From its birth, Hip Hop is consistently argued about between black and white America, and among the young and old. Usually, it is the negative of the subject that receives the most attention from this topic. The main problem with Hip Hop is its negative aspects, Re creation, and the unrealistic goal of achieving the American Dream. Hip Hop today is more concerned with commercializing and what sells, which takes away from the culture that was established early on. With the newly evolving era of technology, the four pillars can be looked at as mp3, music video, mix tape, and commercialism.
Music is the main focus that defines Hip Hop today and continues to become even bigger than before. Music is able to connect many different people on so many levels and influence fashion, cars, speech and attitude. This is an example of how Hip Hop has gone through many generations and is still going strong. As it grows among the youth, both black and white, it is definitely taking a positive role in the African American despite contrary belief. However as the growth of Hip Hop continues the negative aspects are focused on more than anything.
To solve the negative aspects of Hip Hop stricter ratings need to be put on the music, bigger fines for re creation of previous songs, and have people realize that everybody can’t be a rapper. The negative aspects of Hip Hop are a more predominate feature that are more glorified in the media than the positive ones. One prime example would be the televised daily reports of gun related issues such as school shootings or elementary students that bring weapons to school. The media immediately begins to criticize the music for being the driving force behind the violence that occurs within today’s youth.
If a child brings a weapon to school, there is an assumption made immediately, by the media, that he or she has heard this on a Hip Hop song. But there are many more instances where Hip Hop is said to influence acts of violence. In the Duval county public school system, there have been over 12 gun related arrests this year. In this area, this is not a new occasion, but a reoccurring event. Even though the problem starts in the households, it seems to be blamed on Hip Hop instead.
Chief Officer David Coffman, who heads the school resource officers, places the blame on Hip Hop and music videos for making youngsters feel that it is cool to carry a gun. Another great example is the event which occurred between Don Imus and the women’s basketball players of Rutgers University. Although he did use his freedom of speech and press, he used sexually and racially derogatory comments to describe the women’s basketball team. For his poor choice, consequently the media did embark on the language used in the Hip Hop culture.
In my English 101 class 85% of my classmates felt Hip Hop objectify women in a negative way. In Hip Hop, the image of women is not as positive as it should be. The culture of Hip Hop chooses to degrade women continuously, which does not go unnoticed by the American population and therefore is looked down upon for it; creating yet another reason for society to discriminate against this culture. One artist that displays this negative behavior towards women is Ludacris. Though he has many uplifting songs, his creation of the song “Ho” has no other purpose than to give an explanation of the negative perception of women.
Despite some negative aspects of Hip Hop it is not fair to say that Hip Hop is a leading factor in increasing violence and social problems when it is so much more than that. To establish a stance on Hip Hop saying that it is only a bad thing should not be the method that is taken. These assumptions show that the culture of Hip Hop is frequently misunderstood. Such assumptions are made because of accounts that previously occurred. Hip Hop culture now is not an explanation for those parents that neglect their children or those parents that have problems with discipline towards the children.
Hip Hop is not a cause of the increase of violence this but it may be a reflection of what the artist grew up seeing. Hip Hop record labels need to have stricter ratings and parents need to be more cautious about what their kids are listening to. The media causes the image of Hip Hop to be tarnished into what we see today. Since this image is embedded in our minds, the idea and culture of Hip Hop is not as encouraging as before. The experiences and their way of expressing their life are done with the use of Hip Hop. Re creation is not a concept that is popular, but has been around for many years.
The act of taking an original invention or idea and mastering it in another way shows how creative a person can be. Though it is not a simple task, it is a frequent practice in Hip Hop. This exposes the ability of a young person’s mind. Nelson George comments on the topic, stating that “We love to take things that were once out of reach…and reinvent the technology in our own image” (George 52). This quote is saying that anything can be turned into an aspect of Hip Hop. Its original use is meant for another purpose, but that does not limit the abilities of it. One example is the use of ability to recreate music.
