For three and a half decades Hip Hop has been utilized as a medium for expressing social dissent and political engagement. Artists have used Hip Hop to bring awareness to social and political issues over this time span. This thesis will look at a specific few Hip Hop artists based out of New York City to examine how their backgrounds and life experiences affected their music. This thesis will examine lyrical content of the music they created as well as corresponding music videos as applicable. This thesis will also examine critiques of the music from scholars, educators and social activists. Through primary and secondary source research, this thesis will examine both mainstream and underground artists to see how they established a following and how they managed to remain relevant over time. This paper argues that as Hip Hop developed from the experiences of African-American musicians in New York City, this music gave voice to the thoughts and experiences of many young men of color in urban areas around the country. As artists grew, their message grew and their cause of raising social awareness took shape on a global scale.