Comuna 13 in Medellín, Colombia, is home to a culture embracing the four tenets of hip hop: breakdance, rap, graffiti, and DJ. This particular comuna, or district, was home the most intense bouts of violence, drug trafficking and guerrilla warfare during Pablo Escobar’s cocaine-fueled empire of the 1980’s and 90’s. Since then, this community has reinvented itself by infusing hip hop into everyday life; graffiti artists cover available surfaces with vivid depictions and reflections of their past, present, and hopeful future, all in memoriam for lives lost. Rappers freestyle through the streets to teach visitors where they’ve come from, while a breakdancing crew invites youths to learn the art of b-boying alongside them. I visited Comuna 13 in June, 2018 and was immediately struck by the warmth and generosity of every person I met, and by their drive for a better future without forgetting their past.