Hip Hop Culture Since the early to mid 90’s, hip-hop has undergone changes that purists would consider degenerating to its culture. At the root of these changes is what has been called “commercial hip-hop". Commercial hip-hop has deteriorated what so many emcees in the 80’s tried to build- a culture of music, dance, creativity, and artistry that would give people not only something to bob their head to, but also an avenue to express themselves and deliver a positive message to their surroundings. What does the term “commercial” mean? It can take on various meanings, but in essence that term is used to label artists who have alienated parts of the hip-hop culture in their work. The High and Mighty, a duo from Philadelphia signed to Rawkus Records, summed up what commercial hip-hop is in their 1999 single release “The Meaning”. Mr. Eon says: “…they’re tryin’ to turn hip-hop to just plain rappin’/let the poppers pop/and the breakers break…” But the disenchantment with artists who don’t appreciate hip-hop as consisting of emceeing, breaking, graffiti art, beat boxing and dj-ing is not new. Underground artists, predominately hip-hop purists, have lashed out at biters and perpetrators for many years. For example, in 1989 3rd Bass released their first album, The Cactus Cee/D. Throughout the album, MC Serch and Prime Minister Pete Nice scold the commercialized booty shakers like MC Hammer for corrupting hip-hop, particularly on the track “The Gasface” they specifically call out Hammer for his antics. Inside the album jacket, Serch sums up hip-hop in ‘89: “There was a time when nothing was more important than the New York Rap Scene.” It’s dilluted, but not divided.” To hip-hop afficionados, Serch’s quote sounds like the equivalent to a Vietnam soldier’s letter home. Obviously, the group saw the possibility of the hip-hop culture being tainted. Another good example of a group combatting the increase in commercial hip-hop was The Boot Camp Clik, consisting of Buckshot, Helter Skelter, Cocoa Brovaz, OGC, Illa Noyz and The Representativz. The Clik’s slogan throughout the duration of their 1997 release Album for the People was: “Commercial rap get the gun clap”. A descendent of the early backpacker days, Buckshot has always been opposed to mainstream artists who sacrfice artistic integrity in the lure for more money. The underground hip-hop scene has e... ... middle of paper ... ... ability to rock a crowd with sheer lyricism, explaining why you are doper than the other man, and having a Dj who could support you with dope beats were essentials in old school hip-hop and still are in the underground scene. Underground hip-hop is filled with groups such as The Pharcyde, The Roots, Jigmastas, and Jurassic 5 who use live instruments to not only enhance their lyrical talents, but also to give audiences a great show. All four of these groups are dedicated to preserving hip-hop culture. Emcees battle to prove they are iller, Djs do the same thing, and breakers, break dancers, poppers, whatever you want to call them, continue the tradition of mixing their dance art form of popping, locking and spinning using the music to help create different techniques. What has been great for the underground scene is its ability to sell more records now, and that is by and large due to the increase of smaller, independent record labels(see chapter 1). Labels such as Rawkus, Fondle ‘Em, Stones Throw, Goodvibe, ABB Records, and others can compete with majors like Bad Boy and Def Jam now because they are backed by people who have money and want to see hip-hop culture survive.
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... hip hop community elevated from being a riot provoking culture to a multi-million dollar community with entrepreneurs like Shawn " Jay-Z" Carter, Sean" P. Diddy" Combs, "Russell Simmons", Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and Marshall "Eminem" Mathers. The emergence of these entrepreneurs is serving as motivation for others admiring their work. The young people automatically think that if their favorite artists became rich through entrepreneurship then they can do it as well. Hip-Hop artists are now focusing on the youth and what they do with their lives.
Hip hop’s rise to popularity has come at a price. It has been put under a magnifying glass as a result of its commercial success. Hip hop’s critics and fans alike have commented on the current state of hip hop through opinion pieces and books. Tricia Rose’s observation that “Hip Hop is in a terrible crisis” in her book The Hip Hop Wars Rose paints a picture of a culture in a dilemma. Rose describes an example that causes hip hop’s current state of crisis: how people discuss hip hop.