Most people see this as plagiarism and stealing somebody else’s song. The process involves taking a part of an original song and developing a new use for it. This can be thought of as a pastiche. This has also assisted in opening the possibilities of music that could not be explored before by simple instruments. Now, the music makers of Hip Hop are able to extend the tradition of sampling music. Instead of just an instrument and some lyrics, there is a collection of sounds that have not been heard before. In today’s society, it is difficult to be your own person. Many artist see re creation as a means to survival in the Hip Hop Industry.
The music industry should make it illegal for artist to use somebody else’s work and fine artist a penalty for doing so. Many artists see re creation as a necessity and will most likely keep on doing it. The culture of Hip Hop makes the idea of self definition a necessity for survival. For African Americans of all ages, it is hard to survive in this society. The development of pride and confidence in oneself is a key in self definition. To have just enough confidence may not be suitable. There is no limit to how much you should love yourself. These words are seen as bad for a person’s characteristics.
To have an indulgence in self importance can destroy a person in the eyes of others. Instead, it can be a source of power. In any person’s lifetime, he or she may pursue the “American Dream”; the idea of a big house, luxury cars, and money. In the society of today, the dream is about being a young millionaire (Kitwana 46). Hip Hop continues to glorify this unrealistic fantasy. This dream is neither achieved by everyone, nor is it handed freely. It takes long hours and hard work to accomplish the dream. Many young people in the black community want to be rich like the rappers they look up to without the hard work.
In Hip Hop, the dream is the motivation for any person in any aspect of the culture. Because of this, hard work is an expectation. This dream is leading to the downfall of lower class African Americans as well as Hip Hop its self. The majority of Hip Hop is focused on those living in lower class poverty level who wants to change their situation. What they hear and see is what they use to base their future on. The American Dream is not the only motivation for young Americans to increase their work ethic. Many others have no other choice but to work extra hours daily or an extra job.
This is how they grow up and what they see in Hip Hop. Sometime it is not the preferred method, but it is a necessity for survival. Bakari Kitwana gives insight on this topic, saying “Everyone wants to make it big…many of us can’t wait until we’re 40, or even 35…Although such attitudes existed in previous generations, with the Hip Hop generation, it is nearly an obsession” (Kitwana 46). The youth that are growing up seem to understand that they will not be given anything. The determination to get millions of dollars is the driving force that makes them want to work.
They see the benefits of having money but also experience the downfalls of not having it. Due to the experiences, they sometimes turn to illegal activity such as selling drugs. This should not be the case, but it does give the same results. You have to create cliental, gather product, and find ways to get the most profit from it. This is similar to a kid who becomes successful in the e-commerce industry. With the e-commerce business, you must find something that interest people, create a cliental, and be able to advertise. Both of those methods are different but share one thing: the development of an entrepreneur.
Along with that, hard work is forced on those that are involved in activities such as drug sales or web development for example. The tactics are not easy, but they lead traits which become very valuable later on, and can take them to their millions. As a result, Hip Hop has been a big contribution to the youth of America in negative and positive ways. The main problem with Hip Hop is its negative aspects, Re creation, and the unrealistic goal of achieving the American Dream. Although there are negative aspects stand out the most, it has influenced the youth in a way that their parents are not able to.
Hip Hop is able to open their minds and help them to become more creative. The idea of sampling a song and producing a new, unheard of instrumental is a very complex practice. It does take effort to do, but it is a great exercise of the brain. Hip Hop also helps to instill confidence and pride among the youth. This is a hard lesson to learn at a young age, but it is something that can be carried on through life. Finally, it helps to change the idea of kids being lazy. Now, there are more youth that are willing to work and establish themselves financially. They are able to set goals for themselves and strive for it.
Hip Hop has been around for many years. During its time of existence, it has been able to change each generation that has grown through it. Among this generation, it has had the biggest and most positive impact of all.
Cobb, William. To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic. London: NYU Press, 2008. George, Nelson. Hip Hop America. Boston: Penguin (Non-Classics), 2005. “Hip Hop Speaks to Children. ” Ebony 1 Nov. 2008: 55. Kitwana, Bakari. The Hip Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture. New York: Basic Ci
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