On January 20, 2009 everything changed for black America with Barack Obama becoming the first black president of the United States. Overnight the African American population got an image that they always wanted to have. It was the greatest political victory in the history of black America. During the 2008 presidential election Senator Barack Obama received support from many hip hop artists like Young Jeezy, Jay-Z, Drake and Will I am. These artists expressed their support for his election by mentioning Barack Obama´s name and his political affiliations in their lyrics or just spread messages over the daily media which is used today like the Internet. The artists used Facebook, YouTube, Twitter for telling the fans of their music to vote for Barack Obama. This support created a huge interest in politics amongst the younger generation and strengthened support among hip hop fans for Barack Obama´s election as President. Many people see Hip Hop as party music; where it should just “move the crowd,” the link to gangs and rap, graffiti, breakdance, violence and the extraordinary lifestyle. It is not all like that it can also be regarded as politically important; hip-hop has a long history of artists recording songs with explicitly political intent. This term paper investigates the link between Hip Hop, politics and Barack Obama as an issue. How Barack Obama got involved into Hip Hop. The first chapter will give you a short overview about what is Hip Hop and when did it come into existence? The second chapter will outline the roots of political hip-hop. In the last chapter you will get information about how Barack Obama got involved into Hip Hop with the help of media, which artists supported him and spread messages over YouTube, or mentioned his name in their lyrics to make the population of America vote for him during the 2008 election. Examining the song texts you will get an overview about which artist was supportive and which one less.
2. What is Hip Hop?
“These words we say, we want ya´ll to hear…
We´re gonna make a lot of sense- we´re gonna make it clear…” These phrases tell the people what Hip Hop is about. In Hip Hop is every word important the artists express themselves by speaking. According to “That´s the Joint: The Hip Hop Reader” is rap mostly spoken with a rhythm of bass, drums, and some keyboard sounds. The Hip Hop history started in the early 1940´s where some of the elements that make up rap music were included in Blues and Jazz. Hip Hop and Rap music became its own music genre in the 1970´s created by African- Americans and Latino- Americans. It started in the South Bronx of New York where the artists created a beautiful, prideful expression of music, art and dance from a background of poverty. DJ´s began with scratching records and made rhythms, beats and other sounds. Rap music is a form of rhymed storytelling accompanied by highly rhythmic, electronically based music. Rappers would speak with the voice of personal experience. From the outset rap music has articulated the pleasures and problems of black urban life in America. In 1982 Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five released the single “The Message” and rap music was taken to another stage. It became from time to time popular. “The Fathers of Hip Hop”, Run DMC a group of three men pioneered rap music in the 1980´s. They were the first rappers who got a gold album, a platinum album, a multi-platinum album, a music video on MTV and they were the first rappers seen on TV and who were in several magazines. Since then Hip Hop inspired lots of people all over the world. It is discussed as an art form which includes not just rap but also: the DJ, the emcee, graffiti writing, and break dancing.
3. Political Hip Hop
Political Hip Hop can be used as an educational tool and make people think about what is going on in the world. The lyrics often have a political impact which is based on the issues of political economy. But they can...
Bibliography: Forman, Murray. “Conscious Hip Hop, and the Obama Era”. American Studies Journal 54 (2010): n. pag. Web. 16 Apr. 2012.
Gosa, Travis L. “Not Another Remix: How Obama became the first Hip-Hop President.” Journal of Popular Music Studies 22.4 (2010): 389-415.
Binfield, M.R. (2009). “Bigger Than Hip Hop: Music and Politics in the Hip Hop Generation.” Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Texas at Austin.
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