“A Reflection of Hip Hop’s Past: Is it Still Relevant?” Have you ever noticed the similarities between hip hop dance and African dance? Has the rhythm in African drums ever remind you of hip hop beats? How about Minstrel shows and the purpose behind them; are they similar to hip hop shows today? There is in fact a strong connection between the three topics and the hip culture. Hip hop is full of excitement, unity, passion and controversy. These characteristics of hip hop would be non-existent if it wasn’t for African dance, African drums and the minstrel shows.
African dance was such an important factor in everyday life to all African people. Dancing was a form of expression and a form of communication. African people danced everyday nonstop. Equiano (The African) once stated that “the people of Africa are a nation of dancers, musicians, and poets.” This statement, although it puts the people of Africa in one category, was ultimately true. African people danced for many occasions such as weddings, funerals, war, and childbirth and even to celebrate a child losing teeth. Although dancing in Africa meant unity and brought families together the actual act separated people. For instance, in the ring circle, which was the area African people would dance, married men, married women, young women and young men were separate. These groups were separate because it minimized any confusion between the groups. Usually men danced more aggressively and women more soft. A message of unity, yet separating people did not end in African dance this strategy carried on into hip hop dance.
In the hip hop culture people dance to express themselves and it is a form of communication. Hip hop dance is an outlet for many people. In the culture dancing constantly and consecutively with the music shows passion and its excitement. In the hip hop culture today people dance for different occasions as well. Not necessarily for weddings and funerals but to put on shows or even battle through...
Cited: Eqiano (the African) packet about African dance and African drums
Frederick Douglass quote from “Minstrel Shows” author Ken Padgett
“Minstrel Shows” by Ken Padgett
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