Inside Out Hip-hop
Jo For many people hip-hop is synonymous with rap music, but I’d say it refers to a whole subculture that emerged with rap in the United States – especially New York – in the late 1970s and has since become truly international. Rapping (or ‘MCing’) and DJing are the two main components of hip-hop music. Maybe you could describe rap as a form of expression that is somewhere between speech, poetry and song. Other parts of hip-hop culture are specific styles of dancing, clothing and graffiti art, and even a specific form of English slang. Hip-hop originally came out of African-American communities in New York, and I think it’s true to say that in countries such as the US and Britain it is still quite closely connected with the young black population, though of course there are hip-hop fans from every background, and indeed some famous non-black rappers such as Eminem. The first time a piece of rap music entered the US charts was in October 1979. 28 years later it’s one of the biggest-selling popular music genres in the world, even though it’s been going through a bit of a decline recently. Rappers such as 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, Jay-Z and Eminem have fans all around the world, and earn many millions of dollars a year. In many countries you’ll find magazines and radio shows devoted to hip-hop, and anyone who has ever spent a few hours watching MTV will know that it also has a high profile there. Mike I think hip-hop is the most overrated musical genre, and that gangsta rap is probably its worst subcategory. All those guys boasting about their guns, their cars and their wealth, and talking about women as if they’re nothing more than objects – it’s not exactly a positive message, is it? A lot of their so-called music clearly glamorises violence, so I’m amazed that it’s even allowed to get on the radio. Rob Anyone taking a look at my CD collection or the tracks on my mp3 player would see that I love hip-hop. It’s a musical...
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