WALKER: The effects of hip-hop music in our community

Malik Walker

What are the effects of hip-hop in the HBCU community? Honestly, there are a number of influences hip-hop has played, and is still playing, in our community.

For starters, just looking back into history, as long as hip-hop has been around, it has had a huge impact on clothes, and style. From my memory, starting in the early 2000s when Jay-Z and company wore big jerseys, baggy jeans, and durags with fitted caps, all of the kids I went to school with wore the same style of clothes on a daily basis.

Then, a year or two later, Nelly released the song ‘Air Force 1s’ which then resulted in the hip hop population buying (and increasing the price) of every colorway of Air Force 1s they could get their hands on. You can look back throughout the early 2000s all the way to this very day, rappers have influenced style whether it be the trend.

I just mentioned, or the west coast jerking phenomenon of the early 2010s with colored skinny jeans and checkered vans, and even today with Nascar jeans, colorful shoes and over the shoulder fanny packs.

Of course, you can also look at the dance sensations that have swept through the country when new songs also come out. Looking back, you have moves like the original Harlem shake, cabbage patch, the superman, jerking, the nae nae, the whip, and the newest craze, the woah. All crazes come with at least one or two songs that you can do these moves too. Although the dances are definitely becoming easier and easier to do, there is always a new dance or dances that come out pretty much every year.

Dances are not the only thing that is influenced by hip-hop throughout the generations. Language and lingo are among other things that have changed with the growth and power of hip hop. If you go to certain parts of the country, there are others saying that have either been coined from music or that have grown and are being used more through the country once it is heard in a song or two.

Looking at rappers from different parts of the country like YG, or 21 Savage, or NBA Youngboy, or Young M.A, or Tee Grizzly, you can hear the different slangs from the areas they are from. And on a college campus you are likely to hear all of those sayings or phrases on a daily basis.  

This makes hip-hop musci multicultural. Not only are we all participating in the art form known as hip-hop, but we are also able to participate in cultures different from ours, i.e. different city cultures

Even though I love the vibe of west coast music, I can also appreciate the sound of Louisiana rappers, the history of Atlanta hip-hop music, and the cadence of Texas music.

No matter how the sound is influenced, we are able to share this music with one another, and create connections with one another simply over music.

Of course, hip-hop music does have some negative effects on our community, but so does racism and good food, and we are not going to get rid of that completely.

If we use hip-hop for what it is for, it end result is beautiful. Just look at collabs like ‘Pretty Little Fears’ with J. Cole and 6LACK. That song is a mesh  of R&B and hip-hop.

Ultimately, I enjoy the effects hip hop has because it is mainly just people having fun and loving what they get to do on a daily basis. Hip-hop is able to touch the lives of kids and young adults that may help to mold them into who they are trying to become in the future.