One of the more common phrases in Hip Hop music is synonymous for taking pride in the area that you reside in by speaking nothing but good things of the place you call home. Some may even refer to it as hometown spirit but I’m talking about ‘Repping Your City”. Many of you may not be aware of this, but Detroit, MI is where I call home. Born in 1978, I’ve resided in Detroit or in the area my entire life (with the exception of my years in East Lansing, MI) and I thought the ‘crab in a barrel’ syndrome was something that only Detroiter’s suffered. After a lengthy conversation with a new yet close friend of mine, my eyes have been opened a little wider to the fact that the lack of repping one’s city and the one’s who reside in your town is a national epidemic and it applies to everyone–even those who are not in the world of Hip Hop.
Many people figure as long as they support local artists every so often, they’ve done their civic duty but that’s not quite enough. Repping your city is so much more. It includes taking pride in your town and can range from picking up the trash on the sidewalk to cutting the grass of the vacant house next to yours. Becoming your brothers or sisters keeper has taken on negative connotations over the years but what people fail to realize is that if you look out for others, they will look out for you. The whole, “It’s not my problem” mentality stems from people constantly letting one another down but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Secondly, if you are in need of a service and there is a business in your backyard that can assist you, then look to that person instead of going somewhere that either does not need and value your business or someone in a completely different state. Taking your almighty dollar and spending it within your neighborhood is the best way to ensure that your business stays afloat. Many of us assume that if something is in the suburbs, it must be better, but it’s not. While I know the reason that many don’t shop in their city is because of the difference in price I’m here to assure you that it is not the businesses fault that chain store prices are better than the ‘mom and pop’ stores. Chain stores are able to buy in larger quantity thus selling goods for less money, but if you spend your money and your friends spend their money in your neighborhood stores, before you know it that neighborhood store will become a chain store and slashing prices will be their reality.
I’m not trying to tell anyone what to do with their hard earned cash or what artist, causes or businesses to support. It just amazes me that people in the inner city complain about the quality of life every chance we get yet when given the chance to make the necessary changes, we do nothing about it. Be the solution not the problem and maintain a sense of pride that’s unparallel to anything that you’ve ever seen before.