Hip-Hop as a Commodity
As Alexis de Tocqueville stated in a description about Americans, “the recollection of the shortness of life is a constant spur to him. Besides the good things that he possesses, he every instantly fancies a thousand others that death will prevent him from trying if he does not try them soon.” In a country that promoted commodification and mass production, American society thrived on its quest for new and exciting things. Nearly two centuries after his report, what was then this American oddity has transformed into a global phenomenon. With the increasing interdependence on one another for trade, multilateral organizations like the World Bank and the IMF were established in order to facilitate trade. Naturally, this ‘globbalization’ process is not limited to the transfer of goods. It instead refers to the transfer of goods & ideas, While proponents of capitalism praise its promotion of global integration, others view globalism as a form of ‘neo-colonialism’; a new form of oppression in which the rich rule the poor. In fact, despite capitalism’s vow to improve the lives of the poor, the gap between the rich and the poor has never been larger (Lecture). In this paper, I argue that capitalism and neoliberalism are responsible for both the emergence of hip-hop, and the popularization of it. Thus, although capitalism has created a system of oppression, its design has ironically encouraged resistance. Given Hip-hop’s success and its ability to unite people around a set of grievances, it can serve as a means of social mobilization leading to social movements. The model for capitalism is in large part, responsible for the perpetuation of the cycle of poverty. Because investments in wealthier neighborhoods are bound to produce more profit, affluent districts receive more funds. As a result of these funds, more money can be allocated to education, transportation, and institutions, allowing for the overall development of the region....
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