Streaming media is giving many people a voice who would otherwise would not have had one. One voice that is determined to be heard is that of The Real Hip Hop Network (RHN). RHN, which recently launched a Roku channel see our update here, is one part entertainment vehicle one part mission. The company has been in operation since 2004 working to dispel negative stereotypes about black America and provide an authentic balanced message to both a US and world audience. It’s CEO Atonn Muhammad feels that Hip Hop has an important place in the cultural landscape not just as an entertainment vehicle but because of its potential to educate it audience about the world at large. “Hiphop was where I learned about Steven Biko, Nelson Mandela, and Marcus Garvey,” said Muhammad. “I didn’t learn about them in school I learned about them in the classroom of hip hop. It made me go back and study these gentlemen.” Muhammad and RHN aim to teach future generations more about their experience.
Forward thinking from the start
While streaming is starting to become a must for large media companies and smaller start ups alike RHN had its eye on the future from the beginning. It’s first business plan focused on streaming and multi-platform distribution before it existed. It’s beginnings saw it with MHZ Networks 24 hours a day and as a digital sub channel. This early foray in to TV allowed the company to test ideas to see how they would resonate with the public. Over time it has developed a full lineup of programming from urban movies, news programs, community activism programming and music. Remember when there were TV networks that played music? “All you see is VH1 minstrel shows represented by the young and the foolish on loving hip hop and other shows of that ilk. We wanted to show all of the elements of hip hop culture to use hip hop to change the world for the better with the art catching young minds to change ideas,” said CEO of RHN Atonn L. Muhammad. “We need to build an institution that can challenge the negative stereotypes produced by those who wane negative images for money.”
Not Just a City Thing
Interest in the RHN is hardly confined to the urban centers of the US. When RHN, which also has apps available VIA Google TV and Android devices, launched online it found there was an audience for it in the Republic of Georgia, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Muhammad knows that his network has to take their message seriously because of the reach and influence multimedia organizations like RHN can have over others.
“We have to be responsible with we material we put out because it influences the entire planet. The people who led the Arab spring grew up with hiphop,” said Muhammad. “El Geneal’s song Elprezidente Became the theme song of the Arab Spring. Most rappers overseas are into consciousness hip hop speaking truth to power. They speak their anger rage and even the triumphs. It is a platform where we can be true to yourself almost like a confessional. “
Via Its Website at http://www1.rhn.tv/