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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