Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!Hire a Writer
Contemporary society agree that hip-hop has the extra edge an exclusive authentic appeal. Also, only African-Americans can deliver hip-hop music in the manner that does the genre justice. This is mainly because hip-hop has had an overwhelming influence on the African-Americans community and culture in general. For decades, hip-hop continues to shape the lives of the black community across America. This prompted Whalum (9) in Hip Hop Is Not Our Enemy to describe hip-hop as more than a music but a culture.
Hip-hop as culture has provided African-Americans with the voice to deliver important messages to the existing authorities. These messages touch on an array of issues affecting their lives. The general stereotype though has been that hip-hop promotes a culture of violence, aggressiveness, and more importantly civil disobedience. However, these opposition does concur that hip-hop is a vocal platform and outlet for the black community in the US. Indeed, the black community would be uplifted if the mainstream US society embraced hip-hop as an outlet rather than opposing it altogether.
Although hip-hop has been a major influence among the black community, its credibility has always been put to question by existing stereotypes. Rinehart in Don't Let Stereotypes Turn You Off from Hip Hop Music writes that parents avoid the exposure of their kids to hip-hop as it promotes violence, gang culture, and male chauvinism (Rinehart n.p.). This essay examines Hip-hop, stereotypes, and social injustice with close reference to various hip-hop music.
Jared Green, in his book, Rap and hip hop, defined hip-hop as the “musical medium through which the story of the life in America at the end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first centuries is being told” (Green 15). Hip-hop is, therefore, more than a form of musical entertainment. It tells the story of the life in America especially for the oppressed black women and (or) the victimized black boy in the streets of Georgia.
Pioneered in New York's South Bronx in 1973 by Jamaican-born Kool DJ Herc, hip-hop has gone ahead to be the media through which the black community air their socioeconomic grievances. More importantly, it acts as a binding culture that enables the African-Americans fight against social injustices. Musician Davey D wrote in his song that:
"Keep in mind when brothas start flexing the verbal skillz, it always reflects what's going on politically, socially, and economically."
Throughout history, the American can appreciate the fact hip-hop as a musical genre has played a significant role in shaping the social, economic, and political scene. Hip-hop songs reflect like Davey D affirms the social, economic, and politics of the day. “Fight the Power” a song by Public Enemy is an example of a song that reflects the socio-political scene of the late 1080s America.
Public Enemy is urging the youth to join the fight for equality between the whites and the African-Americans. At the time of its release, America was struggling with racial segregation. Being black in the late 80s made one a public enemy. In addition to speaking about race, the song “Fight the Power” acted as a guide for the new generation of youths that did not exist during the Civil Rights Movement. Public Enemy was looking to remind all the youths in the inner neighborhood cities of the struggle, and that the needed to join in the fight.
Similar sentiments about the need to speak about the truth to an existing authority can be seen in Thug life: Race, gender, and the meaning of hip-hop. Accordingly, hip-hop fights the high level of injustice existing the constitutional, social, economic positions. Furthermore, it reinforces the African American subjugation (Jeffries n.p.). While there is scientific evidence linking hip-hop to civil unrests, the production of certain hip-hop music creates the atmosphere for civil disobedience.
One such song is “Same Love” by Macklemore. The writer, wrote the song as a form of protest against people that rebuked same-sex marriage in America. Macklemore aimed to address social issues such as homophobia, mistreatment of the gay people, and the inequality existing between the straight citizens and the gay and lesbian couples. Macklemore argues that being gay is not something anyone can change. As such, religion nor the mainstream society should hate against the homosexuals. “Same Love” thus qualifies as a protest song inherent in the hip-hop culture.
The fact that hip-hop songs reflect on the real issues affecting everyday Americans, has prompted many contemporary scholars to describe hip-hop as an assortment of fiction and reality (Hess 73). To that end, rap music, the main form of hip-hop, is a protest against the white Americans’ terrorism against the black people (Smitherman 5). Furthermore, rap music is an intense response towards the conditions of poverty, disempowerment, and high unemployment rates among the African-American communities ((Smitherman 6).
The increasing popularities of hip-hop in the early 90s can be described as a form of civil disobedience. This popularity is at the expense of the lack of scientific evidence about hip-hop and social protests. Conventionally speaking, rappers across America continue to use hip-music to convey their personal dissatisfactions about a number of social and political issues. The mainstream America therefore ought to listen and embrace the pop culture. Whalum (10) warns that if America does not embrace the hip-hop generation, she will begin to reap the antithesis of productive citizens, especially, the African Americans.
Although hip-hop has been a major vehicle for awareness against social injustices among the black community, it has suffered from stereotypes. Neguţ and Paul in Problem Music or Problem Stereotypes? Describe stereotypes as automatic and lacking conscious awareness (Neguţ and Paul 3–16). The media plays a critical role in shaping our consciousness towards certain issues affecting our lives; and hip-op has not run short of these stereotypes. In point of fact, hip-hop carries more stereotypes than any other musical genre.
There is a debate currently on whether hip-hop has become degrading to women and disintegrating to the race relations. Proponents argue that rap music peddles racist stereotypes and depicts women as a little more than animals (Rabaka 318). Indeed, various hip-hop songs preach about “money, hoes, and clothes” with the most popular one written by the late Notorious B.I.G who ruled the hip-hop world in the 90s.
What many fail to realize though is the fact that “money, hoes, and clothes” is part of the big ghetto-gangster-nigga-pimp-hoe-thug
stereotype that the media propels about the pop culture. For the past two decades, the above stereotype has dominated most commercial rap as portrayed by the mainstream media. Notably, this stereotype is neither critical of the white privilege nor corrective of the white supremacy. As such, many fail to realize that the hip-hop style “ghetto,” “gangster,” “nigga,” “pimp,” “hoe,” and “thug” are in reality figments of white America’s anti-black racist imaginations (Rabaka 318). They are not necessarily a manifestation or reflection of the African Americans true aspirations nor frustrations.
