Hip hop has multiple branches of style and is a culture of these. This essay will examine Hip Hop from the point of view of the following three popular music scholars, Johnson, Jeffries and Smitherman. It will delve deeper into their understanding of what hip hop is and its relation to the different people that identify with its message and contents. It will also identify the history of Hip hop and its transition into popular music. In particular this essay will focus on what hip hop represents in the black community and how it can be used as a social movement against inequalities faced by them. This will then open up the discussion for the how this has influenced society, and the impact it has had in terms of race issues which hip hop itself often represents through music. Hip hop originated in the ghetto areas of New York during the 1970’s and is a mixture of DJ, MC, B boy and Beat boxing. In his studies of defining hip hop, Jeffries concluded that these mixtures of art forms do not define hip hop but rather that Hip hop itself is a culture of these elements. “Hip-hop is like a culture, it’s a voice for black people to be heard. Our own style, our own music” (Jeffries. 2011; 28). Jefferies identifies hip hop as a social movement, which stems from the concept of ‘collective identity’ (Jefferries.2011; 27). This can be defined as “an individual’s cognitive, moral and emotional connection with a broader community” (Polletta and Jasper. 2001; 84). Which relate to Smitherman’s views that hip hop is a celebration of black culture uniting these individual to form a collective community. (Smitherman. 1997; 20) .These Theorists generally accept that hip hop is culture and it’s the production of its creators and the individuals who consu... ... middle of paper ... ...all these aspects correlate with one another. That Hip hop is a cultural tool formed out of need to take a stance on the issues that relate with the black community. And that it’s a voice to relate and unite people who share the same struggles on which to advocate change. Works Cited Johnson, L. (2003). The Spirit is Willing and So Is the Flesh: The Queen in Hip Hop Culture. Smitherman, G. 1997. “‘The Chain Remain the Same’: Communicative Practices in the Hip Hop Nation.” Journal of Black Studies 29. Polletta, F., & Jasper, J. M. (2001). Collective identity and social movements. Annual review of Sociology, 283-305. Jeffries, M. P. (2011). Thug Life: Race, Gender, and the Meaning of Hip-hop. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Carlton Ridenhour, (1989) Fight the Power [Public Enemy]. Motown Records Owens, (1989) Ladies First [Queen Latifa]. Tommy Boy Records
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Due to the significant role of blacks in the development and continuation of hip hop culture, hip hop is frequently described as a black culture with only occasional reference to class, age and gender qualifications for music (Rose 1994). While this might be so, historical accounts indicate that hip hop art forms did not begin entirely among African-Americans. In this regard, artists of Puerto-Rican and Afro-Caribbean
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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
In Total Chaos, Jeff Chang references Harry Allen, a hip hop critic and self-proclaimed hip hop activist. Harry Allen compares the hip hop movement to the Big Bang and poses this complex question: “whether hip-hop is, in fact a closed universe-bound to recollapse, ultimately, in a fireball akin to its birth-or an open one, destined to expand forever, until it is cold, dark, and dead” (9). An often heard phase, “hip hop is dead,” refers to the high occurrence of gangster rap in mainstream hip hop. Today’s hip hop regularly features black youths posturing as rich thugs and indulging in expensive merchandise. The “hip hop is dead” perspective is based on the belief that hip hop was destined to become the model of youth resistance and social change. However, its political ambitions have yet to emerge, thus giving rise to hip hops’ criticisms. This essay will examine the past and present of hip hop in o...
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Imagine a world unaccompanied by culture, expression, individuality, or style. Visualize a world without any differences or creativity. Envision how that would look, dull, and boring, a world without Hip Hop, an evolving culture, including expression, individuality, and style all in one. As a result, the popularity of Hip Hop significantly increased, over the decades. Actually, “R&B and Hip Hop are now responsible for 25.1 % of all music consumption in the U.S” (McIntyre). This implies that Hip Hop is a dominant genre in today’s society, on the other hand, dominant in what the nation calls, life. Over the decades, Hip Hop has evolved through fashion, music, dance, and other innumerable avenues. For the most part, Hip Hop’s origins remain the