Hip Hop and the Minority Culture

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Positive Effects Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” It is not a mystery that minorities were oppressed throughout the history of the United States. In 1990 70% of African Americans and Hispanics in their mid to late twenties held a high school diploma or higher compared to the 86% that their white counterparts achieved. The disparities were obvious throughout the decade. The hip-hop culture gave minorities a voice and a realm to express themselves. There were always minorities who experienced the same lives as the majority of America did, but hip hop mainly spoke to those minorities in urban neighborhoods who were entrapped by violence and negativity. Most of these minorities were young people who were reaching the peak of their adolescent years. Their attitudes could be seen in the lyrics of Notorious B.I.G. when he chants, “I don’t want to live no more. Sometimes I hear death knocking at my front door,” in the song “Everyday Struggle.” Without hip-hop music I believe there would be more minority violence because this was the only genre of music that spoke specifically to minorities, especially those in the inner cities. Hip hop was monumental because it did not apply to one group of minorities; every aspect of the minority population was represented by artists who presented different lyrical content and cultural messages. The genre also gave those who were not minorities a look into the insight of those who were being oppressed, ultimately creating some form of understanding. The majority population could never fully understand the minority population because they never would have the opportunity to experience ... ... middle of paper ... ...s also the time where hip hop represented the minority culture to the fullest extent. This was the first point in time that hip represented minorities who entire existence was surround by the culture. In the two decades prior people who indulged in the hip hop culture had spent at least a portion of their lives without the culture, therefore it did not have a total effect on their lives. This is why older hip was very sample oriented. The 1990’s still used samples to structure the music, but in a more creative way that utilized many aspects of music rather than jus the break beat in a song. This is also when the culture became the most prominent and had the most influence on mainstream America. Hip Hop allowed minorities in the 1990’s to improve their situation and embrace their inner beauty instead of being stagnated by the oppressive nature of the United States.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that hip-hop gave minorities a voice and realm to express themselves. it was the only genre of music that spoke specifically to minority populations.
  • Analyzes how hip-hop's political aspect gave minorities representation in a country where their opinions and issues were muted by false urgency.
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