Hip-Hop In A Historical Context: Dimensions Of Hip Hop

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Dimensions of Hip hop There are many types of media that influence us greatly. Hip hop music has gained universal appeal and widespread success that breaks barriers of race, class, gender, age, and nationality. It is important for social service workers, parents, educators and others to understand the roles hip hop music and culture can play in the identities of those who are listening(Jacobson, 2009). The idea of authenticity has been if not the most meaningful factor within the hip hop world. It has played a major role historically for artists and fans of the genre. An interesting question to explore is to what extent does authenticity of a hip-hop artist affect a listener’s experience? Hip Hop in a Historical Context …show more content…

In concise form, authenticity is whatever is not false or not an imitation(Strand, 2013). Within hip-hop, authenticity has taken on several different forms. The first to identify relates to the origins. Since hip hop began around the values of inner city, lower class, and African American, the emerging artists fell under that category. Throughout the expanse of hip hop there had been many attempted to become an artist, despite not having the same background as traditional artists. Specifically, race is known to be one of the most important factors in the authenticity of an artist. White artist have had difficulty in the hip hop world, although they have found ways of bypassing these barriers. Historically hip hop is tethered to Black culture and this forces white artists to validate their participation and verify their motives(McLeod, 1999). As a result, White artists adapted to emphasize other aspects of authenticity. A famous example of this is the artist Eminem. The artist had trouble getting into the rap scene due to his skin color. He was not taken seriously despite his skills(Todd, 2009). Eminem utilized other aspects that would gain him authenticity in the rap world, such as his childhood struggling experiences and being street tough. Since Eminem, the racial barrier in hip hop has been penetrated, with …show more content…

Many rappers provide depictions of the struggles of daily life for urban youth. The oppression and marginalization of urban groups is a recurring and important theme. Rappers function as the primary voice and storyteller in hip hop(Todd, 2009). They depict images of their communities, voicing the struggles of the people. This allows these communities to feel what they have experienced matters. However, the artist’s genuineness is significant for the validation of the listener. If an rapper’s music does not portray the experience and identity of themselves, they may be seen as a “poser”. Selling out is a phenomenon when an artist compromises their morals and integrity for personal game, often times for money. Hip hop artists must be consistent with their everyday lives and their reputation as a

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