Urban music is a prominently used term but the nature of its origin is not clear. Today, it is popularly known as a term used in referring to black music or music of black origin made by artists regardless of nationality or descent. Debates and arguments about the term and its wide scope is an ongoing topic among the music industry, music fans and artists across the countries. Urban music is a genre that is very broad. If you look underneath urban music, there are a number of core elements that include hip-hop, R&B, garage and into that obviously comes soul music.
Urban music also includes reggae, rock n roll, blues and jazz but the term is most popularly attached or instantly linked to hip-hop. According to J. Decibel, urban music is a cultural movement among African Americans that began in New York City in the early 1970s but it was in the 1980s that urban music or hip-hop became popular1. In Hip-Hop and Youth Culture, Hip-hop is defined as mostly rhyming, rhythmic spoken word art-form known as rapping2. It includes a whole larger culture that involves rap, baggy clothing, break-dancing, graffiti, language and a lifestyle.
Urban music or hip-hop in particular has become a common form of communication and enjoyed by young adults and children relatively throughout the world. Unlike in the earlier days, this music genre is no longer limited to plain art of music and dancing. In Hip-Hop and Youth Culture, it was mentioned that urban music has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry that has greatly manipulated a lot of industries like automotive design, fashion, television programming, collegiate and professional sports, media marketing and advertising3 .
Music is essential in youth culture and in that sense urban music’s potential to influence is rampant that it has stringed its way into young people’s lifestyles particularly because it is a form of recreation that promotes creativity and self expression. Rapping in particular is a way of pronouncing one’s pride in his/her community that also becomes a form of competition where a rapper can display his skills and support or defend their respective communities. It is unquestionable that adults tend to defer acceptance of this culture in comparison to young adults.
Young adults are more inclined in adopting the culture when they are being reprimanded and especially when they know that adults don’t understand nor like what they were into. Young black people embrace the culture because they sympathize to the music that is singing their lives. For young people that do not have any connection to the urban community or urban culture, there is still a lot of question as to why hip-hop or urban music fascinates them and this is nothing new especially for middle and upper-middle class young people. One apparent reason could be fascination to what is prohibited.
Another could be that hip-hop music is exciting and offers a brutally honest view of life that embodied the prevailing values of society. Hip-hop and rap music started out as an art form to express social awareness and it did gather success in inspiring a certain amount of activism. It did not achieve the attention of the music industry and the music cable television program MTV though until it turned violent and unpredictable. The music industry became interested on the business possibilities that the music genre’s hype could bring.
Today with the upsurge of the billion dollar industry that this music genre has produced; unsettled prevalent consequences are emerging. One is the youth gang culture that is said to have influences from the “gangsta” life portrayed in violent lyrics and in the lives of some artists themselves. Violent lyrics pertain to offensive language, chauvinism, sexual promiscuity, fear and discrimination of homosexuals, parental and domestic abuse and the “gangsta” pride of refusing authority. As a result, popular culture readily identifies “gangsta” rap, hip-hop and in effect urban music as glorifying violence, rape, murder and drug abuse.
The thing is, “gangsta” rap did not happen overnight. The rise of its popularity coincided with the time when crack and drugs broke out on the West Coast of United States. It was inevitable that hip-hop and rap music would embody the violent and drug scene of the ghetto given that this genre gets their inspiration from issues of their communities. As a result, criticisms on the negative connotations of rap music and the black youth were naturally expected. For the past recent years, hip-hop has also become the voice of not only black youth artists.
White young male artists like Marshall Mathers, or popularly named Eminem, is one of them. He is one of the artists that have preferred to dismiss the common belief that being young and white in America is an easy ticket in living the American dream. Eminem became famous of because of his dark view on his way of life which is appears to be experienced by many young white men in the United States of America. Noticeable observations on the behaviour and thinking of the youth can be noticed after the advent of the highly publicized hip-hop or rap culture.
Young people today are more independent and opinionated in their way of thinking that the adult majority for them are deceptive. Young people tend to disrespect elders and are often arrogant and unapologetic. Neighbourhoods that are being ruled by young thugs instead of adults are emerging. A regard for law and order is diminishing especially in black communities while apathy or lack of concern for neighbours is mounting among societies. More black people are less courteous in dealing with other blacks and resort to profanity. Discrimination not only of other races but with their own black brothers and sisters is slowly rising.
Not only black intellectual and moral leaders observed these, society at large is seeing it. These are only some of the observations that can be made readily; the list goes on. The problem of race discrimination goes a long way back embedded in our histories. Although, as they say, things are moving to forward and open-minded thinking, it can still be seen and felt that the loop goes on in some level. The negative connotations of “gangsta” rap are automatically linked to the black youth and other ethnic minorities group. Ignorance of the urban music is evident for the majority of the people and society’s leaders.
Ignorance results to alienation, thereby transferring this alienation of the music genre to the ones that are directly linked to it. Young black adults are perceived to be naturally violent and the way they are portrayed in the music and accompanying music videos escalates this negativity. Government and police authorities’ alienation of black youth and ethnic minorities is therefore persistent and relative unless steps to stop this cycle are done. More often than not black youth are lumped together and highly visible in discussions in the media, in public perception and culture critics’ analyses.
“Gangsta” rappers get their inspiration for their art among the situations of the black ghetto poor. The ironic thing is real gangster members do not often listen to “gangsta” rapper music to inspire them on their activities and listen more to “old school” music. However, this does not mean that they cannot relate to each other because in fact they feed off of each other. Ian Youngs of BBC news wrote in an online article that urban music and gun crime “now seem inextricably entwined in the United Kingdom”. After a threat of gun crime forced organisers of an MTV party to cancel, high profile club nights could no longer be staged4.
