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Hip-Hop On Youth Culture

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Sophie Jacobs

on 19 December 2013

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Transcript of Hip-Hop On Youth Culture

On Youth Culture
Source: Hip Hop. N.d. Photograph. When the Anchor Drops. 21 Feb. 2013. Web. 7 Dec. 2013.
{hip-hop culture in our lives}
{the hip-hop genre}
*Hip-hop has developed a reputation of being negatively associated with graffiti, vulgar lyrics with references to sex and drugs, gangs, violence and other aspects of that nature.

*On the contrary, in "Decoding Hip-Hop's Cultural Impact", by Ronald Roach and published in 2004 by Cox, Matthews, and Associates, there are African American activists, artists and entrepreneurs who seek to be a positive movement among young hip-hop fans (Roach).
*According to "Rap: The Movement" from the Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity and Society, published by Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications in 2008, in the 1980's many rappers would write of the hardships of gang life, drugs and violence.
*Many parents and other authorities scrutinized the music for the violent imagery and explicit lyrics. They were conceded about what kind of influence it was having on youth culture ("RAP: THE MOVEMENT").
{aspects of hip-hop culture can be used to educate students}
{correlation between listening to hip-hop music and unwanted behavior}
{graffiti is looked down upon and seen by many as vandalism}
{sexism in hip-hop culture}
Evidence That Hip-Hop Has a Positive Influence
*Hip-hop can be used to teach world history, language arts and math.
*World History: hip-hop can be used here to introduce lessons since it involves and has so much to do with traditions that originated in ancient Africa and from other ancient cultures.
Example: Wu-Tang Clan's use of Asian and Islamic philosophy.
*Language Arts: students can analyze hip-hop songs for things such as: tone, diction, metaphors, image, plot, character development, themes, and motifs.
*Math: teachers can use popular hip-hop hair style to introduce fractal geometry concepts.
Example: the cornrow hairstyle
(Callahan and Grantham 203)

Gifted Child Today, Jul2012, Vol. 35 Issue 3, p197-207, 11p, 1 Color Photograph, 2 Charts
Chart; found on p203
{hip-hop provides an outlet for self-expression}
Physically: b-boying/breakdancing, fashion
Creatively: rapping, bombing, djing
Intellectually: song writing, voicing opinion
through music
Spiritually: song writing, rapping/performing,
rappers must use "call and response" and chants through freestyle to keep the audience connected and allow them to feel the hip-hop spirit (Callahan and Grantham 199-200)
*Hip-hop artists can also be activists and use their influence and skills to speak out and express their opinions on issues such as: geo-politics, racism, worker's rights, women's rights, human rights, immigration, prison industrial complex drug laws, etcetra (Callahan and Grantham 203).
{higher order thinking occurs when engaged in hip-hop}
*Hip-hop artists examine and then describe current events and controversies going on in the country and within the government in their music. Often they kind of "respond" to current events and voice their opinion on a controversy.
Example: During the 2008 presidential election, Will.i.am wrote and produced Obama-inspired songs such as "Yes We Can", "We Are the Ones," and "It's a New Day" which can be considered social critique and activism in hip-hop music (Callahan and Grantham 200)
*Similarly, many activist artists have responded to "reaganomics".
{hip-hop music can be the voice of lower class people by responding to "reaganomics"}
*"The Message" by Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five was released during Reagan's first term in office. This song is considered hip-hop's first expression of a social and political consciousness.
*The lyrics: "Don't push me, 'cause I'm close to the edge/I'm trying not to lose my head...It's like a jungle/Sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under..." describes the conditions of many socially and economically disadvantaged, inner city neighborhoods that "Trickle Down" economics created (Callahan and Grantham 202).
Evidence That Hip-Hop Has a Negative Influence
*A study was done by Meng-Jinn Chen, Brenda A. Miller, Joel W. Grube, and Elizabeth D. Waiters from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) on more than 1,000 community-college students between the ages of 15 and 25 were surveyed (Chen et al. 373).
-74% reported drinking any type of alcoholic beverage in the past year
38% of the sample reported using marijuana
13% had used club drugs in the past year
27% reported having been engaged in at least one act of aggressive behavior in the last year (376).
-It was concluded from the statistics that there is a positive and significant association between listening to rap and alcohol use, marijuana use, club-drub use, and levels of aggressive behavior (380).
Other Aspects to Consider
*The cost of cleaning up graffiti can range from thousands to millions of dollars.

