“It’s hard to stop a Cultural Revolution that bridges people together.” This is a quote from a famous ‘Rapper’ who has been behind the Hip-Hop revolution since the start. He is Chuck D; the creator of Public Enemy, one of the biggest Hip-Hop acts ever. This quote condenses what the writer of the article is trying to promote to the reader in just a few words.
For the last 25 years the conservative masses have been trying to stop, ignore and turn a blind eye to the Hip-Hop revolution, mainly because of its origins and political stances. Unfortunately for some this has failed miserably with Hip-Hop being the strongest it has ever been at the present. But people are now starting to accept it somewhat; for example record companies have been cashing in on its popularity for some time now. The writer of the Feature Article Hip Hop Nation Christopher John Farley is not a Rapper himself, rather an open minded person who has written a article to increase awareness to the masses of the culture of this phenomenon.
Hip-Hop is not about living on the range where the buffalo roam; it is not about meeting the perfect girl. It’s about the good times and the bad; it’s about winning and loosing, it is real. Rap songs are about what people see in their lives and there are no lies. This music is about living in the ‘urban jungle.’
The writer has shown this by discussing the inspiration of the many artists. The writer is also “keeping it real” by not just focusing on the big stars. He talks to people who are Hip-Hop, the people on the street. The writers has included quotes from them for example “I’m Hip-Hop every day” declares 28-year-old Marlon Irving… He also explains how two keen kids hover over a computer creating some beats for a rap song they are writing. “I going to change rap!” one of them exclaims. This is all well and good but the reality is that Hip-Hop music is now the biggest selling music in the world. The writer has included figures that prove this. In 1998 it sold 81 million albums in America alone to County music’s 72 million. If trends continue this will further increase.
The article is the main feature of the February 8, 1999 issue of the Australian edition of Time magazine. The front cover features the Hip-Hop diva Lauryn Hill and the caption ‘The music revolution that has changed America.’ The article is stressing the point that this type of music is not just a fad but it is real and it is now dominating the music scene. This is further emfacised by statements such as “after two decades, it has transformed the culture of America” or “And how will we remember the last days of the ’90s? Most likely, to the rough-hewn beat of rap.” The article spans twelve pages and includes a timeline of major events in Hip-Hop over the last twenty years. This shows that this music has been around for some time and it has had some big successes.
The most important aspect of Hip-Hop is the message it is expressing to the observer. The article demonstrates this by including lines from influential or popular Rap tunes such as “you might win some but you just lost one”- Lauryn Hill or “Ftha police. Comin’ straight from the underground”-N.W.A. (Niger’s With Attitude). Possible the two biggest Rap acts at the moment are Lauryn Hill and Puff Daddy. The writer has included a profile on both of the artists, which gives an insight to the types of people leading the scene.
The two artists are quite different, as Puffy is a businessman with a Howard University degree and his own record label where as Lauryn Hill is into politics and fighting for the rights of people. The Article is concluded with an essay by Chuck D. entitled “The Sound of Our Young World.” It deals with the early development of Hip-Hop and his own predictions for the future. He see the future with the Internet and what he calls the “Wild, Wild Web.” He concludes the essay with “Watch, feel and listen. It’s only just begun.”
The article is endoured with many pictures portraying the many people involved in this scene. From the early greats like ‘The Sugar Hill Gang’ and the ‘Beastie Boys.’ Each page is toped with the title ‘Hip-Hop Nation’ which continually instills the point the writer is conveying. Most of the front two pages are filled with a collarge of photos. This is a way in which the writer is showing the creativity involved in the scene. Visual art is a part of Hip-Hop that is very controversial, it is graffiti and the chances are that occupies a wall or sign post on your very street in one form or another. But what you must first understand is that this is a legitamate art form dispite the fact that it may not be legal. In the centuaries to come Graffiti will be hanging on the walls of the (new york art gallery) next to paintings by greats such as Monet and Picaso.
Hip-Hop is real, it was originally inspired by the life on the streets in the Bronx. That is what makes this a culture and not just a type of music. I myself who has a lot to do with aspects of the Hip-Hop culture have learnt much from this article. As for someone who has no idea of this revolution this article would prove to be a valuable insight into the radical world of Hip-Hop.