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Hip Hop Article Summaries Essay

Article 1

Talking about Afro-American teens in 2005 Bert Staples described how he felt that Hip Hop had lost its way and betrayed its many fans. He feels that, although it started out with a number of different themes, it  now only perpetuates the myth that achievement only belongs to white people and negative things such as violence belong only in black culture. He describes how the music was used to insult rivals and provoke gang war fare that ended in fatalities in the 1990’s.

There are record companies, he claims, who promote violence in order to sell records. He gives the example of 50 Cents, otherwise Curtis Jackson, whose records are insulting and promote violence. Staples  says that newer artists are more likely to adopt similar methods just to get noticed.  He speaks about the music industry’s greed and lack of any self control which has led to the present situation, one in which the general public has decided that Hip Hop is no longer acceptable and so are stopping buying discs or going to gigs. Hip Hop – so violent that it has shot itself in the foot.

Article 2  Hip Hop and Youth Culture

The writer describes Hip Hops an ‘emerging cultural phenomenon’ now representing millions of dollars and which is intertwined with young people’s lives. It came about, like many other trends have done in the past , because the people  concerned  found they were unable to gain any acceptance in the entertainment  industry through the standard channels. Adults refused to accept Hip Hop as legitimate music. This rejection made it all the more attractive to the young, black and white, both in rebellion against the mainstream. They found it was easy to participate in – you don’t need to be a musician or have a good singing voice to rap.

In contrast to the first article this writer says there are many themes, all of which play out with dominant percussion. There is little reliance on traditional Western music types. It is way of expressing pride in one’s community, but this has led to gang warfare.. Part of the attraction is the ease in which the message can be delivered. It can be an honest expression of feelings  – it can also be insulting – both are part of Hip Hop. It was only when it became violent that the music industry became interested – they could count the dollars.

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