Emotions have a way of manifesting themselves, in just about any circumstance. When a group is pushed to the margins, they’ll find a way to make their own voice heard. A favorite method of the marginalized communities in America is music. Music and dance in general are associated heavily with celebration and ritual, and their use has been a method of preserving Africana culture and identity during the slave trade. Music is its own little rebellion. Playing, creating, dancing to it, etc. are all ways that someone without a voice can assert themselves. No matter how far something is pushed to the side, sound remains as a way to defy that force. Music is a way of saying “Here I am.”
Across time, music has served the purpose of expression and an embracing of one’s identity in America. Expression from the body has a visceral sense to it. It comes from a passionate overflow of one’s self: Their emotions and their condition. The freestyle form of breaking, or the colloquially-known breakdance, is especially useful for one’s own expression. It’s served in part as an outlet for urban communities for decades. The pent-up energy just comes out when it has the chance, no matter how long it’s been suppressed.
Whenever I’m feeling down, anxious, angry, or things that aren’t so negative-sounding like happy, dance is there for me as an outlet. My body is my own tool, and the music that I move to is another. There is a stark difference in my movement when it comes from a passion for the form or from when it comes from my personal feelings. The body wants to move in response to one’s difficulties. Everyone has their own style and expression, and the welled up emotions one has are wonderfully shown in their motion.
In the same way, hip hop music and the freestyle nature of it suit other people. Art and graffiti are born from one’s internalized demand for action. Even when pushed to the margins, one’s emotions find a way to be expressed.