African-American cultural forms and developments are as vast as they are diverse. However, because of white America's consistently racist and oppressive treatment of black peoples in this country there exist certain commonalities between African-American cultures as a result of this continuous subordination. In this paper I will attempt to present some of these existing similarities within hip hop and jazz cultures. Although they are both musically and culturally quite different, each arising out of a particular historical moment with its own distinct musical and cultural practices, there exists enough similarities between that two that it seems a comparison is indeed beneficial in understanding and examining American society in general. The similarities between the two African-American cultures is also quite large. Because of the length of this paper I am limiting my comparison to three very specific points of inquiry: to what effects the urban ghettos from which both of these cultures arose out of had upon their initial development, and the ways in which the music of both of these cultures is a form of alternative and self-empowering language.
I wish to acknowledge three things first. One is that, in regards to this last subject of alternative language and identity formation within hip hop and jazz there exists such a vast amount of practices that arose out of these cultures for which this notion of re-affirming alternative language and identity could be applied, that it 7-8 pages just would not cut it. And two, my aim of investigation within hip hop and jazz was in unpacking the major things that effect human life in general space and language. As a result I have limit...
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