Essay Sample on Hip-Hop and Contemporary Social Culture

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1810 Words
Date:  2022-06-19


The American culture, as indicated by historians, takes on a divisive nature between collective identity and personal decisions or choices. The former being land and race, the latter entails a representation of religion, politics, violence, food, and type of entertainment as well. Together they constitute the markers of the United States of America culture and identity. The US, often regarded as "the melting pot" comprises of several divergent individuals hailing from different cultures and backgrounds with a widely divergent variety of traditions, beliefs, and values. One thing makes the American culture rather interesting: there is no "typical American." The customs, moral practices, religious beliefs, political inclinations and many other cultural elements vary from one family to another and region. Most Americans assume a "Bicultural nature" as they strongly identify with both their secondary host and primary ethnic culture. However, the reason as to why US markers of culture and society are because the level of host and ethnic-culture identities blend or separate vary from one individual to the other. Americans expect children or rather the offspring generation to survive independently (Mock, Morris, Mertinez & Aygun, 2007).

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The isolation of older people is a norm and a commonly preferred social issue. At the workplace, the youth culture, as opposed to the older people, is firmly embraced and celebrated. However, they separate their work and private life discretely and practice meritocracy where humility is not revered, people share their successes in public and practice freedom of speech without necessarily drawing boundaries in respect to age differences. China, on the other hand, has recorded the highest human population, constituting a fifth of the world populace and is considered one of the fastest growing economies in the world. With over 1.3 billion people, according to the census reports of the CIA, the traditions and customs of the citizens vary by ethnicity and geographical origins. In light of arguments presented by the World Bank, the total number of people that live in China represent fifty-six ethnic groups with the Han Chinese being the largest minority group comprising of over 900 million people. The smallest group, however, the Hezhen, is made up of less than 2000 people among other minority groups such as the Manchus, Tibetans, Naxi as well as the Mongols. While the research findings of this paper do not seek to dispute the prevailing notion that "communities solely and independently create their respective cultures," divergent arguments will delineate how and to what extent that pop culture, in this case, Hip-Hop music has influenced the contemporary social culture of America and China (

Culture, as highlighted by Mock, Morris, Mertinez & Aygun (2007) entails style, language, food, religion, morals, language amongst many other things that dictate how a group of people act and interact. In respect to religion, the Chinese Council of Relations asserts that the ruling party, dubbed as the Chinese Communist Party, though officially atheist has in the recent years become more tolerant of other religions. As such, only five religions including Buddhism, Protestantism, Islam, Taoism, and Catholicism are considered legal. Notably, though, the Chinese constitution reiterates that the freedom of religion applies to every individual. While most people practice Confucianism and Taoism, a number incline their spiritual selves to Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. Little or no progress has been recorded for Catholics and Protestants attempting to convert Chinese people to the respective religions. A beknown Linguistics Professor at the University and Washington argue that there are several dialects constituting Chinese language and the most popular is Mandarin spoken by over 71.5% of the total population. The Professor, in his works Chinese Cambridge Language Surveys, highlights that the dialectal complex of the Chinese language is analogous to the European Romance language family. He, however, reiterates that there is only one Chinese language that exists in several forms making it rather difficult to differentiate or draw sharp boundaries between the language varieties (

Culture can be influenced by many fundamental factors, one being popular culture, in this case, Hip Hop music. In America, there has been recorded overwhelming influence by Hip Hop Music and its lyrics on the younger, young generation. It is widely asserted that though Hip Hop was introduced as a musical form, it is now considered a culture rather than regular music. According to Zhang (2015), Hip-Hop is an artistic culture and musical expression whose form originated from communities made-up of Black-American societies In New York City. Hip Hop culture is grounded on four fundamental pillars namely graffiti, Djing, breaking and Mcing writing. It is somewhat notable how the pop culture has spread throughout the world over the time, becoming a populace practice that influences the morals, religion, and language of people, mostly in the youthful stage. In an unprecedented manner, the culture has broadly permeated the global popular culture owing to the famous cross-over appeal that makes it be labeled a great unifier of different, variant diverse groups of populations. Although the culture was initiated by the black-American individuals, rather in-deliberately, now over 75% of its audience constitutes on the non-black populace with its influence reaching the fringes, suburbs and corporate boardrooms as well. Over the last few years, pop culture, with immense power, has uplifted both the American and Chinese cultures, providing a message and a voice to a given group of individuals as a form of message delivery to the mainstream media. On the bright side, rappers and MCs get the opportunity to express ideas, either personal or political opinion. In the days of old, black-Americans employed Hip Hop music to voice out the mistreatment of African Americans by the whites. Zhihua (2015) posits that the pop culture has become more popular in China than ever resulting in its recent ban from Chinese mainstream media.

