Updated: Oct 28, 2020
If you’re like me and you love rap music, then you know that 2018 has been a banner year.
With album releases from industry greats like Mac Miller, Lil Wayne, Lupe Fiasco, Logic, T.I. and my personal favorite, J. Cole, 2018 has given long-time rap fans a year to remember!
For those of you who don’t know a lot about rap I can tell you this: rap is NOT simply about drugs, money and violence.
There are, of course, rappers who only rap about cars and money, but then there are rappers who rap about things like living a good life and/or advocating for positive social change.
Whether you like rap or not, we can’t deny that hip hop has been shaping our pop culture for generations…
So then, at least in my eyes, it’s important to listen to what those in hip hop have to say.
What the rappers are saying
Just like with all communities, the rap community is always evolving. New artists and new forms of hip hop are constantly being pushed to the surface which makes the rap industry a breeding ground for emerging ideas and trends.
If you listen to the right rappers and you listen closely, you might notice that there is a new kind of message trending in the hip hop community—a message of mindfulness and self-care.
One of the biggest things I’ve noticed in 2018 is just how cool things like meditation and mindfulness have become in the hip-hop community.
Honestly, I would be lying if I told you that I wasn’t a little bit surprised the first time I heard J. Cole’s song ‘FRIENDS’ where he talks of a “better way”—highlighting the use of meditation over self-medication in order to deal with pain.
I was also surprised to hear that some of my favorite rappers like Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, and Logic meditate almost daily.
In fact, up until recently the thought of any of my favorite rappers using terms like ‘mindful’ and ‘meditate’ in their music would have sounded Ludacris (that’s a rap pun) to me!
Back then, my meditation practice was one I kept to myself because I wasn’t sure how it would be received and because in truth, I wasn’t sure if it was cool…
Now, I know this might sound shallow but hearing rappers that I admire talk about meditation has given me a lot of courage to talk about my own practice.
If meditation wasn’t cool before rappers started taking about it in their music, it sure is now…
Don’t believe me?
Proof that meditation is now cool
According to an article published in TIME Magazine back in 2017, almost 10% of individuals in the US workforce meditate! Additionally, based on another study done in 2017 by the National Institute of Health, as many as 18 million people claim to have a regular meditation practice!
On top of that, countless CEO’s, thought leaders and athletes say that their meditation practice has made a direct and significant contribution to their success (LeBron James and Oprah Winfrey to name a few).
In fact, just the other day I was watching a show on HBO called Hard Knocks that chronicles the adventures of an NFL football team just weeks before their season officially starts.
In a 1 hour episode, the director thought so highly of meditating that they spent at least 7 minutes telling the story of a stoic tight end who meditates daily in order to find his competitive edge…
The point is this: meditation, whether you believe me or not, is officially cool which means you no longer have to be afraid to start a practice of your own!
Now, I’m not saying you need to be a fan of hip hop or sports in order to meditate!
I’m simply giving you social proof!
With each mention of meditation in our pop culture, we make it easier and easier for someone to try it for themselves.
With each rapper, celebrity or athlete who comes out in support of meditation, we make it safe for others to talk about it as well.
With every discussion we have about meditation—whether it’s in a song or on paper—we bring more light into a world that could use a little guidance.
What I love about hip-hop is the subtle yet profound way in which it impacts our society.
Today, rap is the most profitable music industry in the world and outsells all other forms of music.
So if I haven’t convinced you that meditation is cool, then do yourself a favor and listen to a little more rap J