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Hip Hop Phenomenon

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    Alex Williams October 29, 2012 Professor Marini Research Paper; 12pm Hip Hop Phenomenon Barack Obama once stated, “The thing about hip-hop today is it’s smart, it’s insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable (Morgan 927). ” Hip Hop has evolved through the years by the people who participate in it. The message in the lyrics that hip hop artist speak are usually directed to the youth community. Hip Hop is spread throughout the world. Hip Hop was started by the youth and is continuing to strive off the youth.

    Hip Hop in today’s society has broadened worldwide due to its youthful audience and their involvement with its projects. Hip Hop was created so people can be entertained and the artist can tell his or her story. In the article, “Introduction: Hip Hop in History: Past, Present, and Future,” Derrick Alridge explains how hip hop was originated from the streets of New York and was introduced to the world by the African American family (190). Hip Hop contains four basic elements which are: disc jockeying, break dancing, graffiti art, and rapping (Alridge 190).

    The two elements that have gained the most attention are disc jockeying and rapping (Alridge 191). Piero Scaruffi explains in his article, “A Brief History of Hip Hop” that hip hop was first introduced to New York by way of the Jamaican immigrants. (www. scaruffi. com). Graffiti Art was first used around the 1960s in the streets of Philadelphia. (www. scaruffi. com). DJ Kool Arc created the term D boy to refer to an acrobatic style of breakdancing. (www. scaruffi. com). There were many major icons to start this hip hop movement which included Biggie Smalls (Hess xxviii).

    Biggie Smalls was considered one of the greatest MC’s in the history of hip hop music (Hess xxviii). These icons are what made hip hop popular. Christopher Wallace was a much known rapper to help hip hop become successful. Biggie Smalls was born in in Brooklyn, New York, on May 21st (Holly viii). Smalls first album was named “Ready to die” and sold many copies of it (Holly viii). Biggie Smalls created a “protection” group called Hawks for people he could call family (Holly 4). Biggie smalls rap name was the Notorious B. I. G. nd he was a well-respected rapper by many important people in the Hip Hop world (Holly 39). In the book, “Is Hip Hop Dead: The Past, Present, and Future of America’s Most Wanted Music, Mickey Hess explains how lyrics from Biggie present achieving a career in rap music as a story of hard work and ingenuity (14). Wallace wrote songs about his life and how he made it to success (Hess 14). This artist justifies his wealth, success, and celebrity by presenting his career as a rise from poverty (Hess 24). Biggie is not the only major icon of Hip Hop.

    There are many people that have contributed to the success of hip hop. The first rap records were Sugar Hill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight (1979) and Kurtis “Blow” Walker’s Christmas Rapping and the Breaks. The function between hip hop and the rock world was first achieved by Run DMC (www. scaruffi. com). Hip hop moved, in short, from an event-driven activity to a product-driven one with the release and overwhelming commercial success of Run DMC (Dimitriadis 355). Usually young men participate in hip hop (Morgan 926). Hip hop allowed young men who could not get a job a way to gain income (Morgan 932).

    Queen Latifah was also a major contributor. Latifah brought a new sense of positivity to rap and became a role model almost instantly when she started (Hess 218). Commercially and culturally, Latifah helped begin a tradition that continues today in the rap world (Hess 226). Hip hop has its participators and audience to thank for its success. Rap music has transformed from not just music but also to a culture. The hip hop beats created by DJ’s in the 70’s actually sparked what is known as “hip hop culture (Jackson 22). In the article, “Hip Hop Culture around the Globe: Implications for Teaching,” Brenda Jackson explains how hip hop culture has expanded to urban clothing, expensive jewelry, cars, speech patterns, mindsets, and movement styles (22). Hip hop culture is now defined by a commercialized lifestyle far from humble beginnings surrounded the inception of hip hop music (Jackson 22). Greg Dimitriadis says in “Hip Hop to Rap: Some Implications of a Historically Situated Approach to Performance” that most people received hip hop culture by way of tapes played on personal stereo systems (355).

    Hip hop can be described as cultural practice is associated with the production of particular identifications (Morgan 925). Hip has changed from not only being an African American phenomenon to being accepted by many races. Rap expresses the ongoing preoccupation with literacy and oral that has characterized African American communities since the inception of legally coerced illiteracy during slavery (Dyson 408). The rap artist appeals to the rhetorical practices eloquently honed in African American religious experiences and the cultural potency of black/singing/musical traditions to produce an engaging hybrid (Dyson 408).

