Hip-hop is a musical art form, created by African-Americans and Latino-Americans in the mid seventies. Its conception came from a young generation of African-Americans in the Bronx, who created a beautiful, prideful expression of music, art and dance from a backdrop of poverty. Since that ignition in a New York City borough, it has inspired people from all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds all across the world. When hip-hop is discussed as an art form and not just as rap, it usually is meant to include the four elements: the DJ, the emcee, graffiti writing, and break dancing. Some of these were around before the words "hip-hop" were uttered, but they reestablished their identities within hip-hop.
I have been listening to a growing range of hip-hop for five years, steadily. However, I do not adhere myself to hip-hop by identity, meaning I don't rap, DJ, break-dance, or write graffiti on a regular basis. Thus I accept my fan status, but I do consider myself an educated fan, and since hip-hop has given me a lot in terms of ideas, joy, and enlightenment, I will try to regard it with the respect that it deserves as well as make a conscious effort to open my eyes to the conditions of racial discrimination in this country.
My methodology in conducting this field report was to read the work of respected journalists on hip-hop, or by hip-hop artists, watch the movie Wildstyle, a revered and influential movie that is now nearly 20 years old and which documents hip-hop as it was in the Bronx. Hip-hop is my primary listening interest, and I do consider five years of listening to hip-hop and seeing hip-hop shows a resource. The idea of learning hip-hop through books is laughable to many of those wh...
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...1982 (!), the year that I was born, was so pure, unaffected by what the image the industry wanted it to have later on. The books I read I enjoyed immensely, challenging my ideas, what I though were facts, and making me think harder. Unfortunately, I wasn. t able to supplement this report with an interview, however there was nobody with the exception of a professor whom I wished to interview. I could have gathered more viewpoints on this subject, but I think the sources I. ve quoted are very reliable.
1. George, Nelson. 1998. Hip-hop America. Penguin Putnam Inc. New York, New York.
2. Wimsatt, William Upski. 1994. Bomb the Suburbs. The Subway and Elevated Press Company, Chicago.
3. Wildstyle. Directed by Charlie Ahearn. 1982.
4. Sexton, Adam. 1995. Rap on Rap: Straight-up talk on hip-hop culture. Dell Publishing, New York.
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