the body of knowledge that we now call the “Gospel of Hip Hop.”
The Gospel of Hip Hop is a uniquely written instrument designed to guide a new generation of Hiphoppas spiritually and establish the groundwork for a new Hip Hop nation. More of a reference and teaching aide, The Gospel of Hip Hop lays out a practical approach to the spiritual living of Hip Hop.