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Hip Hop & Crisis in African American Commnity - Research Paper Example

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Hip Hop & Crisis in African American Commnity

Its story is at once imbedded in time/history, geography, culture, technology, industry, politics, and aesthetic frames. In its short history from the mid 1970s to present, numerous critical, socio-cultural, and empirical studies have sought to dissect and explain away its reality. However, this paper attempts to review the literature through historical perspectives. Body Hip-hop was born out of a number of social, political, and artistic occurrences. George (1998) starts hip-hop's story at the end of the 1960s, a period of hopes for total racial integration-Martin Luther King's dream. However, as the 1970s progressed, the reality of inequalities was reiterated. In terms of what was reflected in art, the expression of the people, most obvious and mobile with the music, segregation continued. Rock and roll was predominantly for White artists and audiences, whereas rhythm and blues was African-American (Kitwana, 2006). In the 1970s, profits from the rock music revolution helped to create, develop, and further consolidate a corporate musical industry that was evidenced by mergers such as Warner-Reprise, Elektra-Asylum, and Atlantic. These corporations recognized the potential profits available from the Black performers who could access not only the Black community, but also "cross-over" to White teens. The major record labels created "Black music" divisions, encouraging commercial-cultural crossover. This potential for broad audience access is one reason that "disco" came into being in the 1970s. As with many popular music forms of the era, it had African ­American roots. Scholars and those in the musical recording industry have consistently argued about the influential nature of Black culture and music, and evidence exists to support its apparent relationship to White, or mainstream music and culture. Garofalo (1993) posits the links between genres, and notes that the history of popular music in America "can be described in terms of Black innovation and popularization" (p. 57). Disco was an example, coming as it did at the end of the civil rights/Black power era, it was at once an accumulation of African-American and American popular music experience. The musical genre was short for discotheque, a place where people could go to dance, drink, and listen to this form of music. George (1998) and Werner (1999) note the rise of disco from the underground clubs of New York and Los Angeles, during the mid to late 1970s, that paved the way for initial elements of break dancing and future samples for rap. Werner (1999) notes disco's musical roots in Black dance music (p. 205). Disco was at first "high-quality Black dance music, with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huffs elegantly funky Philly Sound productions and the lush sounds surrounding Barry White's bass voice the artistic benchmarks" (George, 1998, p. 7). Whereas the club provided the place and the music industry provided the means for increased musical crossing over, the advent of synthesizer allowed for the ability to manipulate prerecorded sound for smoother transitions between songs. This inaugurated the cult of the club OJ who did the "mixing." As disco became mainstream around 1975, it lost much of its freshness and was further stigmatized by an association with the gay rights movement (Werner, 1999, p. 205). To chants of "Disco sucks!" ...Show more

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Running Head: HIP HOP Hip Hop & Crisis in African American Community [Name] [University] Hip Hop & Crisis in African American Community Introduction Hip-hop is an African-American, Afro-Caribbean, Latin American youth alternative culture that incorporates rap music, graffiti, and break-dancing as central to its cultural expression (George, 1998; Rose, 1994)…
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Hip Hop & Crisis in African American Commnity essay example
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