Hip Hop Subculture

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Hip hop is a subculture and global movement that started in the South Bronx, New York City during the late 1970s. In a post-civil rights era, where deindustrialization dominated, where racism and discrimination still existed, hip hop gave discriminated youths a chance to voice their opinions, and address their struggles in America. It created jobs for African-Americans and has forever transformed America’s politics and culture. Since then, it has only spread worldwide. The culture of hip hop has made its way to other countries such as Germany, South Korea, Australia, Africa, etc., becoming a global phenomenon. The issue, however, is that hip hop is often misunderstood, and seen only as the stereotypes society and mainstream hip hop perpetuates. …show more content…

Hip hop was received differently in the two regions. West Germany was more accepting of hip hop. However, East Germany was a totalitarian communist dictatorship at the time, and authorities were wary of the potential political messages in hip hop. Elements of hip-hop were often banned from Eastern German youths. Videos of breakdancing would have to be smuggled in from the west. Spray-cans were withdrawn from sales to prevent graffiti. While Wikipedia does have a lot of information, it does not cover all of the socio-political aspects of hip hop in Germany. To do so, I propose that the showing of the documentary should cover these topics. It can include ideas from Jeff Chang’s Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, Tricia Rose’s Hip Hop Wars, Kimberly Monteyne’s Hip Hop on Film: Performance Culture, Urban Space, and Genre Transformation in the 1980s, and Tony Mitchell’s Global Noise. Using these books, we can explore the socio-political tensions surrounding hip …show more content…

While many youths listen to hip hop and engage in the culture, they may not know the history behind it and the circumstances that allowed hip hop to rise. Hip hop arose from the Bronx in New York City. Chang describes the Bronx as a necropolis, a city of the dead. In a post-civil rights era, deindustrialization was a huge issue, one that was more prevalent in the Bronx than anywhere else. During the 1970s, the Bronx had seen the loss of 600,000 manufacturing jobs, a drop of the average household income to only 40% of the national average, and over 30,000 fires lit in the Bronx alone. The culmination of joblessness, arson, loss of public service, and urban development led to a community where street gangs ruled. Violence filled the streets of the Bronx. But it was under these circumstances where hip hop was created and allowed to flourish. Chang writes, “If blues culture had developed under the conditions of oppressive, forced labor, hip-hop culture would arise from the conditions of no work” (13). Artists such as DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash were able to turn their turntable into musical instruments. Rappers took their harsh environments and wrote about them, creating lyrics that others living similar lifestyles can relate to. Germany, the third largest music market in the world, has its own origin story, one that is similar to how hip hop developed in the Bronx. Eastern German youths had seen similar

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that hip hop is a subculture and global movement that started in the south bronx, new york city during the late 1970s.
  • Explains that they can create a documentary about hip hop and have showings of it at various high schools and universities to educate people. the documentary can include themes and ideas that we have been studying in black studies 143.
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