Subculture of Hip Hop: a Sociological Analysis

Topics: Hip hop music, African American, Hip hop Pages: 5 (1480 words) Published: April 15, 2011
It all started with the birth of a nation. The shameful crimes that build this country rest on the backs of an enslaved people, yesterday in chains and with laws and today behind bars and within socialization. The tale is as old as our time.  

The first slaves were brought to the Virginia Colony in the early 1600s. they were simply indentured servant whom would be released after working an agreed number of years. They came to America on a voluntary basis. Soon after, that model of slavery was replaces with the race-based slavery used in the Caribbean. Slavery was officially legalized in 1641 and gradually progressed to the brutal form that we know today. The undermining and oppression of those African people were sealed in 1712 when William Lynch, a plantation owner from the British West Indies, was asked to come to the Virginia Colony to give basically a seminar on how to manage slaves. His method, in my opinion was the catalyst that started the psychological oppression that still plagues the African American psyche today. In his speech he compared Blacks directly to horses saying, “Both horse and niggers is no good to the economy in the wilder or natural state. Both must be broken and tied together for orderly production.” (Lynch 1712). he thought that the most important factor to managing a slave was breaking his mind, or their will to resist. In the speech he gave he laid out three major points that were mandatory. 1. breaking the mother

2. emasculating the man in front of the woman and offspring
3. removing men from family after offspring were born
The breaking of the woman was the most important as it lead to perpetuation of the slave mentality through offspring which ensured survival of the mentality with no more work done on the part of the slave owner. After breaking the dependency of the woman from the man it caused her to do for the master and not for herself. In emasculating and removing the male from the household, which also reinforced the independency of the mother and fear in the woman, it caused the mother to in turn teach those roles to her children. She taught the female child to be independent and to live for the master and in fear for her male offspring’s life taught him the “rules” which made him psychologically dependent, but continued to keep them physically strong. He even took into consideration that the slaves might eventually correct this way of thinking. His solution was to crossbreed Whites with the slave women. By mixing and creating different shades of people this created different levels of labor. Each level of labor had different values which created separation and caused tension among them. Lynch promised that his method would keep Blacks enslaved for atleast 300 years. 2011 is the 299th year mark from the day of his speech and his theory is still going strong. His ideas are constantly reconstructed and perpetuated by the ones whom it affects the most.  

To be stripped of your humanity and turned into property. How does one cope when they come into the “freedom” we have today? It is through creation of your own world, one where you can escape to, where you are in control. That is how the Hip-Hop subculture was born.  

The definition of subculture that I will use for my research is:  
a subdivision of a natural culture, composed of a combination of factorable social situations such as class status, ethnic background, regional and rural or urban residence, and religious affiliation, but forming in their combination a functional unity which as an intergrated impact on the participating individual (Gordon, 1947:40)  

The subculture that I will be analyzing is the Hip-Hop subculture.


Hip-Hop emerged in the 1970s in the Bronx area of New York. Keith Wiggins a member of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five has been credited with coining the term “Hip Hop” in the late 70’s but it is more recognized to have been started by DJ Afrika Bambaataa. Bambaattaa is credited with really...
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