Cooperate giants like Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald, Sprite amongst others capitalize on the Hop culture to market their products to youthful individuals. In fact, the influence is so rampant that many authors of contemporary culture point out that its effects ought to be controlled in schools, families and the society at large as the hip-hop culture stands a position to nationalize a given country in the face of globalization (Zhang, 2015). Sweeping most geographical barriers, hip-hop culture today exists in every aspect of human life in the wake of internet availability. This is because the network epoch, under the influence of hop culture, is characterized by collective individualism and possessions, as well as equality to which Hop lyrics meet the demand. Just like brands like McDonald, the culture is considered a representative of indigenization, convenience, and a sign of "Chinese or American Hip-Hop culture." For instance, in China, the Hip Hop Music in the song Niangzi by Jay Chou not only changes the language to Chinese from English Lyrics but also conveys the national emotion and traditional culture of China. The music is acceptable amongst any youth who has undergone studies in the Chinese education and cultural setting as it expresses the inborn longing for one's homeland bringing across an obvious tone of culture which is mainly regarded as conservatism in the mainstream media. The hip-hop culture, therefore, attracts the young generation greatly as it promises them "liberation" from the restriction of society, family, and school where they have often been required to be the "good ones." In fact, most hop rappers, especially in the US and China use the lyrics to articulate their dissatisfaction with either school, family or society, attempting to fulfill a dream that may never come true in public through unleashing individual or collective mental stress as regards culture and cultural practices.

Cultural experts assert that considering the ages of hop culture admirers, the individual self-consciousness has been translated to Subjective from objective as they can use the strong and unique performing peculiarity of hip-hop culture to meet the publicizing personality demands offered by the culture through music and basketball. Today, the hip-hop culture in the US, for instance, is regarded as a culture that relates closely with profit and revenue of other elements which influence traditional culture. Take for example the increased rate at which a lot of merchandise and goods connected with the hop culture are produced in tremendously vast amounts as they have a readily available market. The users choose to purchase the merchandise not only to satisfy immediate needs but also to articulate unique messages and purposes like purchasing "and" branded shoes to convey symbolic hop-culture to convey a message like "I don't want to wear Adidas or Nike because a streetball fella, I hate standard baseball practices, rather preferring the freedom that comes with a 'free' streetball spirit". With the evident lack of ability to accurately hold on to a given root ethnic culture in the US, most youths are lured to its different capability that is characterized by new and emergent cultural phenomenon that is mostly associated with free language and an ever-evolving fashion.

Nonetheless, opponents and critics of the culture label it as naturally aggressive, often promoting social rebellion through the lyrics. However entertaining and provocative the music may be, the fact remains- the pop culture is a vocal outlet preferred by many people. With the culture transitioning from ordinarily traditional to modernity, the traditional system of civilization is on a drastic decline-the ensuing state of events-breaking the normal old behaviors and rules. This may result in the adoption of the "gangsta" rap channeled in shows like The Rap of China mostly associated with immorality, pornography, and drug/substance abuse. Most youths view the hip-hop culture from the perspective of Black Revolts who were struggling with gang violence, poverty, and racism, hence characterizing it as a culture of defiance to get disconcerting opinions off their chest and be free in the search for a more liberated environment (Alim, 2007). Hip Hop, nonetheless, in the eyes of its critics and the older generation remains a vocal fraction of social subversion, vulgarity, chauvinism, profanity and aggression with too much "imaginative fantasies" which should be well doctored and controlled if awareness.


In the wake of cultural dilemma, nationalization, and globalization, the mass media is obligated to emphasize the need to have an identity with ethnic culture, especially with the positive fundamental elements of the culture, while absorbing the essence of westernization and cultural education. Modernization entails the construction of a novel cultural system through a combination of new cultural practices that are beneficial to our self-improvement, sternness, moral responsibility, courtesy as well as practical attitude. Meanwhile, parents and educators ought to understand and appreciate the fact that values, ideals, and beliefs change dramatically with the hop culture, hence the need to patiently and wisely guide and advise the younger generation. Mass media ought not to blindly publicize and market hip-hop regalia or fashion without emphasizing the need for adopting and embracing positive cultural practices and trends.


Mok, A., Morris, M. W., Benet-Martinez, V., & Karakitapoglu-Aygun, Z. (2007). Embracing American culture: Structures of social...

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