    Hip hop can be described as cultural practice that is associated with the production of particular identifications (Morgan 925). Rap music has become by far the most celebrated expression of hip hop culture (Leach 10). A mass population enjoys the genre hip hop. Hip Hop was spread out widely through the world with the help of the youth community. In the article, “Aboriginal Youth, Hip Hop and the Politics of Identification, George Morgan explains how Hip Hop makes it ideal for youth to get in touch with their tribal identity, history, and cultural background (928).

    Most of the time, young men were the ones to participate in hip hop (Morgan 928). Hip Hop allowed young men who could not get a job a way to gain income (Morgan 932). Hip Hop is not seen only as a musical genre but also it has become a style of dress, dialect of language, a way of looking at the world, and an aesthetic that reflects the sensibilities that affects a large population of youth (Alridge 190). Hip Hop has it positives and negatives throughout the youth community. The words hip hop and rap music are very much interchangeable.

    In the article, “It’s a Hip Hop World,” Jeff Chang explains how rap music has always been considered a form of resistance against authority (58). Rap provided jobs for many un-employed people (Chang 62). Critics often call hip hop materialistic, misogynistic, homophobic, racist, vulgar, and violent (59). The two major potent traditions in rap music are preaching and music (Dyson 408). Rap has retrieved historic black ideas, movement, and figures in combating the racial amnesia that threatens to relegate the achievements of the black past to the ash heap of forgetting (Dyson 408).

    Rap music has become by far the most celebrated expression of hip hop culture (Leach 10). Rap Music is also one of the easiest genres to market to a mass audience (Leach 10). Hip Hop is a serious business. Hip hop is now the center of mega music and fashion industry around the world. Rap was born as an incestuous inter-cultural phenomenon. In hip hop music, the rappers usually told stories. Hip hop became the biggest selling music in the United States in 2003. Rap music has become a vehicle for self-advantage.

    No youth trend is more visible around the world today than hip hop. Hip hop dancing became an artistic idiom on its own. Hip hop has come from a small cipher in the streets of New York to a worldwide genre of music.

    Works Cited Alridge, Derrick P. , and James B. Stewart. “Introduction: Hip Hop In History: Past, Present, And Future. ” Journal Of African American History 90. 3 (2005): 190-195. Academic Search Complete. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. Chang, Jeff. “IT’s A Hip-Hop World. ” Foreign Policy 163 (2007): 58. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. Dimitriadis, Greg. Hip Hop To Rap: Some Implications Of An Historically Situated Approach To Performance. ” Text & Performance Quarterly 19. 4 (1999): 355. International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance with Full Text. Web. 2 Nov. 2012. Lang, Holly. Notorious B. I. G : A Biography. n. p. : Greenwood Press, 2007. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 29 Oct. 2012. LEACH, ANDREW. “One Day It’ll All Make Sense”: Hip-Hop And Rap Resources For Music Librarians. ” Notes 65. 1 (2008): 9. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 2 Nov. 2012. Hess, Mickey. Icons Of Hip Hop : An Encyclopedia Of The Movement, Music, And Culture. n. p. : Greenwood Press, 2007. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 29 Oct. 2012. Hess, Mickey. Is Hip Hop Dead? : The Past, Present, And Future Of America’s Most Wanted Music. n. p. : Praeger, 2007. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 29 Oct. 2012. Jackson, Brenda, and Sharon Anderson. “Hip Hop Culture Around The Globe: Implications For Teaching. ” Black History Bulletin 72. 1 (2009): 22-32. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Nov. 2012. LEACH, ANDREW. “One Day It’ll All Make Sense”: Hip-Hop And Rap Resources For Music Librarians. ” Notes 65. 1 (2008): 9-37. Academic Search Alumni Edition. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. “Chapter Thirty: THE CULTURE OF HIP-HOP. ” Michael Eric Dyson Reader. 401-410. n. p. : Perseus Books, LLC, 2004. Literary Reference Center. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. Morgan, George, and Andrew Warren. “Aboriginal Youth, Hip Hop And The Politics Of Identification. ” Ethnic & Racial Studies 34. 6 (2011): 925-947. SocINDEX with Full Text. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. Scaruffi, Piero. “Birth of Hip Hop. http://www. scaruffi. com/history. 2009. Web. 17 Oct. 2012

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