Effects Of Commercialization Of Hip Hop

912 Words4 Pages
The issue of commercialization in hip-hop has long been one of the main sources of controversy in the genre. What began as a movement for teenagers to have fun and party through its four components (b-boying, graffiti, djing, and emceeing) ended up becoming a lucrative field, namely the rap industry, with many business opportunities. As time has gone on most people involved in the field have looked to capitalize on these opportunities and, in turn, have neglected to uphold the integrity of the music.
To understand just how much rap music has changed, one must first understand what it was when it began. Gradually gaining popularity during the 70s and early 80s, rap finally went mainstream with Sugar Hill’s Rappers Delight in 1979. Though, it was the music video for the song Rock Box by Run-D.M.C. that marked the beginning of a new era for rap—The Golden Age. The focal point of any golden age song was the lyrics. Whether it was Rakim, Kool G Rap, or KRS One, these rappers consistently referenced vast arrays of personal issues as well as those in the black community, ranging from poverty to racism. These emcees and many others of their time used their songs as mediums to convey the problems at hand and sometimes even pose solutions. Rapping was a means of self-expression as well as a means of inspiring or educating the listeners. However, during the early and mid 90s, rap music went through a change.
Despite the fact that commercialization began as rap first entered the mainstream, this was the first time its effects could actually be seen. A new group, known as N.W.A (N*ggaz Wit Attitudes), entered the scene and created a new sub style of the genre—gangsta rap—with their debut release Straight Outta Compton in 1988. The album, ev...

... middle of paper ...

...create beautiful rap songs with meaningful words will no longer realize their potential.
It is clear that the commercialization of hip-hop has immensely changed the subject and purpose of the culture, especially in rap music. As the culture and musical genre developed the potential to exploit it economically became so obvious that the art forms were destined for this impending commercialization. Unfortunately it has led to near complete control of the industry by money-hungry executives who do not care to promote artists capable of preaching knowledge. Being a lifelong fan of rap I have witnessed this gradual transformation as I have grown up and cannot say that I am a fan of rap’s current state. I have always appreciated the original intents of the music and hope that one day the business side will somehow allow the art side to once again exhibit its true wonders.

More about Effects Of Commercialization Of Hip Hop

Get Access