To say it lightly, Stanley Crouch does not like the hip-hop genre of music. The dreadlocks, the clothing style, and the "vulgar": gold chains are just a few things he does not approve of at all. (Crouch, 1 ) It astounds him to see how far African-American music has fallen since the days of the Motown. Stanley was quoted as saying this about rap, "It is rudeness, vulgarity, and pornography disguised as ‘keeping it real.'" (Crouch, 1) He also went on to say the hip-hop music genre has the worst impact of all music genres on our culture today. (Crouch, 2) Crouch believes one does not need much talent to become a successful rapper unlike the jazz greats he listens to all the time.
Hip-hop began in the undergrounds in Bronx New York in the early 1970s and has gradually grown to become mainstream music. According to Lori Selke a professional writer for Global post, “hip-hop is the term that refers to more than just a musical genre; it includes culture, dance, art, and even fashion” (Selke). Since it originated in the 1970’s, hip-hop has had profound influence on society, and has grown into the lives of listeners worldwide; hip-hop’s influential power is astonishing. Within the last decade, hip-hop artist like Jay-Z, Nas, and Young Jeezy helped to increase voting in the 2008 presidential campaign by informing a hip hop audience consisting of a majority of African Americans on soon to be 44th President of the United States, by using their voice and lyrics as their tool to encouraging people to stand up for a change by voting. According to Emmett Price in his book Hip Hop Culture (2006), “in the early years prior to the rise of recorded rap music via Sugar Hill Gang’s controversial “Rapper’s Delight” (1979) hip-hop was a growing culture driven by self-determination, a love for life, and a desire to have fun [through entertaining fans and expressing themself].” (Price) Although artists today accomplish the same things, the focus of the lyrics has changed consisting of “extolling violence, drug and alcohol use, and detailing sexual exploits” (Selke). If one were to observe the most popular music from artist in the 80’s until now, they would notice a definitive change in its overall message. If hip-hop continues on its current route it will become a musical genre known solely for its references to sex, drugs, and violence.
Hip-Hop became characterized by an aggressive tone marked by graphic descriptions of the harshness and diversity of inner-city life. Primarily a medium of popular entertainment, hip-hop also conveys the more serious voices of youth in the black community. Though the approaches of rappers became more varied in the latter half of the 1980s, message hip-hop remained a viable form for addressing the problems faced by the black community and means to solve those problems. The voices of "message" hip...
Hip-hop is moving backwards in the sense that it is regaining its revolutionary and activist voice, as more independent artists are claiming control of the spotlight. Hip-hop is moving forward in the sense that it is no longer catering to one general sound, and corporate labels are losing their grip on the images that get displayed to the masses. Hip-hop is becoming more local. Hip-hop is becoming more about the experience, and less about what is hot and on the top 100 right now. Hip-hop is catering more to the individual’s unique taste, rather than mass-producing one sound and one message. Hip-hop, in the future, will be able to truly uphold its title as “the people’s genre” again. Hip-hop is being reborn, and being returned to a state that runs on artistic investment rather than commercial
Hip hop culture is known for its negative reputation. It is often thought as an entrance way into gangs, illegal drug activity, and malicious behavior. In today’s culture it is important to lead kids toward a positive direction in life but the hip hop culture of today is not steering youth in that direction. This is because hip-hop has moved away from what it was supposed to be used for. This genre of music was supposed to be used to for personal expression and growth not to create negative images for the youth and encourage them to change their behaviors and beliefs. Hip hop was supposed to give hope to the youth. Give them a reason to pursue their dreams and give them a positive outlook on life. Are there artists who keep it “old school?” Yes there is, but it is never heard on mainstream radio. Hip hop culture has the potential to help the youth follow their dreams and become better people. It just needs to go back to its roots and bring those morals back up again.
Hip hop originated in the ghetto areas of New York during the 1970’s and is a mixture of DJ, MC, B boy and Beat boxing. In his studies of defining hip hop, Jeffries concluded that these mixtures of art forms do not define hip hop but rather that Hip hop itself is a culture of these elements. “Hip-hop is like a culture, it’s a voice for black people to be heard. Our own style, our own music” (Jeffries. 2011; 28). Jefferies identifies hip hop as a social movement, which stems from the concept of ‘collective identity’ (Jefferries.2011; 27). This can be defined as “an individual’s cognitive, moral and emotional connection with a broader community” (Polletta and Jasper. 2001; 84). Which relate to Smitherman’s views that hip hop is a celebration of black culture uniting these individual to form a collective community. (Smitherman. 1997; 20) .These Theorists generally accept that hip hop is culture and it’s the production of its creators and the individuals who consu...
