More than other music genres, rap has been asked to convey a message. That’s because rapping sounds a lot like speech.
The aural illusion makes it easy for listeners to expect a political edge to the genre. But explicit political commentary has played a limited role in hip-hop’s history.
What is Hip-Hop?
Hip Hop is an urban culture that encompasses music, dance, graffiti art and other forms of expression. It has spread throughout the world and continues to grow. Its message is a call for social change and the rejection of stereotypes. It has inspired a generation of artists to explore issues in their communities. Hip Hop focuses on self-expression, knowledge and the power of community.
Hip hop began in The Bronx, New York City in the 1970s when DJs started to isolate the percussion breaks of funk and disco songs. They would play them back-to-back and MCs (mc’s) started to speak over them, encouraging people to dance and telling jokes. Over time, this became a style of speech called rapping. Hip hop music became a popular form of musical expression in 1979, with the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.”
As hip hop grew in popularity, it evolved into a movement. The early era of hip hop was marked by the work of artists like DJ Kool Herc, Grand Wizard Theodore and Afrika Bambaata. Their work laid the foundation for future hip hop artists and paved the way for different regional styles, including West Coast rap and gangsta rap.
The late 1980s and 1990s saw the rise of artists such as Ice T, N.W.A, Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. These artists pushed the genre further into the mainstream, creating a new era of hip hop. This era included gangsta rap and G-funk, as well as the emergence of female rappers such as Salt-n-Pepa and the Beastie Boys.
Hip Hop’s literary form is influenced by the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and features rhyme and rhythm. Its style has influenced authors from Maya Angelou to Nikki Giovanni and the Last Poets. It has also been infused into spoken word performance and poetry slams. It has even found its way into the classroom. Teachers are using Hip Hop books to engage students in reading and writing, while writers for kids, teens and young adults are incorporating Hip Hop into their novels and nonfiction books.
Rappers are more exposed than singers
Rappers tend to be exposed to a larger audience than singers. They often have to deal with the public, as they perform in clubs and arenas. They also face the pressure of delivering songs that will please their fans. In addition, they have to maintain their image. Rappers are also more likely to have their personal lives be scrutinised. This is especially true if they are not as clean-cut or respectful as their pop music counterparts.
In addition to having to deal with the constant scrutiny of their personal lives, rappers are also more prone to make controversial statements in their music. Many rappers talk about drugs and their struggles growing up in poverty. Their music can give hope to young people in similar circumstances, and encourage them to overcome their own challenges. However, some of these statements can be problematic.
Despite the fact that there has been a rise of female rappers, they still get less attention than male rappers. This is because the media focuses on certain visual aesthetics. For example, female rappers who fit the stereotype of a video vixen are more popular. This is why the media focuses on a Cardi B more than a Chika today, or a Lil’ Kim more than Missy Elliott in days past.
The loss of some of rap’s biggest stars has also left a gaping hole in the genre. Artists like Pop Smoke, Juice WRLD, and XXXTENTACION died too young, leaving their fans with unfinished business. This can be demoralising for some, and it may also prevent them from exploring other genres of hip-hop.
Some critics argue that rappers do not tell the truth in their music, and that they are corrupting youths. However, this argument fails to consider that rappers are just trying to earn a living. They want to be able to provide for their families, and they do not always have the resources that other professions do.
In addition, rapping is often a form of self-expression and can be therapeutic for the artists. It is also a form of protest and can help to bring people together. This is why it is so important to keep an open mind when listening to rap music.
Hip-Hop is a guilty pleasure
As a genre of music that originated in the 1970s, Hip-Hop has become one of the most popular and influential genres in the world. It has a rich and varied history, and there are many ways to enjoy it. It can be used to celebrate culture, as a form of resistance, and as a source of inspiration. It can also be enjoyed as a guilty pleasure, but this shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing. The term “guilty pleasure” is often associated with the belief that people should only enjoy things that are high-falutin or elitist. This can be problematic, as it suggests that certain things are not worthy of being enjoyed by “smart” or serious people. This is a harmful assumption, and it should be challenged.
Hip hop has been the subject of disproportionate scrutiny as an antisocial music. This construction of rap as dangerous and contaminating can be found in many sectors, from social science research to celebrity pronouncements. In addition, media pundits blame rap for a variety of anti-social behaviour, including, ironically, racism. For example, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski criticized the rapper Waka Flocka Flame for cancelling his performance at the University of Oklahoma in response to a racist incident involving a fraternity bus.
These examples illustrate that the moral panicked view of rap is not only present in social scientific research and feminist criticism, but it is also a feature of hegemonic mainstream ideology. The construction of rap as anti-social, dangerous, and contaminated is not only unwarranted, but it is also indicative of the power of dominant white society to determine what is worthy of enjoyment.
Hip-Hop is a genre of resistance
Hip-hop has long been a genre of resistance. In its earliest days, rappers grew up on the fringes of mainstream culture, expressing their experiences and perspectives in ways that were often threatening to white authority. As the music grew popular and commodified, however, certain aspects of the culture – such as references to violence and the “Gangsta” lifestyle – became more pronounced and problematic. Nevertheless, the genre remains a powerful tool for resistance against racial oppression and social inequality.
During the emergence of political conscious rap in the 80s, artists like Public Enemy, De La Soul, and N.W.A used their songs to express the anger and frustration that blacks felt towards American society, despite the fact that many of them were living well outside of the poverty line. They used their music to articulate and challenge the system of racial oppression that they lived under, and encouraged young black people to take up a position of opposition.
In addition to protest rap, there was also a growing movement of artists who were experimenting with hip hops musical style and production techniques to make their music more poetic and complex. This new approach to hip-hop was known as “art rap”, and it was a way for rappers to elevate their craft beyond the vulgar, gangsta stereotypes that were associated with the genre.
Many rappers, including the iconic Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill, have used their music to celebrate black womanhood and reclaim the cultural power of women in hip-hop. Scholars have argued that the use of language and imagery in these songs is not only transgressive but also empowering. Female rappers have also been able to break down traditional gender stereotypes by using their music as a form of resistance against racial and sexual oppression.
Throughout its history, hip-hop has been used as a form of resistance against a system that has dominated the world for centuries. As a result, the music has become an important part of global culture, and its influence continues to expand as new styles and genres develop.