Hiphop Essay

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Kristin Libby October 13, 2014 Hip Hop Theory & Culture Humanities 125 – Hackman The music video for “Juicy” by Notorious B.I.G. and the performance of “m.a.a.d. City” by Kendrick Lamar at the 2014 Grammys stood out to me and showed many similarities. One major similarity between these two artists is the position that they are in now compared to how they grew up and the feats that they overcame. Where they are in these videos in a much different position from the where they were when their career began. Growing up in Compton to family members involved in gangs and violence being somewhat of the norm, Kendrick Lamar is now in a position to take a private jet over that same city (March, 2013). That is not to say that Lamar doesn’t resonate with his hometown anymore. Lamar’s lyrics in “m.a.a.d City” show that he has maintained his connection to his roots. Performing those lyrics in front of such a wide audience as the Grammy’s shows that he is not afraid to show who he truly is instead of conforming to what the mainstream media may want to see. However, there are some aspects of the mainstream that Lamar cannot escape from when performing on such a mainstream show. In Lamar’s chorus he repetitively uses “nigga” at the end of each line. In his Grammy’s performance “nigga” is eliminated altogether. While the Grammy’s probably saw this as offensive language Lamar was simply “keeping it real” and staying true to his roots (Baldwin, 2012). Forman (2012) explains that hip hop artists are often looked down upon for leaving the hood they grew up in due to their new financial means allowing them to move elsewhere. Forman states that the artists that do stay in their hometown due so to stay closer to friends and family. Lamar’s continued connection to friends and family is evident in the fact that on day he is scheduled for an interview with one of the largest

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