Belief systems have always been an integral part of human civilization, inspiring love, art, revolution, and war. Although modern-day Theologians could agree that most religions do come from a similar and significant genesis, history shows us that more divisiveness and rivalry may have resulted because of perceived religious differences.
In modern times, there has never been a belief system that transcended religions more than Hip-Hop Culture. People of different faiths, classes, ages, cultures, genders and geographical locations have been able to cross paths and find common fertile ground to share experiences and expressions.
The creative aspects of the four physical elements and the spiritual aspect of the fifth element of Hip-Hop have allowed artists, educators, entertainers, or everyday people, to spread the belief system of Hip-Hop Culture around the world. Since its inception, The Culture has transcended time and space, while remaining stable and consistent among its practitioners. Hip-Hop is greater than the sum of all of us, and yet it's no greater without every single one of us involved.
The power of Hip-Hop Culture needs to be harnessed only in the mind, soul, and body of any single individual. And, while The Culture has a birthplace, it no longer has one central geographic location. Those who wholeheartedly support and uphold The Culture can do so in multitudes or by themselves. Hip-Hop culture is not strengthened or weakened due to the number of people involved in its belief system. The growth of the culture may be exponential, but its sustainability is steadfast.
Hip-Hop Culture, as a belief system, transcends all things material and immaterial, physical and metaphysical. People all over the world have been able to absorb this belief system and make it their own. This aspect is represented by the fifth element known as "knowledge of self" or "self-mastery." The fifth element is where new styles, techniques, and genres are created by one person, or group of people, based on any, or all, of the other physical elements in Hip-Hop.
While other elements of Hip-Hop have specific customs, techniques, and practices, the fifth element is where the practitioner finds herself/himself, with commitment and discipline, able to find mastery of a craft with another element or elements. Usually, the other four elements are regarded for those who are artistically inclined, while the fifth element has no requirement except for the believer to simply be themselves while respecting for and believing in The Culture. Although Hip-Hop Culture has rules and pillars, practitioners of Hip-Hop Culture understand that rules can be redefined through personal interpretation.