Personally, Hip hop has a very active role in my life. It influences the way i speak, the clothes i wear, the way i think and the way i view myself as a young women of color. I am originally from Lagos, Nigeria and I moved to a small, predominately white suburban neighborhood in Minnesota when i was 5 years old. It was a huge change of scenery and I often felt "odd" amongst my caucasian friends, though they were quite inclusive, i never felt like a part of the community. Hip hop provided a safe haven for me, where people looked like me, and shared similar life experiences. My first and most influential encounter with hip hop was Brandy's song "I wanna be down". I was obsessed with her, she was a brown girl with braids just like me! There was something extremely comforting for me seeing a girl that looked like me being successful and impacting the lives of thousands through her music. Hip hop, particularly 90's hip hop helped me appreciate my appearance and planted the seed for my interest in health and educational disparities amongst African Americans.