Hip Hop Culture Has Articulated Black Marginality Essay

Hip Hop Culture Has Articulated Black Marginality Essay

Length: 920 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

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Mike Martini
Professor Busch
AMS 205
December 6, 2015
Hip hop culture has articulated black marginality in many ways since artists like Grandmaster Flash helped pioneer hip hop. Even though the culture was new and focused on life in the city, it still stayed consistent with keeping African American traditions including variety of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-American musical practices and dance forms. The local streets on which people lived, turned into the face for hip hop. With the help of music videos, rap artists showed what life was like in their place of urban decline. Hip hop is mostly related to African American culture, due to the fact that most of the pioneers in hip hop were of that origin. With the deindustrialization of cities and the migration of white citizens to suburbs, the hip hop culture took on a role in communities showing what daily life was like in these conditions. Hip hop articulates black marginality by using different techniques to show the way of life in their cities, while still including their African American traditions.
Hip hop showed urban life through a new perspective that was never seen before. The culture showed life experiences through a variety of ways, “Hip hop replicates and reimagines the experiences of urban life and symbolically appropriates urban space through sampling, attitude, dance, style, and sound effects” (Rose, 22). Graffiti, breakdancing, and rap music all developed a relationship that depended on one another. Hip hop songs included lyrics of local posses and subways while urban noise was played in the background. Graffiti artists would spray paint or “tag” an area on public property to mark their territory. Music videos by rappers in hip hop songs displayed all of these ...


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...and sounds that were created from this new sampling technology were consistent with the historic narratives of Afro-diasporic people.
Hip hop showed black marginality in a way that was new while still being consistent with African American traditions. The hip hop culture did this by including music videos of posses and rappers in the local streets of urban areas reciting lyrics that gave a different look on urban life in postindustrial cities. It also did this by including hidden transcripts in lyrics and things like breakdancing, graffiti, and sound effects in songs. While including all of these new musical tactics, hip hop still stayed consistent with African American traditions by being similar to genres like jazz, the blues, and R&B, which were related to black culture, and by creating rhythms that were steady with historic narratives of Afro-diasporic people.

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