“Rap as an art form, began as personal narrative, telling the individual stories of urban lives ignored by the mainstream media.”(Rose, p.2-3). “It used to be a respectful, decent form of music, however, it has turned bad, into utter crap listened to by posers.”(“Rap”). When people are conversing and the word “rap” comes up, blacks and whites complain about the misogyny, materialism, drugs, and violence present in the lyrics and videos. There are many different forms of rap and they fall under two categories: the language of empowerment and the language of oppression. Conscious rap deals with empowerment and consists of “songs that are responsible, thought provoking, and/or inspirational toward positive change or a cry of protest against social injustice”.
Though some types of rap music have immoral values in it, that is not true of the genre as a whole (Hip-Hop). Many people from all over the world have been introduced to this type of music and since it is such a relatable type of music, all different races and colors of people have been able to have something in common. Another important role Hip-Hop has played in America, is that it has brought issues of poverty stricken neighborhoods into the lime light of the media mainstream, when before this issue was ignored for the most part. The most important thing Rap music does not only for our country, but for our world, is how it brings people together. One pioneer of Hip-Hop states, “It has given young people a way to understand their world, whether they are from the suburbs or the city.
I think American culture and social behavior has been shaped in many was by some of the music I listen to like the rap music has shaped the way some people dress they see how the rapper’s are dressed and they want to look like them. I know many people might say that the music has not influenced then but you see everyday. Some people might just want to do the things they here in the music. Other might use the music to help with stress I know I am one of them people who tends to listen to listen to music just as a pick me up. But you have to think about how music has influenced such things as movies.
This was a time when rap was ‘a genre dominated by African Americans’ (Eminem.net 2004), and as such it was quite provocative to see a ‘white’ boy performing within this category. Eminem’s music and lyrics background the film. Even more effective than this backing is a scene where he is actually writing lyrics thus supporting his role as central character, ‘8 Mile’ is a brave film that is culturally and intellectually rigorous and an aggressive film that is emotionally intense. The film is very much informed and guided by the experiences of Eminem and his early career as a rapper in blue-collar and no-collar Detroit. (Wikipedia 2014) As a result of Eminem’s actual ‘telling’ of his story (life), realism is characterized through gritty undertones and allusions to both physical and emotional battles (and battle ‘scars’).
When hip hop, during this time period adopted this look, it fit into the notion that one was not cool unless one did time. Ice T and other famous rappers took notice and started performing shows that were globally seen and started the trend that is now considered to be a gangsta look. Since the majority of prisoners were young African American and the main musical influence was hip hop, it is no mystery as to why this became the fashion icon for that musical niche. Another origin suggested that sagging your pants in prison was a prisoner’s way of saying he was sexually available to another prisoner. By exposing your underwear or your ass
This shows that even though you may grow up in a rough part of the world, that there are still very gifted and intelligent people wherever you go; Jay Z is a prime example of this. 2) How did he surprise/disappoint you? I was surprised by the environment that Jay Z was surrounded by in Marcy. By his descriptions in chapter 1 of the book, it sounded like a very rough place to live at the time. There was gang violence as well as drugs being distributed around where Jay Z was from.
Hip Hop was conceived in the late 1970’s with artist such as The Sugar Hill Gang and the Fabulous Five. Back then, the idea behind creating this music was to express the struggles and culture of the urban individual, particularly African Americans. In addition, the music was about having a good time and this idea was clearly expressed in the lyrics of the day. Nevertheless by the late 1980’s as the popularity of Hip Hop approached its height, artists began to earn income that was unprecedented in the music industry. Many African Americans and people of color were not privy to such high incomes at the time.
The word “nigga” is one of the most popular words of hip hop enthusiasts. Contrary to the traditional derogatory meaning of the word, hip hop enthusiasts use the word as a term of fondness. People can also hear a Caucasian, Oriental, or Latino hip hop enthusiasts saying, “TJ is my nigga,” which stands for “TJ is a good friend.” The language of the Hip Hop culture changes constantly. What might be a cool statement today might be “played out” (outdated) in a year. Young African Americans have adopted the style of dress of upper class Caucasians as a manifestation of their lack of power in American society.
Hip-hop is best identified with the African-American culture. For that, there are quite a few white rappers who have tried to imitate the story of “rags-to-riches” from black artists to gain acceptance within hip-hop. In the 1980s, Vanilla Ice succeeded in becoming a rapper using claims of coming from a background of poverty and crime. He even came out with a biography that said that he had been stabbed in a gang fight. His biography was quickly disproven.
In reaching more of a mainstream audience they were able to show how possible it is to overcome difficulties and shed light on the harsh reality of living in the ghetto. While most people did not grow up in that environment many are able to feel that they can truly see the harshness of their reality strictly on the way the artists are able to describe their story. This is a huge portion of the importance of hip hop, having a place to voice your thoughts and share with others what they may not