I'm fortunate enough to have friends from all over the world who send me photos from time to time of The Shiva of The 5 Elements of Hip-Hop" being re-used in different ways in different countries. People have created memes, calendars, flyers and even tattoos. It's humbling to see something I've made have such a positive effect on people. Friends will ask me if it bothers me when people use "The Hip-Hop Shiva" for their own personal gain. Well yes, of course, in a way, but also no.
No, because of photos like the one sent to me by a good friend in Europe. It was a drawing of The Shiva of The Five Elements of Hip-Hop by someone who was inspired to create a Hip-Hop Workshop, called "FUNdaMentals", in Vincenza, Italy. He saw himself in the artwork and had redrawn the face to represent himself. This person, who had no idea who I was at the time he found "The Shiva of The 5 Elements" somewhere online, was inspired to redraw it in his own likeness for his workshop.
Hip-Hop Culture is a creative existence. It is an artistic way of life that appeals to many people from different ethnicities, cultural, economic and spiritual backgrounds. "It ain't where you're from, it's where you're at." is a common mantra in Hip-Hop, which allows the culture to resonate and find acceptance in so many places around the world. Hip-Hop Heads share unifying basic beliefs, whether they are creatively collaborating or competing with one another. It's understandable how overwhelming this concept may seem to those outside of a culture that even transcends religion and politics.
Promoting community and creativity, without any intention for destruction or malice, Hip-Hop Culture incorporates every art form that continues to thrive over millennia. The Culture has no central geographical location, and, although there are defining rules to artistic development within the four physical elements of Hip-Hop Culture (emceeing, deejaying, graffiti writing and bodyrocking). Without the fifth element, known as "knowledge of self", there can be no true representation of Hip-Hop within any single human being.
In the fifth element, the benefit is found for creative education. Encouraging young people to express themselves, while empowering them with information and knowledge of a universally known and respected creative platform, can increase confidence, reduce depression, mischievous activities, and social anxiety, and also help children do better in school.
Giving young people the creative tools, inspiration, and motivation to maintain a sense of pride, while helping them to feel like they are part of something greater than themselves, is the reason why Hip-Hop Culture was created in the first place.
Shiva Five will give proceeds from purchases of Shiva Five Merch to various non-profit organizations yo help fund creative education programs for children around the world.