Nelson George's Hip Hop Culture Is Just Another Name For Black Ghetto Culture?

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In his book Hip Hop America, Nelson George states, “Hip hop culture is just another name for black ghetto culture.” Is this statement really true? If one examines the origins and subject matter of early hip hop, one will find that George’s words are, in fact, true. Hip hop of the 1980s and 1990s highlights issues faced in Black ghettos, such as drug problems, violence, and poverty. With this music, hip hop artists of the eighties and nineties bring Black issues to the forefront by incorporating important messages with simple beats; not only that, but hip hop also gives these issues a great deal of recognition. Nelson George’s statement is agreeable because early hip hop culture not only discusses Black issues but also calls for the recognition…show more content…
For starters, hip hop originated in the Black ghettos of the United States, specifically in the South Bronx of New York City (“Hip Hop”). Aside from its origins, hip hop is also relevant to Black culture because of the topics mentioned in the music. In Notorious B.I.G.’s “Things Done Changed,” issues in inner-city Black communities are talked about in depth. This song also describes the life in these communities, mentioning problems like drugs, violence, and poverty. Additionally, “Things Done Changed” discusses how children no longer behave like kids, how people are not caring for their children, and how the only way to escape this harsh life is to either sell drugs or have “a wicked jumpshot” (Notorious B.I.G. 48-49). The song “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five also touches on the problems faced in Black ghettos and brings those problems to the forefront. Like in “Things Done Changed,” the issues of violence, drugs, and poverty are also discussed in this hip hop song. In addition to those problems, “The Message” specifically mentions the issue of the poor education people in Black communities receive, such as when the speaker states that he or she received “a bum education” (Grandmaster Flash

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