Hip Hop

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Jonathon Bidelspach
AFA 2000
Unit IV Paper
Hip-hop music is known as one of the most popularizing and popular genres in our modern society. Most of hip-hop music is considered vulgar, offensive, and meaningless, which can be easily displayed by hip-hop artists such as Soulja Boy and Lil’ Wayne. However, who gets lost in translation is the artist who conveys true meaning in their lyrics and sticks with the original roots of the music. For hip-hop’s short life, there has been dramatic change in the structure and culture of the music. Most of the well-revered artists of their time like to claim that the music has lost its substance. I have a concurring belief in that if hip-hop wants to rid of its negative stereotype, it should emphasize its roots more often. Two of hip-hop’s most respected authors, Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton, agree with this belief by stating, “hip hop today thrives on a sense of its own past” (Williams 133). In order to clarify my belief on this subject, I want to explain hip-hop’s origins and its positive impact on our society when it follows its roots.

Hip-hop music had very humble beginnings in the city of Bronx, New York. In an area where arson, government neglect, and violence ran rampant, the poor youth needed to find a safe place from this madness (Change 59). Through this, they found the culture of hip-hop. Young kids in the area would pass time by rapping in a Jamaican reggae style over the beats of funky Afro-Latin beats, dancing to wild percussive beats, and spray painting (Chang 61). These innocent ways of leisure for the youth were essentially what embodied the original form of hip-hop music. Shortly after, these elements were put into the mainstream where teenagers threw parties. Not only did hip-hop music become a popular thing for teens to do, but it was also a great way to vent out anger and energy in a positive way (Chang 6). One of the biggest pioneers of the hip-hop genre in the late 70s was Afrika Bambaattaa....
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