Similarities of hip-hop and the blues

Similarities of hip-hop and the blues

Length: 1217 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Rapping the Blues: The Similarities of hip-hop and the blues


Hip-hop is one of the major music genres of today like the blues were in the 1950's. Stanley Crouch views hip-hop as being vulgar and obscene while he sees the blues as being one of the classic music genres. In actuality, these two genres are similar in many ways.

A very important part of Stanley Crouch's life is his love for the blues. Many of his essays are related to or have aspects of the blues contained within them. Crouch relates topics that he writes about to the blues, because this is a subject he believes he is very familiar with. In The All American Skin Game, Stanley writes,
"Jazz is very important to my vision of life in our time." (Lamb, 1). Jazz gives him a feeling of individuality and community. This means that when individuals push him, and he pushes them back, they both become better
individuals as well as a better community.

For Stanley, the blues tell the stories of the African-American community. Some of the stories talk about the harshness of their lives, but they also talk about the good times they had. [People] play the blues to get rid of the blues not to get them." (Lamb, 1). When people play or even listen to the blues, they are letting all of their worries go. They are not worrying about their job, the bills, or their kids. They are just trying to enjoy the moment when the blues are playing. The blues are some people's release from the stresses of their lives.

To say it lightly, Stanley Crouch does not like the hip-hop genre of music. The dreadlocks, the clothing style, and the "vulgar": gold chains are just a few things he does not approve of at all. (Crouch, 1 ) It astounds him to see how far African-American music has fallen since the days of the Motown. Stanley was quoted as saying this about rap, "It is rudeness, vulgarity, and pornography disguised as ‘keeping it real.'" (Crouch, 1) He also went on to say the hip-hop music genre has the worst impact of all music genres on our culture today. (Crouch, 2) Crouch believes one does not need much talent to become a successful rapper unlike the jazz greats he listens to all the time.

In Stanley Crouch's view, the only messages that rappers put in the minds of todays' youth is that they need to have sex, kill people, and do drugs all the time.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Similarities of hip-hop and the blues." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Feb 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=154486>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Hip Hop And Rap Hop Essay

- Throughout the history of civilization, mankind has been subject to incredible amounts of trends, social experiments, and cultural movements. For example, a rush of Western movies in the late 1960’s lead to a rise in the prominence of Western fanatics. Perhaps the biggest movement of the 21st century, Hip-Hop culture has risen to a zenith throughout the world. Due to the initiation of “Gangster Rap”, however, Hip-Hop culture has seen a shadow of disdain and is often wrongly blamed for a multitude of crimes....   [tags: Hip hop music, Hip hop, Rapping, Gangsta rap]

Research Papers
963 words (2.8 pages)

Hip Hop Culture Has Articulated Black Marginality Essay

- 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....   [tags: Hip hop music, African American, Hip hop, Funk]

Research Papers
920 words (2.6 pages)

Compaing Hip Hop and Rock Music Essay

-      People all over the world listen to various types of music. The most popular kinds of music in America are hip hop and rock. As they seem to be totally different types of music they have a lot of similarities . Hip Hop and Rock music have more differences than similarities.      Hip Hop and Rock music are today’s people choice of music. People will find that teens and adults from the age of 20 to 34 listen to these two types of music. Not too often will you see or hear a teen listening to Blues, Opera, Reggae, or Oldies....   [tags: Compare Contrast Comparison]

Research Papers
559 words (1.6 pages)

Analysis of Hip-Hop and Youth Culture Essay

- Analysis of Hip-Hop and Youth Culture Throughout the last twenty-five years, a new form of expression has continued to evolve. Hip-Hop, once limited to urban music and dance has become a widespread form of communication exhibited and enjoyed by young people throughout the world. Hip-Hop is no longer limited to rap music and break dancing; today it represents a multi-billion dollar industry that influences everything from fashion to prime- time television programming, professional sports, mass media marketing and advertising....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1384 words (4 pages)

The Weary Blues and Lenox Avenue: Midnight Essay

- “The Weary Blues” and “Lenox Avenue: Midnight” by Langston Hughes are two poems written as scenes of urban life. Although these poems were written more than seventy years ago, it is surprising to see some general similarities they share with modern day city life. Dilluted down with word play and irrelevant lines such as “And the gods are laughing at us.”, the underlying theme is evidently urban life. “The Weary Blues” and “Lenox Avenue: Midnight” approach the general topic of urban life from two different aspects also....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
380 words (1.1 pages)

Hip Rap And Hip Hop Essay

- For as along as I can remember loving music I can remember being fascinated by rap and hip-hop, even from a very early age. I don’t know what it is about both rap and hip-hop that makes kids love it and parents hate it, but before diving into that both terms need to be properly defined. While often synonymous with one another, the two may share a few similarities but for the most part vary greatly. Lets start with hip-hop, which was described by KRS-One and Marley Mar in their song Hip Hop Lives as, "Hip and Hop is more than music, Hip is the knowledge, Hop is the movement Hip and Hop is intelligent movement,” (lyrics to Hip Hop Lives)....   [tags: Hip hop music, Hip hop, Rapping]

Research Papers
1054 words (3 pages)

Essay about Hip Hop And Its Influence

- “Aye. Ohh”says hip hop Music has evolved many generations throughout the years by sounds,beats,instruments and style. Everyone has a certain genre that they like. Hip-hop is one of the most well known genre among adults and young teens today who has witness the start of hip-hop to how great it is. Hip-hop has influenced,given positive emotions and created a movement throughout time till now. In the city of Bronx,New York 1973 a new genre of music is born known as hip hop. Not notice till the 80’s hip hop became the voice of the underprivileged youth at the time....   [tags: Hip hop music, Rapping, Hip hop, Rakim]

