The most intriguing question in this research entails what hip-hop is, and most people will view hip-hop as just music that promotes a culture of violence, sexual immorality, and affluence life. A more in-depth analysis of the hip-hop culture suggests the concept means more than just music. Hip-hop comprises of a culture that presents a revolution that has experienced various changes from the music for activism to the commercialization. This paper defines hip-hop as a revolution in terms of history and changes the culture of hip-hop has seen to the popular genre. After this discussion, the perspective of hip-hop as a culture of sexism and violence will probably change.
The history of hip-hop music dates back to the middle 1970s in the time the hip-hop culture and Boogie Brown Bronx boast as the original place where the culture of hip-hop started (Watkins, 2005). The area commands respect from the pioneers of hip-hop with a controversial worst and best times aftershocks of urban renewal, segregation, and capital flight. The history presents a time when hip-hop was unsullied and unburdened by the monetized world and political divisions that tarnishes the hip-hop culture currently. The hip-hop culture offered real, organic, and deeply rooted in ground phenomena.
Hip-hop history shares a close connection to the African American culture of chants, toasts, and trickster tales (Bradley& DuBois, 2010). The sense in music, voice, and the beats of rap music, a subgenre of hip hop, draws from the multifaced tradition embedded in a vibrant African American oral tradition that shares a history of human expression.
The history of hip-hop presents a culture that embraced nonviolence activism as compare to the culture of hip-hop depicted on the mainstream media. There exist a need to realize that hip-hop culture presents a controversial depiction of life. The hip hop culture, by reference to Nat Turner, offers a peaceful culture living and responding to a violent environment. "The conditions in which my residents live are violent." (Asante, 2008). The hip-hop of the earlier years entailed a culture of activism and expression rather than a culture of bootstraps and nakedness.
The Current Hip-Hop Culture and It’s Future
The contemporary hip-hop culture receives much criticism for losing the culture of music that it comprises in the past but currently roots in violence and sexual immorality in the name of money worship. The current hip-hop culture entails business, and the artist will go to any extent for popularity. This concept means the production of videos that attract more people for commercial purposes.
The current hip-hop may boast of the rise in fortunes and commercial benefit and the most successful artists of the time (Rose, 2019). The genre, however, presents an undesirable depiction of the community with a playground for caricatures of black gangsters, pimps, and hoes increased hyper sexism and antisocial and destructive representation of black masculinity.
The culture of hip-hop presents a kind of life that no longer inspires the listener of the people seeking motivation of life from music. "The hip-hop culture has emerged as a breeding ground for the most exploitative and increasingly one-dimensional life of the black ghettos." The comparison of the earlier hip-hop, such as the most celebrated Tupac Shakur and the current gangster lifestyle musicians such as Jayz, Ludacris, 50 Cent, Snoop Dog, and Ti seems an entirely different type of hip-hop (Rose, 2019). The hip-hop of Tupac contained inspiration which one would listen to with anyone as compared to the current hip-hop culture full of vulgar language and depiction of violence and sexism.
Factors Influencing the Hip-Hop Culture
The revolution in the culture of hip-hop music draws inspiration from various aspects of the current world. The world appears so quick to judge the concept of hip-hop music based on the revolution the culture has undergone, but no one sits to think why hip-hop culture has changed. There exist evidence factors contributing to the hip-hop culture revolution.
To begin with, the current culture of hip-hop exists in a commercialized world where every music genre wants to sell rather than perform. The critiques of hip-hop culture must, therefore, ask what the hip-hop culture would do to make money if not giving the audience who mostly constitutes of the youths what they desire most. According to a survey by a corporate label, "the most consumers of hip-hop music constitute teens between 11 and 13," although the number proves unprecedented (Rose, 2019). Most of these teens generally appreciate sex, and putting that in the music will contribute to more sales.
The other factor that contributed to the revolution of hip-hop culture entails the mainstream and social media. "The mass media consolidation was rendered more profound for the record industry after the telecommunications act." The concept of mass media constitutes of the radio and the television stations bestowed with the capacity to make hip-hop music known. The mass media forces the artist to produce music that appeals to the listeners, not what they apply in the music, including vulgar language and sexism, the customer's preference.
The Hip-Hop Approach of Feminism
The concept of feminism and hip-hop coexist based on the influence the idea of hip hop culture has brought to the perspective. Most of the people think that the idea of hip-hop music centers around a male venture. Most female artists across the world continue to venture into feminism and present a thriving career. According to research, the feminist took a better approach to the concept of feminism and continues to dominate. Nick Minaj, in her rap music notes, "I feel like a dungeon dragon." (Hargrove, 2015)This feeling depicts a feeling of superiority and a person not ready to receive intimidation from the male-dominated society. Nickie, the world acknowledges female rapper respected for her powerful rhymes, and delivery represents an active idol of what feminism entails (Hargrove, 2015). The rapper inspires most girls to embrace independence and take control of their lives. The rapper represents a culture of women pushing for a world where the woman feels a boss and not a thing to be tossed around the men and always work to satisfy the pleasures of men.
The modern concept of feminism deals with very complex challenges that never existed in the early twenties and fifties. The modern feminists present the women with various criticism on fashion and style, and the culture of hip hop through female rappers such as Nickie, Cardi B, Rihanna. These rappers bolden women to embrace the trend and feel comfortable no matter the society norms (Hargrove, 2015). The female artists have created a culture that helps women appreciate fashion and feminism without fear od criticism.
Most of the critics, however, will argue the concept of hip-hop presents the misuse of women by projecting the female gender as objects of pleasure and ignore the fact that there exist female rappers who use hip-hop to show women as superior beings. The fact that the videos use women with curvy bodies and beautiful figure constitutes proof of women as a potent being. The hip-hop has changed the thought of what the majority considered slutty in society and embraced it as fashion, not only in America but across the globe.
The culture of feminism constitutes a revolution that has become acceptable in the world for the concept of activism and voicing the issues affecting the community. The hip-hop culture has been used to channel various grievances as well as educate the society despite the world perceiving the culture as one marred with violence and sexual immorality.
Asante Jr, M. K. (2008). It's bigger than hip hop: The rise of the post-hip-hop generation. Macmillan.
Bradley, A., & DuBois, A. L. (Eds.). (2010). The anthology of rap (Vol. 300141904). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Hargrove, C. (2015). What Hip-Hop Taught Me About Feminism. Retrieved 29 November 2019, from https://www.racked.com/2015/3/5/8155311/what-hip-hop-taught-me-about-feminism
Rose, T. (2019). Hip Hop Wars. Retrieved from http://www.triciarose.com/hip-hop-wars.html
Watkins, S. C. (2005). Hip hop matters politics, pop culture, and the struggle for the soul of a movement. Beacon Press.
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