Hip-Hop as a Cultural Movement Essay

Hip-Hop as a Cultural Movement Essay

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Hip-Hop is a cultural movement that emerged from the dilapidated South Bronx, New York in the early 1970’s. The area’s mostly African American and Puerto Rican residents originated this uniquely American musical genre and culture that over the past four decades has developed into a global sensation impacting the formation of youth culture around the world. The South Bronx was a whirlpool of political, social, and economic upheaval in the years leading up to the inception of Hip-Hop. The early part of the 1970’s found many African American and Hispanic communities desperately seeking relief from the poverty, drug, and crime epidemics engulfing the gang dominated neighborhoods. Hip-Hop proved to be successful as both a creative outlet for expressing the struggles of life amidst the prevailing crime and violence as well as an enjoyable and cheap form of recreation.

The longevity of Hip-Hop as a cultural movement can most directly be attributed to its humble roots. For multiple generations of young people, Hip-Hop has directly reflected the political, economic, and social realities of their lives. Widely regarded as the “father” of the Hip-Hop, Afrika Bambaataa named the cultural movement and defined its four fundamental elements, which consisted of disc jockeying, break dancing, graffiti art, and rapping. Dating back to its establishment Hip-Hop has always been a cultural movement. Defined by far more then just a style of music, Hip-Hop influences fashion, vernacular, philosophy, and the aesthetic sensibility of a large portion of the youth population (Homolka 2010).

Despite having absolutely nothing to do with the four elements of Hip-Hop as defined by Afrika Bambaataa, the most influential person in the creati...

... middle of paper ...

...olka, Petr Bc., and Jeffrey Alan Vanderziel. “Black or White: Commercial Rap Music and Authenticity.” Masaryk University Faculty of Arts, Department of English and American Studies. (2010): 7-21. Web.

Jonnes, Jill. “South Bronx rising: the rise, fall, and resurrection of an American city.” New York: Fordham University Press. (1986).

LaBoskey, Sara. “Getting off: Portrayals of Masculinity in Hip Hop Dance in Film.” Dance Research Journal. 33.2 (2001). 112-120.

Price, Emmett III. “Hip Hop Culture”. Santa Barbara. (2006).

Rhodes, Henry A. “The Evolution of Rap Music in the United States.” Yale New Haven Teachers Institute. (2003)

Samuels, David. “The Rap on Rap: the Black Music that Isn’t Either.” The New Republic. (November 11, 1991).

Simpson, Janice C., “Time.” “Yo! Rap Gets on the Map; Led by groups like Public Enemy.” (February 5, 1990).

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