Hip-hop isn’t just a mere genre of music, nor is it strictly limited to the derogatory things the media mainly focuses on. It is an entire culture that is looked upon under the wrong light in most cases.
It ranges from the way one dresses to how we express ourselves and much more. The media seldom chooses to shine the spotlight in the positive affects of the hip-hop culture to the world.
Many people in this day in time don’t realize how much more there is to this thing we call “hip-hop”. It was built upon four major components: Emceeing, DJ’ing, Art/Graffiti, and B-Boying. Eventually, it grew out to other elements such as beat boxing, fashion, and slang.
Most of all, hip-hop eventually grew into a culture. The movement started in The Bronx & Harlem, predominantly by African Americans, around the 1970s.
When it began, it was originally based off DJ’s who made up rhythmic beats by “scratching” a record on one turntable while looping the break of various other records on another. These beats were eventually fused with rhythmic chants knows as “rapping”.
Nobody knew these chants would evolve into life changing lyrics for many of people to come. As a cultural movement, hip-hop seems to always take the blame for both positive and negative influences on the lives of young people, mainly African Americans and Latinos.
This is only because the relevancy of the culture side began to fade and the business side made its appearance more known.
Used as one of the biggest promotional tools for the media, they choose to focus on sex, violence, and harsh language, consequently tainting the whole genre.
Thank God for such great positive figures as Sean Carter and Russel Simmons, who utilized hip-hop as a gateway to accomplishing many other great accolades. Nonetheless, the negative and positive effects of hip-hop are very apparent among society.
In retrospect, hip-hop is double sided. It has been a vocal diary and release for many of young people, allowing them to speak their mind about the troubles of reality they may face on a daily basis.
Everyone also agrees that having a way to release such stress is very beneficial to your development. Them being able to tell their story to thousands of others who can relate has been saving lives for years and continues to do so in present day.
In the same breath, a good amount of lyrics contain dark subjects such as killing, drug abuse, and other violent behavior without any kind of positive reinforcement.
These same lyrics travel to the mind of the insecure and lead them to believe that this is the only way for young African American males.
Again, this relates back to hip hop becoming more of a business rather than staying a culture. Whatever sells the most is what the media chooses to get behind and push out. They pick what artists they want polluting the brains of individuals in society, and push them forward.
This is the main reason why artists who actually deliver a message rarely ever make it to the mainstream light.
Despite all the criticism hip-hop receives, this genre has done many great things in American history.
In all things change occurs, and hip-hop is no exception. From someone who knows the culture and has a true love for it, one can infer that we are in a good state right now with artists such as Big K.R.I.T.., Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, and many others making some noise with their own positive movements.
African Americans should take more pride in something so great that we created, but the nonchalant attitude toward it is also understandable.
More importantly, you should search for real hip hop, and listen to it. There’s so much music can do for the self intellect and vocabulary.
A book is not supposed to be judged by its cover, so a whole culture and genre of music shouldn’t be judged off of the negative music you hear pushed from the mainstream media.