Some weaknesses of James McBride’s “Hip Hop Planet” include its cynical tone and his attitude towards the musical side of Hip Hop. McBride opens the essay with a reflection on what his ultimate nightmare is. He showcases the Hip Hop community in a negative light with phrases like, “music that doesn’t seem to be music—rules the world” (McBride, pg. 1). This starts the essay off negatively because it misleads the reader by letting them think he is not a supporter of the Hip Hop movement. As you read the entire essay you realize this is not the case. The article itself isn’t very inviting because tone of the entire essay is very cold and cynical. He also doesn’t agree with the typical Hip Hop sound saying things like, “It sounded like a broken record” (McBride, pg. 1). The sound of Hip Hop music is what helps define it and is a crucial aspect of
In the eyes of the general public, all of Hip-Hop is usually categorized in the same way. Labeled as the poison of the Black community because nowadays, most Hip-Hop lyrics all sound the same generic way always talking about money, women, cars, drugs, or some type of beef that all these rappers sooner or later continuously have with one another. But what this new generation doesn’t know about are the positive and creative flows that were spit not so long ago in the 80’s and 90’s. Rappers back in the day like Tupac and Ice Cube both had times when they had to show off their thug sides but they both had reasons or a call-to-arms for that, and indeed were in tune with that era’s problems as well as the society where they were raised. Moreover, even though some new school songs actually look promising, old school songs are still always great classics that anybody in this day and age will most certainly vibe to.
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.
Hip-Hop culture is often confused with the Hip-Hop genre. Hip-Hop as a culture is more than just the music, it is a way of life. Hip-Hop music as a genre has changed from being Rap to including Pop. Hip-Hop is an evolving culture, constantly changing as the older generation fades and the newer generation carries on the legacy along with incorporating it's new style. The new generation of Hip-Hop or rather Hip-Hop today focuses more on Partying, music, and Swag rather than the original elements: Deejaying, Emceeing, Graffiti, and B-Boy or break dancing. These elements are still seen in today's Hip-Hop but have adapted a new style.
Hip-Hop is a cultural movement that emerged from the dilapidated South Bronx, New York in the early 1970’s. The area’s mostly African American and Puerto Rican residents originated this uniquely American musical genre and culture that over the past four decades has developed into a global sensation impacting the formation of youth culture around the world. The South Bronx was a whirlpool of political, social, and economic upheaval in the years leading up to the inception of Hip-Hop. The early part of the 1970’s found many African American and Hispanic communities desperately seeking relief from the poverty, drug, and crime epidemics engulfing the gang dominated neighborhoods. Hip-Hop proved to be successful as both a creative outlet for expressing the struggles of life amidst the prevailing crime and violence as well as an enjoyable and cheap form of recreation.
Hip hop has permeated popular culture in an unprecedented fashion. Because of its crossover appeal, it is a great unifier of diverse populations. Although created by black youth on the streets, hip hop's influence has become well received by a number of different races in this country. A large number of the rap and hip hop audience is non-black. It has gone from the fringes, to the suburbs, and into the corporate boardrooms. Because it has become the fastest growing music genre in the U.S., companies and corporate giants have used its appeal to capitalize on it. Although critics of rap music and hip hop seem to be fixated on the messages of sex, violence, and harsh language, this genre offers a new paradigm of what can be (Lewis, 1998.) The potential of this art form to mend ethnic relations is substantial. Hip hop has challenged the system in ways that have unified individuals across a rich ethnic spectrum. This art form was once considered a fad has kept going strong for more than three decades. Generations consisting of Blacks, Whites, Latinos, and Asians have grown up immersed in hip-hop. Hip hop represents a realignment of America?s cultural aesthetics. Rap songs deliver a message, again and again, to keep it real. It has influenced young people of all races to search for excitement, artistic fulfillment, and a sense of identity by exploring the black underclass (Foreman, 2002). Though it is music, many people do not realize that it is much more than that. Hip hop is a form of art and culture, style, and language, and extension of commerce, and for many, a natural means of living. The purpose of this paper is to examine hip hop and its effect on American culture. Different aspects of hip hop will also be examined to shed some light that helps readers to what hip hop actually is. In order to see hip hop as a cultural influence we need to take a look at its history.