Hip-Hop Goes Global
It has been a quarter of a century since hip-hop first made its mark on the American music scene. Hip-hop has become a popular trend that is echoing around the world. By definition, hip-hop refers to a culture that embraces a particular music, language, attitude, and dress fashioned after disadvantaged urban youth. Born out of the ghettos of the South Bronx, New York, and created by black and Latino youth in the late 1970's and early 1980's, this music genre closely identified with the spoken rhymes of rap. When it first emerged, it was considered "ghetto music", a music variety which had no cultural worth or value. Yet its popularity grew with the Internet and MTV reaching millions of homes around the world. Hip-hop music has successfully been exported from the United States to the entire globe; however exporting the hip-hop culture itself remains a challenge.
At the core of hip-hop culture is rap music which some believe has caused plenty of controversy: many rappers have been criticized for writing lyrics that glorify violence, drugs, and abusive attitudes toward women. But as it has grown in popularity, hip-hop has transcended much of that controversy, with artists working to convey broader messages. Messages that echo world wide, for example; many teens around the world say the gritty and sometimes controversial lyrics of American rappers, while describing life in inner-city America, often reflect the conditions in their countries, neighborhoods and communities. Places such as France and South Africa are homes to large ghettos and the problems they contain are the same. In short they can relate. In the United States as well as in Mexico there appears to be a rebellious aspect to hip-hop culture. For suburban white kids in the United States, it is a way to distance themselves from their parents; you cannot be a rock fan when your parents are old rockers. In Mexico there are a handful of Mexican hip-hop bands, especially among the...
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