The Hip Hop Wars

For the past dozen years, the most commercially successful hip hop music has become increasingly saturated with caricatures of black gangsta’s, thugs, pimps and ‘hos.  Unfortunately, being a nonchalant participant in the hip hop industry I have been swayed by these preconceptions and held a firm resentment toward this culture. However, in learning this week about the origins of hip hop, and the more traditional artists of the genre, I have come to understand that what I hear on the radio that may fall slightly into the counterfeit genus is everything that true hip hop supporters love to hate.

Since this understanding, I have begun observing the people in my life/people around me that have a love for the hip hop genre. I notice the way they dress, talk and communicate. I mention this in conjunction with the quote by DJ Kool Herc xi in the lecture slide. In noticing these traits I have realized that hip hop does have a profound effect on certain people. What I have also noticed is how down to earth and controlled these people are and in only making the connection between this and the lyrics of certain traditional hip hop artists I have come to appreciate the music on a broader level. I understand that this is an extreme stereotype I have placed on hip hop lovers but the point I am trying to make is the fact that there is a profound difference between the followers of contemporary vs authentic hip hop, as well as the lives that the artists of each category chooses to live.

The concept of Americanisation is something I have studied in some level of depth. It did not occur to me however that this has happened to a music genre, especially a genre with such irredeemable characteristics as hip hop has (gangstas, thugs etc).  I now understand that culturally authentic hip hop represents the backgrounds and hardship of the artist, and that I believe is an extraordinary gift.

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Australia – a parallel world

According to an Australian government website named “future unlimited”, there are ten reasons as to why international students should study in Australian university institutions. These reasons include statistics and other facts concerning global rankings and financial figures aimed at enticing students from all around the globe to study in Australia. However, in all this abundance of information there is no mention of the social stigma of racial discrimination unearthed by the ethnocentric and parochial “assumed” arrogance of the everyday Australian.

It is clear that when students travel overseas to study that they not only feel the desire to branch their knowledge of both their degree and the world, but to create friendships with “local” students. This  intent may be clouded with several barriers including students that lack proficiency in the English language, unfamiliarity with the social norms and conventions of Australian life as well as Australians appearing distant and ambivalent at times due to their “busy lifestyles”. It is held strongly in my credence that Australia is a multicultural, multiracial and multi-religious community. In any social environment, there are always going to be a minority that cause a breakdown of the once flourishing and unadulterated version of Australian society that has now been tainted with broadcasts of racial taunts and violent attacks on international students.

I am focusing this particular blog post upon my own conviction that for the most part, Australians are honest, friendly and committed citizens and there are a number of factors that may inextricably influence any “negative” events or feelings held by international students in Australia. There is no doubt that racism and discrimination is manifested in Australian culture, but as previously mentioned, the few major racial attacks on those from another country, has imprinted the purity and reputation of Australian living. A recent example of this is the 2009/10 violent attacks on Indian students in Melbourne. The Sydney Morning Herald reported on this in July of 2012 and states “The crisis damaged Australia’s standing in India, strained relations between Delhi and Canberra and plunged Australia’s education system into turmoil”. This publication tarnished Australia’s reputation overseas and though it was a terrible event to occur, I wish to repeat myself in saying Australia is a hospitable and genuinely open country (focusing on university life) and I say this through interactions I have witnessed between an Australian student and international student as well as second hand accounts of these interactions and interactions of my own.

images (4)Australia is a place with a very conjoint way of life making it very hard to point to one particular Australian ‘way of life’ that everyone should ‘fit’ into. It shouldn’t matter whether people are born in Australia or are studying or emigrating to Australia from another country, everyone has the right to be different so long as they obey the laws of the country they are in.