"A string of central London Tube stations have been targeted by vandals who caused tens of thousands of pounds of damage over Christmas." (Varshavsky 74)

*The "Broken Windows" theory created by social scientists George Kelling and James Wilson, claims that "fixing the symptoms of downtrodden neighborhoods, such as broken windows and litter, would reduce crime(1982)." This theory suggests that graffiti is a mark that attracts crime and gang activity to neighborhoods (72).
*According to "The Street Art Plague" graffiti, the visual component of hip-hop, is connected to crime, pollution, gangs, drugs, and youth delinquency (Varshavsky 72)
*Women, especially African American women, are heavily stereotyped in hip-hop music videos. This stereotyping affects the way females see themselves.
*Women are continuously exposed to images and messages that focus on the females willingness to do anything for men to be the focus of the "male gaze".
*Hip-hop music videos are very explicit in setting the standard of what is attractive in women (Sheng Kuan 34).
*Many times the male rapper in a music video will use provocative language to describe females and portray them as sexual objects. Women are therefore disrespected and dehumanized (35).
Grandmaster Flash, and The Furious Five. "The Message." YouTube. Vintage Hip Hop Seattle, 24 Nov. 2011. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.
*Educator Emery Petchauer believes that hip-hop is relevant to the education field in many ways:
1. Teachers are using hip-hop music in urban high school curricula. It is culturally responsive teaching and critical pedagogy to educate students about the manipulation in their lives by capitalist demands.
2. Youth and young adults are always trying to form their identity. Hip-hop music could be beneficial since much of hip-hop music contains a message constructed by the artist based on their opinion and by knowing themselves.
3. Over 100 higher education institutions in the world already offer hip-hop courses.
*James E. Brunson, the Assistant Vice President for the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Northern Illinois University, uses hip-hop in his classroom in an activity called "Showing Seeing". The students have to select an object or image and then frame their presentations by assuming that the audience has no concept of hip-hop. They have to explain the object or image to the audience. The activity was created around a base set of questions such as: "What is the vision? What is a visual image? What is a medium? What is the relation of vision to the other senses? To language? Why is the visual experience fraught with anxiety and fantasy? How do visual encounters with other people (and with image and objects) inform the construction of social life?" (Brunson 8)
{education continued...}
{"graffiti attracts gang activity"}
*"In most cases, there is not any
connection between [graffiti and
gang activity]."

*Graffiti artists find writing to be just as meaningful as displaying art in a school's art contest (Callahan and Grantham 199)

*According to Varshavsky, in "The Street Plague: How Graffiti Is Framed by the Press", the talent and passion put into graffiti can actually help young artists to rise above drugs and gangs (Varshavsky 74).
{"correlation between unwanted behavior and hip-hop"}
*Such unwanted behaviors existed before hip-hop was created and although some parts of hip-hop culture glorify unwanted behavior, hip-hop did not invent the behavior.
*"...hip hop is as much a reflection of reality as it is a creation of reality."
*Profanity is often used in response to profane situations that inspire some hip-hop music (Callahan and Grantham 201).
*Violence and aggression have been attributed to everything from video games to television. It is hard to prove that any one thing causes them.
{"sexism in hip-hop music"}

*In the late 1970s through 1980s African American women were big into feminism. Female artists in hip-hop culture would dress in certain ways that challenged the accepted standards at that time.
*Through the use of sartorial expression women "utilized powerful visual rhetoric in order to call for the expansion of the notion of Black womanhood."
*Visual rhetoric was the key to the expression of feminist ideas (Hamilton 60-62).
Example: In 1988 on the TV show Soul Train, Salt-N-Pepa wore tight-fitting body suits, oversized men's leather bomber jackets, large gold chains and West African-style printed kufis. This attire was meant to show an appreciation for one's sensuality and one's feminine body. It was an expression of defiance and showed that women can compete and also excel in a male-dominated hip-hop culture (64).
*Since the beginning of hip-hop, it has been used as a form
of expression of societal perspectives.
There are many positives and negatives to hip-hop as well as many different perspectives that have changed as time has passed. Without being educated in many different viewpoints it is had to pass judgement over a huge topic such as hip-hop culture. It is important to educated and know what sources are providing credible insight before making up your mind.
*Hip-hop culture first originated in America in the South Bronx in the late 1970s, but rapping itself has been traced back to West Africa (Brunson 6).
*Today hip-hop is a billion-dollar industry that influences everything from TV programming, sports, marketing, and automotive design.
*Hip-hop culture also includes "the four
elements": b-boying or break dancing,
emceeing or rapping, djing, and graffiti.
Hip-hop has it's own music genre as well
as style of clothing (Callahan and Grantham
*Many consider hip-hop a way of life or
attitude and way of expression (Taylor and Taylor 251).
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