Research Papers
812 words (2.3 pages)

Hip Hop And Rap Music Essay

- As one of the most popular genres of music, hip-hop has an extremely wide reach to a global audience no longer limited based on age, race, or gender. With each new single, artists such as Drake, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Nicki Minaj occupy spaces at the top of the billboard charts. The current success of rap is unlike what it was when hip-hop was emerging in the early 90s. Originally as a subculture in opposition to the mainstream culture, hip-hop was an extremely diverse genre that placed importance on lyrical genius....   [tags: Hip hop music, Rapping, Hip hop, Eminem]

Research Papers
1115 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about The Hip Hop And Rap

- Even people who are not familiar with the hip-hop genre recognize it when they hear it. A pre-2005 hip-hop music hit can be easily recognized if it were released within the last decade, and artists who have gotten into the music industry within the last ten years have little understanding of, or connection to, what was ordinary for hip-hop artists in the 20th century. The hip-hop and rap industries have changed immensely from the 20th century to the 21st century, particularly when it comes to the lyrics or language content....   [tags: Hip hop music, Rapping, Gender, Hip hop]

Research Papers
2503 words (7.2 pages)

Hip hop Essay

- Music has been around since the beginning of civilization. Music was used to tell myths, religious stories, and warrior tales. Since the beginning of civilization music has greatly progressed. Music still tells a story, we know just have many genres to satisfy the cultural and social tastes of our modern society. Hip Hop is a genre of music that has significantly grown the last couple of decades. It's increased popularity has brought it to the forefront of globalization. Technological advances has made it easy for Hip Hop to spread out globally....   [tags: Music, Rap, Hip Hop]

Research Papers
2078 words (5.9 pages)

Related Searches

Stanley stated that in one interview that rappers are the lowest of the group, the sex, [and] the species. (Crouch, 3) He also says that hip-hop is like slavery. He
believes we will get through this trying time as we have gotten through many other trying times in our lives like slavery. (Crouch, 2)

I can not believe Stanley crouch would say such harsh remarks about this music genre. Hip-hop is considered by some individuals today as being like the blues of yesteryear. Most of the artists rap about what is familiar to them, and that tends to be the hard lives they have lived in the ghettoes of major American cities. This does not include vulgar language, sex, drugs, and death. This keeping it real to them, because this is what they see as being real. Rappers have lived hard lives just like the blues people Crouch loves so dearly. The music may sound different, but many of the messages can be interpreted from the lyrics. Mr. Crouch can not deny that some of the major topics of the blues are drinking, sex, and women. I can not comprehend how Crouch can find it okay for blues people to sing about these topics while at the same time he can be disgusted at rappers for saying similar things.

When Stanley says hip hop artists do not need a great amount of talent to succeed in the music business, he is being very hypocritical. It is not that easy to create music of any kind. Rap music does not consist of a couple of obscenities repeated over and over again like he things. He does not realize that someone had to create and record the words, beats, and other aspects of the songs. All rappers may not be talented with a musical instrument like Louie Armstrong, but each artist is talented in his own way. Wyclef Jean of the ‘Fugees wrote, mixed, produced, and played all the instruments on the bands platinum selling debut album. Sean Combs is the cofounder of his own record label which has produced many top hits that he has helped to write, rap, and produce. I consider these two individuals to be very talented.

All hip-hop groups do not talk about participating in mischievous acts like Crouch assumes, Ren- DMC is one of these groups. They are one of the most well-known rap groups in the world, and they do not condone mischievous acts. One of their most famous lInes comes from a song entitled "It's Tricky":

We are not dumb, we don't use drugs, but you assume on your
own
They offer coke and lots of dope, but we just leave it alone

This is one of my favorite lines by any group. I respect Run-DMC very much for this, but I guess Crouch can not see this as being a good message, since it is being rapped. He even says that the thick gold chains that they wear are "vulgar." (Crouch, 1) They may possibly be tacky, but they certainly are not vulgar in any sense. Run-DMC tries to send as many positive messages to its audience as possible. They even collaborated with bands such as Aerosmith to try and get their messages across to an even broader audience. The Beastie Boys are another group that young people can look up to for positive influences. The group consists of three white guys who rap and also play rock music, They are also getting their messages across to a larger audience by blending aspects of different music genres together. They sing about their love for their mothers, their love for sports, and how much they appreciate women to name a few. They are also big advocates on the situation in Tibet where the Tibetan people are being suppressed by the tyrannical Chinese government. Since 1996 the Beastie Boys have held The Tibetan Freedom Concert which is a festival that bands perform at to create awareness and solutions to stopping the brutality in Tibet.

In the eyes of Stanley Crouch hip-hop could be sin in its purest form. I believe Mr. Crouch should have looked into hip-hop a little more before he came out with such a harsh article. He needs to open his eyes a little wider and take in the entire picture, not just the pieces he chooses to see. I do not listen to hip-hop, but I understand that it is an outlet for many youth. It can take them away from the harsh lives they live. If only for a moment, I believe it is worth it to keep this music genre alive.


Crouch, Stanley "Hip Hop Strikes a Sour Note", Feb. 1998 18 Fen 1998


Lamb, Brian. "Booknotes Transcript" May 1996 12 May 1996

Return to 123HelpMe.com