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Is Hip Hop a Culture - Essay Example

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Is Hip Hop a Culture

It started with house parties at the home of Clive Campbell, or DJ Kool Herc, as he is known, a figure that is widely associated as "the father of Hip Hop" (Hess, 2007). Overtime, the parties became more frequent, attendance grew and the movement spread across the borough. The pioneering stage of Hip Hop was developing at these parties, with Jamaican-inspired events such as impromptu toasting or loud, boastful poetry reading about current events and hardships the main highlights of the soirees. The location of the inception of Hip Hop, and the period in modern American history in which this happened are not a coincidence. The 1970s were a time where social classes were further being cemented in urban cities across America, and the Black youth was feeling resentful towards their dismal standards of living. Furthermore, street gangs were aplenty in the streets of South Bronx at the time, as they still are today, a sign of the struggle with poverty of the region. Due to the competitiveness of the gangs, Hip Hop evolved further as it became a lot about the gangs beating each other in the form of graffiti, or rap, or breakdancing, as opposed to beating each other up (Rose, 2008). And so, it was recognized that the kids of the Bronx and other such beaten down neighborhoods could shape their violent urges into creative ones, and crews focusing on dance, graffiti, rap music began cropping up in the form of Zulu Nation (Rahn, 2002). Over time, the movement gained enough attention to garner dedicated articles and documentaries. Therefore, Hip Hop came to be. While it is true that Hip Hop may have been the result of the united creativity of some poor American kids, what it has grown into is something much bigger. Many argue that it is now one of the most important modern cultures of all time, having an effect on teenagers and the young worldwide (Price, 2006). The incentive behind these frequent get-togethers was to let troubled teenagers stay out of trouble, out of the streets and to give them an outlet for their frustrations without any physical danger to them or anyone else. There are, of course, many critics weighing in on how valuable Hip Hop has been to American kids and the society in general (Lewis, 2009). Many people around the United States of America, and the world, too, argue that Hip Hop has been a negative influence on the youth. It is widely known and acknowledged that Hip Hop came into existence as a distraction for the economically depressed youth of the Bronx. Many of the active players in this movement were Black teenagers, mostly boys that were also in gangs. Over time, this image of Hip Hop has not changed much and instead, has been propagated by music videos that glorify sex, drugs and weapons. Many argue that Hip Hop is an art belonging to the hooligans of society. Moreover, many music videos frequently portray rich Black men visiting clubs and bars, dancing with barely dressed women rapping about money and sex. In fact, many a time, Hip Hop dancers and rappers are frequently associated with criminal tendencies, and do not always harbor a stellar reputation among the more conservative and orthodox members of society. Many experts had recommended that Hip Hop be given official ...Show more

Summary

Running Head: Hip Hop Hip Hop Is Hip Hop a Culture? The question of the significance and even the validity of Hip Hop are much discussed in the United States of America today. Hundreds of universities and community colleges around the world offer courses discussing and dissecting the inception and evolution of Hip Hop, so inspirational is the story of this "revolution." So, is Hip Hop truly a culture?…
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Is Hip Hop a Culture essay example
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