Youth culture and hip-hop culture become synonymous entities when thinking critically about how they both influence one another. Hip-hop emerged as an authentic cultural expression of the African American urban youth during the late 1970s. The foundation of hip-hop and hip-hop culture is stemmed from the creative self-expression of African American youth struggling to survive in a dyeing city. Since then, hip-hop has expanded and given a voice to many young people around the world. Through hip-hop’s cultural style, sound and lyrics, young people of all cultural backgrounds begin to find an identity through hip-hop culture. Since the emergence of this musical genre, hip-hop has undergone a number of phases throughout its existence. In recent times, hip-hop has become commercialized and profited from large corporations seeking to gain money from this authentic culture. The debate between culture and commerce is prevalent when discussing the way hip-hop is viewed in modern day. Not only has mainstream hip-hop promoted a lifestyle of materialism, it has also helped promote an ideology of misogyny and violence through its lyrical and visual content. In this paper, I want to exam how mainstream hip-hop culture and its diverse media outlets effects, impacts and influences the lives of young people. By relying upon Patricia Hill Collins’ concept of intersectionality, I am able to exam how race, class, and gender each work together to contribute to audience members’ experience with hip-hop music and culture and their sense of belonging to the hip-hop community. Influences of rap music and hip-hop culture on youth are pervasive. These influences are not only on Black urban youth, but affect many diverse youth groups nationally and globally (Mahaji 122).
- The Magazine of Hip Hop Music,Culture and Politics. It seems like the Feds are doing a sweep in Hip Hop before this tumultuous year comes to an end.
- Ahead of the release of her debut album Good News this Friday, Megan Thee Stallion covers GQ as the magazine's Rapper of the Year. In the cover story, Megan talks about the shooting incident.
I found some issues of Hip-Hop Connection Magazine from arround 2003-2005. There's some really intresting stuff in there so I've scanned in some of the page and uploaded them. I was clearing some old stuff from my parents' house last year and came accross a stack of old isses of Hip-Hop Connection from the mid 2000s. Hip Hop Connection published its readers' favourite albums in its March 2000 issue. The result, wrote compiler Mansel Fletcher, was 'the essential hip-hop list that beats all others straight into a bloody pulp'. 2 x Hip Hop Connection Magazines - 2001 Issues June (149) & Aug (151) £5.99. Click & Collect. Hip Hop Connection December 1989 No.11. Ending Today at 4:33PM BST 1h 34m. Click & Collect. Hip Hop Connection Magazine HHC Roots Manuva april 1999 mint condition.
DECODING THE MESSAGE
Behind every song there is a message being transmitted from the artist to the audience. Whether that message is transmitting a positive message or a negative one, a message is always transmitted. Today hip-hop has become mainstreamed, and embraces’ the consumption of luxury goods and status symbols as emblems of success. Materialism is now a fundamental message within hip-hop culture. Although mainstream hip-hop is not representative of hip-hop as a whole, it receives the most media attention. Some of the themes represented in commercialized hip-hop are issues that become problematic in the ideology of young people. “The core narratives of gangsta rap are extremely troubling in their glamorization of violence, material consumption, misogyny, and sexual transgression” (Mahiri, Conner, 123). How then, do these themes effect our youth development? When I mention youth I am particularly talking about people ranging from ages ten to seventeen years of age; the years where huge transitions are emerging. Teens in particular, are searching to find their own identity; many times that search is found through hip-hop culture. Middle school and high school are crucial times in a teen’s life; socialization, assimilation and acceptance are fundamental throughout teen years. Through hip-hop, teens are able to adopt a sense of style, attitude and belongingness among their peers. For this reason, it is fundamental to decode the messages behind rap music, but it is also significant to decode the messages behind hip-hop and consumerism. These messages directly influence how young people react and understand the world around them.
