Mainstream vs Underground

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Rhea Benn
Dennis Winston
ENGL 002-08
October 9th, 2012

Music has became evident in the culture throughout the world. Divided by the mind of the listener, mainstream music and underground music can be seen as two completely different sub groups of music. This can be seen by their popularity, messages that are portrayed, creativity, as well as in their sales and income.Hip hop music developed as a local, underground, alternative to the mainstream with a message which confronted urban poverty, racism, and a growing sense of economic abandonment in Black inner city neighborhoods. Mainstream music is popular commercialized music. If the media makes it popular and well known, it is mainstream. Underground music is not advertised or represented by the media. However, no one is better than the other in the sense that there are good music as well as bad music whether mainstream or underground.

Mainstream and Underground music contrast in their popularity. Mainstream music can be seen as all about the glamour of the music industry and portraying the image that the target audiences would like to see. This image involves images and lyrics about money and its “illegal” origins, sex and the greed for women who degrade themselves for the limelight, as well as the glorification of the use of illegal drugs and the sales of it. The media has presented music, specifically rap, to be associated with negative connotations of blackness, “letting commercialized hip hop become a nearly constant caricature of gangstas, pimps, and hoes, we’ve come to equate black poverty with black street life. Mainstream music is still more “censored” and does not always focus on content rather than form. It is another form of slavery in which artists are still forced to watch what is being said and hold back on. On the other hand, Underground music is about the quest for creativity and the artists’ expression to their fullest potential. Because of the lack of label representation, there is...
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