The Daily Grind Video

I remember when I was 8 years old walking to the bus stop. I had a cheap walkman, one of those that only had a fast forward, so you had to take the tape out and flip it over if you wanted to rewind. Peter Piper picked peppers, but Run rocked rhymes…I repeated over and over again.   Humpty Dumpty fell down that’s his hard time. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Kept taking the tape out and flipping it over. Repeat the lyrics until perfection. I let my tape rock ’til my tape popped. But, I certainly wasn’t smokin’ on weed and bamboo…I was eight. I was hip-hop. I was white.

Over the next 26 years of my life, I was illmatic. Without a reasonable doubt, I had a license to ill. I’m certainly not ready to die, but when I’m dead, they’ll know that hip-hop has been the blueprint of my life. It gave me my walk. My talk. My cross-colors jacket and my shell-toed Adidas. It gave me my politics. My business savvy. And my first Black President.  The greatest cultural brand builder this country and world has ever seen. Hip-hop occupies the world.

Occupy The Throne. Two Cultural Kings. Jay and Russell. Brand builders. Built some of the most important brands of the last thirty years. Built blueprints and created def jams. All it took was for Jay to drop one line about his confusion about the purpose of another cultural movement that has transformed the outlook of our country. Occupy Wall Street. And the press exploded. UncleRush responded. Healthy debate. Healthy discussion. But, what I find very positive, is that we haven’t talked this much about Occupy Wall Street since Zuccotti Park was cleared out by the boys in blue. I remember that night. Organized chaos. Organized noise. Arrests. Handcuffs and barricades.  One year ago is all that is was when a camp sprung up in downtown Manhattan. Back then, we were talking about debt ceilings and Washington nonsensical political games. And Occupy flipped the conversation to economic inequality and the wealthy paying their fair share. And most importantly getting the money out of politics. The conversation is not over. Far from over. Money Mitt Romney is a clear example of how that conversation is not over. With his money team dropping a milli here and a milli there, we see how a candidate can be bought and sold like a Nascar driver.

So all we need is one mic. With millions of people. Uplifting the generation. It doesn’t matter what you call it. Occupy Wall Street. Occupy All Streets. Occupy The Hood. Power To The People. We Run This Town. If Jay lyrically laced the movement with just one line of knowledge, the brand just gets stronger and stronger.  Brand builder. Maybe the best one we have. Just 16 bars and the outlook gets brighter. We are able to go on to the next one.  We take care of those coming up after us. We leave no one behind. We pull each other up. We don’t turn back. Obama said that. Hip-Hop built that. The blueprint. Hov. We out.

~Michael Skolnik 

Michael Skolnik is the Editor-In-Chief of and the political director to Russell Simmons. Prior to this, Michael was an award-winning filmmaker. Follow him on twitter @MichaelSkolnik