The media views rap as not as a vocal outlet for the injustices against the black community, but rather as about beats, rhymes, and keeping it real. A hip hopper, from the white media’s perspective is a male African American living in a big city, and more so in a ghetto (Terkourafi 235). The white youth, on the other hand, is represented as a wannabe who is involved in hip hop only because it is trendy. In the end, the mainstream society perceives hip hop culture and rap music in general as a means to get “money, hoes, and clothes.”
The mainstream media also stereotypes hip hop as promoting vulgarity and violence as opposed to social awareness. In Don't Let Stereotypes Turn You Off from Hip Hop Music, Rinehart writes that parents perceive hip hop as full of cuss words, and pro violence and gang culture (Rinehart n.p.). As a result, white parents across America have prevented their children from listening to rap music such as the ‘N-word’ by Nas. In addition, the media has forced the mainstream society to overlook the important message that hip hop music aim to convey.
Kate Burns, however, disagrees in her profound book Rap Music and Culture. Accordingly, it is a myth that all hip-hop music glorifies violence, promotes gangbanging and drugs, and misogynistic sex and crime (Burns 15). What the mainstream media fail to realize is that there is more to hip hop music than violence.
The media does not present the other side of hip hop. There exists hip hop songs that promotes the fight against violence like ‘Where is the love’ by black eyed peas. There were also hip hoppers that arose with protest songs against the war in Iraq and terrorism such as 'Bin Laden' by Immortal Technique. Moreover, the media fails to portray organizations established through hip hop music to pursue certain cause like fight against prison complex among the black community. Such level of bias has created in the least a culture of hatred not only to hip hop as music, but also towards the blacks.
Aside from promoting violence, drugs, and misogyny, the media also stereotypes the singers otherwise known as hip hoppers. Ideally, a rapper is a lazy, violent, and sex-crazed gangster. This can be seen in the reactions that followed the release of the song N-word’ by Nas in 2007. The general consensus in the mainstream media was that it is because of artists like Nas that the streets of America is full of gangsters and sex-crazed persons. But Nas song is not about violence, rather, it is about institutional racism in America, leadership failures, and the African-American life which remains a pipe dream.
The paper examined Hip-hop, stereotypes, and social injustice with close reference to various hip-hop music. As analyzed hip plays a fundamental role in the society and especially in propagating the African American culture. It is more than a form of musical entertainment. It tells the story of the life in America. Hip-hop as culture provides African-Americans with the voice to deliver important messages to the existing authorities. In addition, hip-hop is a vocal platform and outlet for the black community in the US. Further, hip-hop has been a major vehicle for awareness against social injustices among the black community.
On the flip side though, hip hop suffers from stereotypes. One, hip-hop is degrading to women and disintegrating to the race relations. Two, hip hop is about beats, rhymes, and keeping it real. Three, it is a means to get “money, hoes, and clothes.” Four, hip-hop music glorifies violence, promotes gangbanging and drugs, and misogynistic sex and crime. Five, a rapper is a lazy, violent, and sex-crazed gangster.
The above stereotypes prevent the mainstream society from appreciating the true nature of hip hop music. Hip hop is a voice for the oppressed black man, for the suffering boy in school, for the repressed women in the ghettos, and for the mainstream society to acknowledge its social, economic, and political evils. The media ought to perceive hip hop wholly as opposed to specific racist spectrums. The black community would be uplifted if the mainstream US society embraced hip-hop as an outlet rather than opposing it altogether.
Burns, Kate. Rap Music and Culture. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Print.
Collins, Patricia Hill. From Black Power to Hip Hop: Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism. Temple University Press, 2006.
Cooper, B Lee. “Women's Studies and Popular Music Stereotypes.” Popular Music &Amp; Society, vol. 23, no. 4, 1999, pp. 31–43.
Green, Jared. Rap and hip hop. Greenhaven Press, 2003.
Hess, Mickey. Is Hip Hop Dead? The Past, Present, and Future of America's Most Wanted Music. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2007. Print.
Jeffries, Michael P. Thug life: Race, gender, and the meaning of hip-hop. University of Chicago Press, 2011.
Neguţ, Alexandra, and Paul Sârbescu. “Problem Music or Problem Stereotypes? The Dynamics of Stereotype Activation in Rock and Hip-Hop Music.” Musicae Scientiae : the Journal of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music., vol. 18, no. 1, 2014, pp. 3–16.
Rabaka, Reiland. The Hip Hop Movement: From R & B and the Civil Rights Movement to Rap and the Hip Hop Generation. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2013. Internet resource.
Rinehart, Laurel “Don't Let Stereotypes Turn You Off from Hip Hop Music.” The Daily Nexus, dailynexus.com/2017-04-06/dont-let-stereotypes-turn-you-off-from-hip-hop-music/
Rentfrow, Peter J, and Samuel D Gosling. “The Content and Validity of Music-Genre Stereotypes among College Students.” Psychology of Music. vol. 35, no. 2, 2007, pp. 306–326.
Smitherman, Geneva. "“The Chain Remain the Same” Communicative Practices in the Hip Hop Nation." Journal of Black Studies 28.1 (1997): 3-25.
Stapleton, Katina R. “From the Margins to Mainstream: the Political Power of Hip-Hop.” Media, Culture & Society, vol. 20, no. 2, 1998, pp. 219–234.
Terkourafi, Marina. The Languages of Global Hip-Hop. London: Continuum, 2010. Print.
Whalum, Kenneth T. Hip Hop Is Not Our Enemy: From a Preacher Who Keeps It Real. , 2010. Print.
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.
Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!