In the same online article, it was published that “when two people were shot at a So Solid Crew party in central London in October 2001, the police and media shone their spotlights on violence at black music”5. As a result, the group’s tour was abruptly stopped as were other urban music events to avoid incidents of the same nature. Promoters and producers had too much pressure from the police and the media when plans of staging such urban music events came up. Gangsters are drawn to the glamorous “bling-bling” atmosphere of these events situated in cities that already has gun problems.
Justification of Methodology Measuring the students performance would now require a non-face-to-face interaction. The survey was conducted as web-based rather than paper-based because the former, with hyperlinks and java scripts, can conveniently direct the readers to designated webpages where relevant examples, explanations or instructions are provided. Results from the pilot survey showed that without web-based examples the respondents could not really understand the ASP features explained in plain texts.
With java scripts, definition of a terminology is automatically displayed when a respondent points the cursor at it. Extranet surveys has a faster response rate; easier to send reminders to participants; easier to process data, as responses could be downloaded to a spreadsheet, data analysis package, or a database; dynamic error checking capability; option of putting questions in random order; the ability to make complex skip pattern questions easier to follow; the inclusion of pop-up instructions for selected questions; and the use of drop-down boxes.
These are possibilities that cannot be included in paper surveys. Due to the anonymity and lack of face-to-face and physical interaction through the extranet, it is argued that it is more likely that a person will show its true self during extranet survey rather than face-to-face interaction. Lately, 50 Cent of America was highly criticized for the cover of his latest album, where he was shown cradling a baby in one arm and in the other holding a gun behind his back. 50 Cent is just one of the hip-hop artists that are criticised off and on online for creating and popularizing “crap” music.
In an online forum article, he was described by an online forum participant as someone who “makes a lot of black people ashamed”6 Artists are beginning to gain awareness of their responsibilities as public people and are starting to steer from negative topics while not loosing their identity in their craft and individuality in the music industry. One example is Mary J. Blige of America, who once created songs about oppression and anger is now on the topic of anti-apathy and unity among diverse people. Mary J.
Blige has recently collaborated with the highly acclaimed group U2 of Europe for an appropriately titled song, “One Love”. In UK, urban music artists Miss Dynamite, Lisa Mafia and Shola Ama has joined together for a tour to raise money for anti-gun initiative Stop the Violence charity as published in an online article by the BBC news network7. Miss Dynamite herself believes that musicians or artists have a definite responsibility to the people in terms of gun violence and crime and is willing to work with the government in combating the gun violence. Conclusion and Recommendation
Technological innovations have enabled a global widespread for any media. On average, young people spend 5 to 6 hours a day listening to music or watching television; that’s why popular culture is absorbed faster and wider amongst youth from different countries. While some listen or watch hip-hop or rap music in terms of recreation or relaxation, some admit that they sometimes listen to it to aggravate feelings of anger or hate. According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, up to 75% of music videos contain sexually explicit material and more then half contain violence that is often committed against women8.
Children and young adults see these everyday extensively, and almost always without parental guidance. Consistency of violence in the television makes them appear acceptable thus promoting indifference to violence itself and aggressiveness. Take note, children and young adults today spend more time watching television and listening to music than the time spent in school. The use of extranet in construction companies with regards to studying end users aims to provide them value for money, better productivity, and better competitiveness of the students.
On the other hand, the teachers aims to give a committed leadership, focus on the students, integrated processes and teams, quality driver agenda, commitment to people. Information technology represents a paradigm shift with respect to the way we design, procure, build and maintain buildings. Adopting the new technology and adapting to the change is the best way to leap forward and re-engineer the industry. With the state-of-the-art developments in IT, and the government’s keen interest and support, many local industries are poised to process re-design.
The construction industry, in particular, should make use of the current technology to help shed its traditional image as an unproductive and unprogressive sector. The industry stands to gain much from learning about and applying the advanced technology to improve the processes of construction. It is clear from the survey that the most significant impacts of IT on the construction industry are faster information transfer, reduction in difficulties in project coordination, better means of communication, and easier and faster access to common data.
Although the Internet has been adopted by most firms surveyed, a lot of information is still exchanged in its traditional means. Where the survey of end users, in this case, students, show most of their dissatisfaction in their learning and overall experience and the teachers has problems with the relationship among students, it affects the growth of learning when it comes to planning and teaching. Direct influences of violent lyrics and images of urban music on violent acts of the youth cannot be concluded but it is certainly a factor adding up to acts and thoughts of violence.
It is not fair to directly equate the posse that urban music portrays of black youth to real life because in the end, it is still an art apart from reality. Reference Beresin, E. V. M. D. “Media Violence and Youth”, Academic Psychiatry. http://ap. psychiatryonline. org/cgi/content/full/23/2/111(10 April 2007 ) Bulletin Board Discover Vancouver. Vancouver Forum. http://Discover Vancouver Forum. org/Urban music the downfall of society. htm Decibel, J. , “The History of Hip-Hop. ”, 2005. http://www. jam2dis. com/j2dhiphophistory1. htm (10 April 2007 ) “Hip-Hop and Youth Culture”, (Contemplations on an emerging cultural phenomenon).
http://www. juyc. org/current/0401/Hip%20Hop%20and%20Youth%20Cultur1. pdf(10 April 2007 ) I. Youngs, “Club Hits by Violence Fears” (6 May 2003). BBC News Online. http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/entertainment/3005251. stm(10 April 2007 ) “Ms Dynamite Tops Anti-Gun Tour”. BBC News Online. http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/2856977. stm(10 April 2007 ) Psychosocial Paediatrics Committee, “Impact of Media Use on Children and Youth”, Canadian Paediatric Society. http:// CPS position statement Psychosocial Paediatrics Impact of media use on children and youth. htm(10 April 2007 )