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Essay on Hip Hop Lyrics: Inherently Destructive or a Necessary Outlet?

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From her 1999 collection of essays entitled When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost...My Life as a Hip-Hop Feminist, music writer Joan Morgan explores the notion that while many people condemn the destructive lyrics commonly associated with hip-hop as excessively vulgar displays of masculinity, these musical messages may actually serve as outlets for young African American men to express their pain and depression. Morgan continues in her essay by outlining suggested responses for her audience of young black women to not only discourage this destructive behavior within their male counterparts, but also protect themselves from being victimized by these troubled men. Therefore, as a result of her clear establishment of authority, strategic employment of the rhetorical device exemplum, and effective execution of a colloquially familiar tone, Morgan creates a notably cogent argument to successfully promulgate her innovative ideas surrounding this startling issue.
Firstly, by clearly defining her authority within both the musical spectrum and African American society, Morgan is able to both showcase her knowledge over each of these cultures and harvest a resultant trusting connection between author and audience. Morgan begins this process by disclosing her appreciation for hip-hop music as well as her involvement within the industry as a songwriter. Because she includes this information, Morgan successfully proves her expertise to the reader while also eliminating any indication of a personal negative bias towards this genre of music. Furthermore, by acknowledging her feministic values and African American heritage, the author is able to connect with her audience in order to transpose the validity of her own experiences into the liv...


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...r message is boosted because the reader is better able to understand the notions Morgan presents within this essay as well as to come to appreciate these notions as possible solutions to the widespread female degradation broadcasted through hip-hop.
Hip-hop songwriter Judy Brady presents an exceptionally coherent argument within her essay "From Fly-Girls to Bitches and Hos" through her clear establishment of authority, demonstrative implementation of the rhetorical device exemplum, and familiar usage of colloquial terms. While it is certainly evident that Brady will always esteem an appreciation for hip-hop music, it is unmistakably the hope of the author to educate her audience on the source of the infamously destructive lyrics associated with this genre of music in order to more adequately explore the tormented souls of these young African American artists.


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