Hip-Hop Essay

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Shelby Clemmons

Ms. Lancaster

English 1301: 5:45pm-7:05pm

February 15, 2012

The Positives and Negatives of Hip-Hop

In Geoffrey Bennett’s essay titled, “Hip-Hop: A Roadblock or Pathway to Black Empowerment,” he speaks about the positive and negative effects that hip-hop has on the Black Community. Bennett goes all the way to the beginning of hip-hop, which he says took place in the early 1980s with rappers such as Run DMC, Public Enemy, Sugar Hill Gang and many others. The author then speaks about how hip-hop grew not only in the young black African American culture but also in the white youth culture as well. Finally, Bennett states that hip-hop has the power to influence positive and negative effects on African Americans and the larger cultural in general. I believe that the hip-hop culture has contributed positively to the African American cultural but it can also be degrading and explicit to the Black community.

Hip-hop is a culture and form of ground music that is self-expressed. It originated in the African American communities in the 1970s. Hip-hop is a musical genre rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It is not only expressed verbally but also by DJing/scratching, break dancing, graffiti writing and beat boxing. Hip-hop is the way people talk, the way people act, their fashion and their culture. It is the culture of the streets.

Throughout the years, hip-hop has changed dramatically from the artist to the lyrics.

There once was a time where “old school” rappers such as Run DMC, Heavy D, LL Cool J,

Public Enemy and many others would rap about promoting political awareness about topics from

racial inequality, gender inequality, police abuse, voting, education, family and more.

The golden age of hip-hop is very different from the hip-hop that is popular now. Artists like T.I., Young Jeezy, 50 Cent, and Soulja Boy are some of the front-runners in hip-hop. Most of their songs are about guns, money, drugs, or...
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