In the early 2000s, Keith Tucker formed a relationship with KRS-One, Hip Hop’s legendary emcee, philosopher, and historian. KRS-One shared one of the most critical documents in Hip Hop history: the Hip Hop Declaration of Peace. This historic document outlined the principles of Hip Hop and shared, for the first time, the original nine elements of the culture. Keith became a student of this document, and on his radio show, The Keith Tucker Show, he was the first person to ever dissect this document with his series “Hip Hop: Beyond Rap.”
KRS-One is a longtime vegan activist and wrote the first Hip Hop song about animal rights: “Beef” from the 1990 album Edutainment with Boogie Down Productions. Through his interaction with KRS-One and by conducting his research for his radio show, he saw the need to produce a radio series about vegans in Hip Hop. This idea lead him to serve plant-based foods to urban youth and families and the creation of the 10th Element of Hip Hop, thus setting the stage for what is now Hip Hop is Green.
Background of the 10th Element of hip Hop Health & Wellness proclamation
In December of 2015 Keith Tucker founder of Hip Hop is Green wrote an "Open Letter to Hip Hop" and he sent it to many top pioneers and legends including Easy AD of the Cold Crush Brothers and Stic of Dead Prez. Keith’s Letter stated his case to add a new element to the culture of Hip Hop, the 10th Element. He made the case for why it needed to be added to Hip Hop culture. Easy AD and Stic already embodied a healthy lifestyle and they provided their support and advice, Keith Tucker authored the 10th Element of Hip Hop and the official Proclamation and arranged for it to be signed at a historical-history making ceremony in New York.
On April 21, 2016 at the Schomberg Center in Harlem we held the historic 10th Element of Hip Hop Health & Wellness ceremony to usher in the new Green Age of Hip Hop where Elders, Hip Hop pioneers and legends gathered to sign the 10th Element of Hip Hop Health & Wellness Proclamation . This historical proclamation added Health & Wellness as the new “10th Element” to the culture of Hip Hop. Major influencers and players in Hip Hop such as the legendary Easy AD and Tony Tone of the Cold Crush Brothers, Stic of Dead Prez, Styles P and Jadakiss, Queen Afua, John Salley, AsheL Seasunz, Supa Nova Slum, Afya Ibumo, Sa Roc and Sol Messiah and celebrity chef Lauren Vonderpool as well as many others who have been instrumental in creating the Green Age of Hip Hop. The 10th Element of Hip Hop is preceded by the 9 elements: breaking, emceeing, graffiti art, deejaying, beatboxing, street fashion, language, knowledge and entrepreneurialism.
This proclamation is more than just a document it represents a movement of people within Hip Hop culture who are committed to supporting health & wellness in our communities, we call it “Hip Hop is Green.” Hip Hop was created in the 1970's and encompasses an entire culture that goes beyond music. Hip Hop is the world’s most popular genre and art form, simultaneously influencing politics, social issues, culture, and society as a whole. However, over time Hip Hop culture has been devalued and degraded. The 10th Element reclaims hip hop culture from its wayward commercialization that glamorizes violence, drug taking, drinking “lean” and other unhealthy and destructive habits that have become symbolic of hip hop culture and has unduly influenced our youth. Now, those behaviors are no longer in alignment with hip hop culture. We are disrupting the negative narrative and are using the power of hip hop to create a healthier community to support the next generation.