Hip Hop America
Nelson George's Hip Hop America discusses the nature of hip hop along with the relationship between African Americans and America. Many take the idea of hip hop to be just African Americans and rap music. George continually focuses on hip hop's many contradictions. He addresses how hip hop represents race, ethnicity, class, gender, and generation. George covers much familiar ground: how B-beats became hip hop; how technology changed popular music, which helped to create new technologies; how professional basketball was influenced by hip hop styles; how gangsta rap emerged out of the crack epidemic of the 1980s; how many elements of hip hop culture managed to celebrate, and/or condemn black-on-black violence; how that black-on-black violence was somewhat encouraged by white people scheming on black males to show their foolishness, which often created a huge mess; and finally, how hip hop used and continues to use its art to express black frustration and ambition to blacks while, at the same time, referring that frustration and ambition to millions of whites.
Chapter 3 and chapter 16 "da joint and beyond" really caught my eye. Chapter 3 "gangsters-real and unreal" summarized the image of the "hood" and crime filled areas where people are regularly being robbed, shot, and killed. It also told how drugs came about and became a new indusry. It also became popular among musicians and soon became a way to employ young poor teens who lived in these "hoods". As many blacks are poor a lot of the hip hop lyrics began and still does focus on the distribution of drugs and crime in the streets. It sells because people who havent experienced it like to here how others lived and their stories and those who have experienced it like to relate to what they know and have been through. In chapter 16 George speaks on how many slang words and phrases have been used in hip hop that and have evolved as the time goes on, some have lost meaning and some have new...
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