What is hip hop? What are some of the common stereotypes and generalizations by which hip hop is conceived? Is it a music that is for only one group of people? Does hip hop promote violence and negativity? Many people claim that it is a disgraceful, meangless din.
Antagonists often claim that hip hop is offensive to many groups of people. I will agree that unfortunately these are sometimes true with certain varieties of hip hop. The fact is that so many artists out there are in the industry simply for the love. These artists are not “sellouts” that are only in the industry for the money and fame.
Also, there are many artists out there in the hip hop world that promote positivitAs time goes on hip hop culture is integrating many different racial and ethnic groups. It is now socially acceptable for people of all races to enjoy the many aspects of hip hop. Hip hop was spurred in the late 70’s. The man credited as being the first rapper ever, DJ Afrika Bambataa, was the first to “talk” to his music. His unorthodox style quickly became very popular in the disco and funk clubs.
For the lack of a better word,rap” was the term given to the music. As more and more rappers came about, the term MC, or Master of Ceremonies, was associated with rappers. Break dancing actually originated a few years prior to DJ Afrika Bambataa. Break dancers (B-Boys and B-Girls), would dance during the breaks in the music while steady beats were played. Eventually rap and break dancing united and hip hop began.
The area in which hip hop first became a popular music was the Bronx. The Bronx is often labeled as the birthplace of hip hop. In its early stages hip hop was mostly a black and hispanic thing. As hip hop has evolved over the past 20 some odd years its n base has dramatically broadened.
Not only has its area of influence broadened, but the race and ethnicities of hip hop lovers have also. If you go to a hip hop concert nowadays you will almost always see a mixture of races. Groups such as A Tribe Called Quest, and The Roots welcome this ethnic mixing in their music. On the contrary, most “gangster rappers” do not promote this mixture. Thpreach about racial tension, therefore further distancing the posibility of tranquility between races. These negative gangster rappers are the problem with hip hop.
Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with telling about the injustices and harsh nditons of living in the city, but often it is taken too far. The best hip hop out there is what’s called “underground”. Most rappers are underground at first. Unfortunately underground hip hop is not extremely prosperous.
Mainstream artists differ from underground rappers because they are exposed to all of the faand luxuries provided by society. Many underground rappers become frustrated because of the lack of exposure. Too many of the most famous rappers “cop out” by making music that caters to the mainstream American consumers. All of a sudden they become toh, hard knock thugs; thus the name gangster rappers. This is the image that sells.
Gangster rappers’ lyrics lack substance and meaning. The theme of their music becomes repetitive. All of their songs deal with and only with the following elements: sex, ugs, violence and racism. Mos Def and Talib Kweli are two very talented rappers who have stayed true to their underground roots while gaining stardom in the hip hop world.
Their insightful lyrics reflect their intelligence. Their stories reflect everything from the day to day trbles of living in NYC to the troubled state of the world today. They rap about astronomy and the ancient faiths of Christianity and Islam. The beats they use also show the heavy influence that jazz has had on hip hop.
They tend to not use hard, loud, motonous beats. Another group that shows its recognition for jazz is The Roots. Instead of a DJ who plays records, The Roots have a guitar player and a drummer. I can tell you from experience that having a drummer and a guitar player truely enhances their live performaes. The sudden sensation of white and asian rappers is concrete evidence that hip hop is rapidly integrating people of all races.
Eminem, a white rapper from Detroit, has taken hip hop by storm. His hit single “My Name Is” has become extremely popular worldde. The Mountain Brothers are a fairly recent group of asian rappers from Philadelphia. In my opinion they have the potential to become one of the best groups in hip hop. I’m sure that eventually they will hit the bigtime.
I only hope that they will statrue to their roots and not sellout to the temptations of the music industry like many talented hip hop groups before them.