Found in google search
HIP-HOP: A MARKET FOR “COOL”
Can you remember a time during your adolescence in which you were influenced to dress a certain way or act a certain way because it was the “cool” thing to do? If so, can you remember why it was “cool” to act or dress that way? During my teen years it was hip-hop music videos that influenced me to wear Jay-Z’s Rocawear gear and Kimora Lee Simmons Baby Phat clothing. It was Nelly’s catchy beat that had me wanting to buy Air Force Ones, Nikes’ popular shoe brand. Advertisements, music videos, magazines, and even hip-hop music itself influenced me to replicate and mimic what I thought was “cool”. As a young girl searching for acceptance among her peers, I felt the need to purchase these material goods in order to fit in. “The rap lifestyle marked to consumers through multiple media outlets, focuses on the consumptions of designer clothes, jewelry, cars, and shoes which are often sold by the rap moguls companies” (Hunter, 15). Product placement in rap music videos has become an essential component in the hip-hop industry success. Product placement is transmitted through multi avenues of media, such as music videos, magazines, commercial advertisements and other facets of media. Through the process of marketing goods, large corporations are able to sell their product to the masses; utilizing hip-hop’s popularity, large corporations and rapper entrepreneur are able to profit from the masses. Marketers sought out what was popular and succeeded when they approached hip-hop. These marketers become experts on what is “cool”. They make advertisements desirable to young people, so they can go out and purchase it. They use famous athlete or in this case popular rap icons to market their brand in order to appeal to the masses. One interesting documentary that discusses these issues is a documentary called Rhyme Pays: A Market For Cool. This documentary navigates through the lives of a group of young people who are enticed by hip-hop culture. Throughout the film, young hip-hop enthusiasts define their identity through hip-hop culture. They replicated hip-hop culture by purchasing designer brand name products, luxurious jewelry and expensive shoe wear. This documentary also dispels the product placement found in music videos and magazines; products are presented in a desirable way which compels the consumer to go out and buy that product. “Hip-hops’ recent focus on entrepreneurship and marketing has created a culture where hop-hop is experienced primarily through consumption rather than production” (Hunter, pg. 15). This notion of culture and commerce is displayed in the documentary Rhyme Pays, and it gives the audience in insight of how consumerism in hip-hop culture reinforces a sense of materialistic identity. Moreover, I do not want to completely put a negative context to marketing companies or rap entrepreneur. I believe it is a smart way to sell their products however, I feel that the messages transmitted through product placement in music videos glorifies materialistic goods and strays away from the fundamental humanistic needs.
Hip-hop and the realtionship with shoes
INTERSECTIONALITY, HIP-HOP AND YOUTH
Hip-hop is commonly known for the strong presence of male rappers. Hyper-masculinity is favored in hip-hop music and hip-hop as a culture. In general, men dominate the hip-hop sphere and women are placed in the background like objects, simply there to be a sexual puppet for the rapper. This image that I just created can be seen in just about any rap music video out there in todays mainstream media. Hyper-masculinity, or the “macho personality” consist of the following three variables: a) “callous sexual attitudes toward women”, b) “the belief that violence is manly”, and c) “the experience of danger as exciting”. In an interesting research study conducted by Jabari Mahiri and Erin Conner (2003),
The researchers explored ways that middle school students experienced and reflected on violence in their lives and in popular culture. The researchers probed ways that these students’ interpreted or reflected upon rap music and hip-hop culture, particularly its representations of violence, crime, and sex. This research provided insights into what these youth thought about violence in their lives including its depictions in electronic media. Additionally, it revealed ways that they resisted and/or critiqued some negative images and influences of hip-hop and rap.
This study also explores the perspective of middle school boys and girls thoughts of rap music in a school setting. They were asked to write in a journal about their views of rap music. Some of the entries that were collected consisted of critical analysis of particular rap music. Reflections in the student journals often extended the critique of the albums in the following example that represented many that were handed in:
I think the music industry needs to change some of their lyrics because they send negative thoughts to kids minds. For example the video Lady Mamalad. The song has Lil’ Kim and Cristina Agulara in the video half ass naked. When children see the video—they might want to keep seeing naked women on T.V. all the time. The other video that sends negative thoughts to kids is Lil’ Wayn’s song Lil One. All they talk about through the song is selling drugs and making money (Mahiri,Conner 135).
