Racial Identity In Hip Hop Culture In 'Blacking Up'

Better Essays
“Blacking Up” is an inspirational and eye opening film that looks at racial identity through hip hop and its culture. The film explores the tensions that surround white identification with the hip hop culture. Typical white people identify hip hop with responses that are uncharacteristic. They are termed as a “wigger” or “wannabe” who think they can become part of a strong culture. The film clearly identifies these people as those trying to connect with others who usually won’t accept them. I have watched this film before for my Hip Hop class in high class and was happy to watch it and learn more about the hip hop community. This reputation of a “wannabe” becoming part of a culture can be explained two different ways. Some people see…show more content…
However, many people see this as mockery and theft of one’s culture. Because of these two different debates, “Blacking Up” is given great depth and interest for the hip hop community as it looks at both sides of the “wannabe” argument. The hip hop culture began in the suburbs of New York over 30 years ago and has gone through drastic changes over this time. Hip Hop contains four different elements including: graffiti, rap, disc jockey and break-dancing. In the 1970’s, musical artists began to express themselves like Kool DJ Herc. Rap music began to spread through the urban neighborhoods of New York City and people used a new form of expression that gave a chance to sing about anything. White people and rappers during the late 1970’s and 1980’s seem to be offended when asked about their role in the hip hop community. They think that black people are becoming a part of a cultural movement and they should join in. The heated responses from the white people in the film are typical answers. They symbolize people who are afraid. The white people are joining a movement that is becoming more and more popular. Black communities feel like others are joining in on their fun. They seem to not enjoy people of another race…show more content…
Vanilla Ice is a prime example of a young man who became part of the hip hop community. The clothing he wore and the songs he wrote may have reflected an insult to the black hip hop community. However, the white community became happy and excited to see a thriving white rapper. Many members of the black society were offended and disgusted by the clothes worn by Vanilla Ice. They were not used to seeing another race expressing his emotion through rap lyrics. The change in the state of mind for black and white members of the hip hop community were beginning to alter. It was remarkable to learn about the different perspectives black and white members, however to learn about the acceptance of one another was outstanding. Artists have an interesting perspective about hip hop’s relationship to racism, and racial exploitation. Black and white artists have totally different opinions towards hip hop and its relation to racism. Lots of black artists have come from the poorest situations and made a life for themselves by rapping or singing about hip hop. They rap with passion, courage and energy. Lots of white rappers, who usually come from nice backgrounds, have enough funds to start
Get Access