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Transcript of Hip Hop/Rap
“Rap is what we do, Hip Hop is what we live.” -KRS One. My question is how the Hip Hop culture encourages the way we live. Hip Hop is one of the most important youth culture on this world and is proven to have a strong influence on how a lot of us live. Hip Hop culture itself began in New York and is a mix of four genres: rap, graffiti, break-dancing, and disc jockey. Kool DJ Herc is the pioneer of Hip Hop and he is also the person he came up with the term “Hip Hop”. A musician named Davey D once said “Keep in mind when brothas start flexing the verbal skills, it always reflects what’s going on politically, socially, and economically.” All music has a message and depending on how you interpret that message is what you’ll learn from it. Music has always been one of my loves because I love the art of it and the powerful messages that can be brought to fruition. My mother also collected Hip Hop/Rap albums when she was growing up and she passed them on to me and that influenced me to start making music myself.
Hip Hop's Impact On Society
Hip Hop has a major impact of the society and on how we think as people. A lot of people view hip hop to be influential and listening to hip hop music helps them get through the day. Music can tap into a person emotional side and everyone has an artist that they connect to more so than another one. Hip Hop can also affect the actions of people for example N.W.A came up with this “gangsta rap” that exists in the rap game today. They embraced violence and the life of being a gangsta. When the group’s music went viral, crime rates were proved to rise around this time. The images that rappers give off are mimicked by a lot of people in the community and those images can be good or bad.
Most gangsta rappers are Bloods or Crips and it also has been proved that the rap about gangs has increased the number of people that join every year. I listen to a lot of gangsta rap but it doesn’t influence me to be a violent guy because that’s the type of place I come from. Where someone is from also influences the type of music that person may listen to. George H.W Bush and Bill Clinton both had negative things to say about Gangsta rap and basically they said Gangsta Rap reflects the deep changes that are going on in societies and is having a negative effect on the community. A journalist named Chuck Phillips responded by calling Bill Clinton a wanna be because he comments on “black” music but never plans to deal with inner with black people.
The Media's Effect On an Artist's Image
“They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus that means guns, sex, lies, video tapes but if I talk about God my record won’t get played; huh?” (West 2004). The media has a major effect on what people think of Hip Hop as well because of the stories they cover on the actual artist. There are always rumors about artists and it can affect them in a bad way and how people view them and how people view their music. The artists’ personally life can strongly affect their music. DMX for example has been in and out of jail his whole life and all the money that he made when he was in his prime is now gone. DMX has the image of a man that can’t stay out of jail and can’t spend his money smartly, but on the other hand you have Jay-z. He is a man that has been through a lot but has never been to jail and makes 500 million a year. He has his own record label, owned 1% of the Brooklyn Nets, had his own clothing wear, has his own cigar brand, and he has his own sports agency. Depending on the artist and the type of life style they live can influence the youth to live a certain type of life. You have your rich boys that love to listen to hood music and find them getting in and out of trouble like Justin Bieber. Then on the other hand you have your black hood boy that is now rich and has dedicated his life to living drug free because he grew up in a family that did a lot of drugs. If the artist wants to put out influential music because he cares how his/her audience takes the message then the youth today would not be caught up in drugs and such things how they are today.
New School vs. Old School
New school vs. old school is something people like to talk about all the time. People feel like today’s music is immature and disrespectful. “If you want to see real hip hop you got to go to concerts and festivals because hip hop on radio sucks,” (RUN-DMC 2013). Some of the greatest pioneers in the Hip Hop game were Grandmaster Flash, Doug E. Fresh, LL Cool J, Nas, The Sugarhill Gang, and Run DMC. LL Cool J made an great impact on hip hop at sixteen, which should tell you that no matter the age of the artist a positive impact can always be established. Rakim also made an impact on the game because Rakim is the first and only rapper to never cuss in any song that he produced as an artist. In the beginning of the 1990s most rappers began focusing their music on positive messages, their life stories, and “calls for good causes”. The artists that ran this era are as the following: Tupac, Jay-z, Biggie, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Souls of Mischief, and Lauryn Hill. Old school rap contained a simple melody but deep lyrics, while new school rap focuses on more complex melodies. The biggest difference between old school and new school is the change in lyrics and what topics are talked about often. People always respected old school rap but old school rap wasn’t exciting to a lot of people because there were a lot of rappers who could rap but couldn’t produce a hit.
In the new school there is an artist named Drake who came in the game strong with his first hit song going platinum which was “Best I ever Had”. Back in the day you had hit songs that were more lyrical like “Juicy” by Biggie, “Me Against the World” by Tupac, but Drake came in the game as one of the most exciting artists ever. He holds the record for most number one hits on billboards and most number one hits of all time so that should tell you his popularity in the game and how his music is taken in by the public. A lot of people believe hip hop today is dead but one of the rappers that kept hip hop going, Nas. stated that hip hop is still alive. "It's going where it's supposed to be going in 2014. It's going in a great direction. Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller, and J.cole are killing the game right now and keeping hip hop alive.” (Nas 2014)
At the end of the day no matter what nobody says hip hop will always have an influence on people’s lives. Great “old school” music will live on forever because of the legacy of the artists that made the songs, and the new school of rap will keep pushing hip hop on to live. All the research that I have done in the last couple of weeks have led me to believe that music is one of the most powerful ways to communicate to the world what message you need people to know. “Hip hop will forever be nothing less than real,” (Drake 2011) I hope artists today keep influencing the people to live their lives to the fullest and to never let go of a dream once they began to chase it.
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