A visual of what the student was describing in her journal entry.
The researchers of this study later conclude that “These students critiques of the negative characterizations of men and women as gangstas and ho’s suggests that they understand something of the larger cultural/ political dynamics that generate these negative representations in rap music and in other areas of their lives” (135). This research is significant because it relates to hip-hop and young peoples’ cognitive process to analyze hip-hop in a critical manner. Analyzing certain rap music that depict women as over sexual and rappers as money hunger machines, are ways to explore the gender differences in hip-hop culture. By incorporating hip-hop in academia, we can introduce young people in analyzing what they hear and allow them to become aware of the messages being transmitted through rap music. This could be a step toward changing the consciousness of young people passive listening toward rap music.
HIP HOP: A STEP TOWARDS CONCIOUSNESS
Although I have explored many different ways that hip-hop music and hip-hop culture has negatively impacted the way young people think, act and understand the world around them in recent times; hip-hop has also benefited young people in many ways. It is true that much of the rap music heard on the radio and television now a day transmits negative messages to the masses. However, there is an increase of positive hip-hop circulating in a varied of electronic media. Mainstream radio stations also have implementing a new generation of “conscious rappers” on their air time. Take for example Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore and even Frank Ocean who discuss topics such as race, gender, class and sexuality in their music. The great lyrics of Kendrick Lamar demonstrate the struggles growing up in the city of Compton, California. His music is inspirational and gives young people chance to articulate the issues he raps about. Macklemore takes the same approach in reaching out to the youth in a positive demeanor. Macklemore expresses his views on same sex marriage in the song “Same Love”, he is taking a step forward in shaping the consciousness of young people today.
(Retrieved from Youtube)
Although Frank Ocean is not viewed as a rapper, he is a representative of hip-hop culture. His bravery in revealing his sexual identity as bi-sexual is truly respected, especially living in a homophobic society. These contemporary artists are impacting the rap scene by incorporating social issues in their music. I believe that this is a step toward youth consciousness and promoting social issues that affect our whole nation. In conclusion, hip-hop itself is not entirely negative. Certain facets of hip-hop music promote negative messages to young people by glorifying material goods, money, and misogyny in their musical contexts. However, mainstream hip-hop is not representative of hip-hop and its entirety. There is a shift in consciousness beginning to arise in the artist I mentioned above. If more rap artists like Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore and Frank Ocean for example, received more radio air time, then perhaps we can balance out the levels of positive rap and negative rap. Overall, hip-hop culture is one that is comprised with authentic, creative roots first started from a state of oppression. Whether you want to two-step to the beat of a rap song or bob your head to intricate lyrics, hip-hop has contributed to the world a sense of identity and culture that will forever be respected.
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Adams, Terri M., and Douglas B. Fuller. “The Words have Changed but the Ideology Remains the Same: Misogynistic Lyrics in Rap Music.” Journal of Black Studies 36.6 (2006): 938-57. ProQuest. Web. 13 May 2013.
Stephens, Dionne P., and Layli D. Phillips. “Freaks, Gold Diggers, Divas, and Dykes: The Sociohistorical Development of Adolescent African American Women’s Sexual Scripts.” Sexuality & Culture 7.1 (2003): 3-49. ProQuest. Web. 13 May 2013.
Clay, Andreana. “Keepin’ it Real: Black Youth, Hip-Hop Culture, and Black Identity.” The American Behavioral Scientist 46.10 (2003): 1346-58. ProQuest. Web. 13 May 2013.
Mahiri, Jabari, and Erin Conner. “Black Youth Violence has a Bad Rap.” Journal of Social Issues 59.1 (2003): 121-40. ProQuest. Web. 10 May 2013.
Suddreth, Courtney B. “Hip-Hop Dress and Identity: A Qualitative Study of Music, Materialism, and Meaning.” ProQuest. Web. 10 May 2013.
Source Hip Hop Magazine