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A Response to “Hip Hop: a Roadblock or Pathway to Black Empower...

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A Response to “Hip Hop: a Roadblock or Pathway to Black Empowerment”

Page 1 of 3
William Norman
Lancaster
ENGL- 1301
18 September, 2012
A Response to “Hip Hop: A Roadblock or pathway to Black Empowerment” Geoffrey Bennett’s article Hip Hop: A Roadblock or Pathway to Black Empowerment illustrates the influence hip hop and rap music has had on not only the music industry but mainstream culture, African Americans to be specific. Geoffrey Bennett, a senior English Major from Voorhees, New Jersey goes over many aspects of how hip hop came to be “the forefront of American attention.” He starts from its early history in the 1980s as an African American exclusive music genre to what is now a worldwide phenomenon. He reviews the affect it has had on the lifestyle of many people and the ways it’s changed the way people speak, attire, hairstyles, and overall character. Bennett points out those rappers must be aware of the messages they send out as well as their intended audiences, and as long as there’s a mutual understanding between interested parties the special art form and rich African American heritage can be protected. Points in the article have been made that are arguable to say the least, but if some of these points are addressed and maintained, the genre can survive. Rap music impresario Russell Simmons quotes in the article that, “Hip-Hop is more powerful than any American cultural movement we’ve ever had.” which I would have to strongly disagree with for many reasons. Three cultural movements that are arguably more powerful than Hip-Hop would have to include the American Revolution, the civil rights movement, and women’s rights movement. The American Revolution is what created America, and gave us independence from Great Britain. If the colonist had never stood up against the British Parliament, America would have still been under British control today, and would’ve never been granted independence. Another powerful cultural movement would have to be the civil rights movement. The idea of the civil rights movement was to bring equality...