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Hip-Hop Turns 50: Is there a Krishna Conscious Connection?
By Atma Tattva Das, ISKCON News Staff Writer   |  Июл 01, 2023

In August of 2023, the global Hip-Hop community will celebrate the 50th anniversary of this influential cultural movement. Hip-Hop music has not only served as a platform for artistic expression but has also become a powerful tool for broadcasting specific qualities of consciousness. To discover the intersection of Hip Hop and Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON News interviewed AZitiZ (Lalita Garrett), a Krishna-conscious hip-hop artist, to explore her journey and the significance of this art form as a means of sharing Krishna Conscious messages and sankirtan in the global community.

AZitiZ, renowned for her spiritual rap music, shared insights into how her music resonates with people on a deeper level, even beyond language barriers. She expressed, “People can feel it, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be in their language. That’s the beauty of hip hop in sankirtan, and that’s the beauty of Krishna. That’s the beauty of God, period.” Her experiences have demonstrated that spiritual music, regardless of linguistic understanding, can touch the hearts of listeners and evoke a spiritual connection.

AZitiZ on tour.

Throughout its history, hip-hop has been intertwined with movements seeking liberation and empowerment, particularly within the Black Arts movement. Notably, this movement emerged during the same period as the presence of Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in America. 

KRS-ONE, a prominent figure in Hip Hop culture, has also been deeply influenced by Krishna consciousness. His music and teachings reflect a spiritual perspective and activism that has inspired many. In the words of AZitiZ, “KRS-ONE, along with other conscious community leaders, have brought elements of Krishna consciousness into the hip-hop world, creating amazing work.” The impact of these individuals showcases the potential for Krishna-conscious hip-hop to serve as a medium for preaching and creative community development.

Beyond its artistic merits, hip-hop holds immense potential as a tool for community empowerment. AZitiZ emphasizes the importance of facilitating and empowering devotees who are involved in hip-hop as an expression of their spirituality. She envisions a sustainable infrastructure that promotes dialogue, workshops, and facilitation, allowing Krishna-conscious hip-hop artists to thrive and contribute to the growth of their communities.

The projection of Krishna consciousness through the tool that is hip-hop provides a unique platform for conveying spiritual messages and engaging diverse audiences. AZitiZ’s creative process involves deep reflection and finding beats(music) that evoke a spiritual connection within her. Whether through writing verses or collaborating with producers, she ensures that her music captures the essence of her spiritual journey and resonates with listeners profoundly.

As the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop, many believe it is essential to recognize and honor the Krishna-conscious connection within this cultural movement. The marriage of hip-hop and spirituality has the potential to uplift souls and inspire transformation. AZitiZ’s journey as a Krishna-conscious hip-hop artist is a testament to the power of music as a preaching tool and its ability to cultivate a sense of community among devotees.

To learn more about AZitiZ and her music, visit her profile

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