Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hip Hop culture in the 1980's

Hip Hop began in the black community during the late 1970's in new York but really started to blossom as a youth culture in the 1980's. It started out as an opportunity for the African American youth to have a voice and be heard and to express themselves creatively through music and the lifestyle that went with it e.g. dancing, graffiti. 

Hip Hop started off with mainly socially conscious songs about their own communities and the effects of having black coloured skin in America, this can be seen in songs such as "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Going through the 80's up until the latter part of the decade "Gangster Rap" emerged out of Hip Hop and was seen as more aggresive and controversial. Groups such as N.W.A (Niggaz With Attitude) and Public Enemy portrayed the harsh realities of growing up in a black neighborhood from the perspective of New York and Los Angeles. The same art form was being used to illustrate the black struggle coast to coast and soon throughout most of the country. 

During the 1980's the emergence of Hip Hop was seen as a way for black youth to express themselves and show the struggle that they have to go through. It brought up issues such as racial profiling, controversey with police, drugs, murder etc.

Nowadays because Hip Hop has turned into such a mainstream commodity and has branched out beyond just America where you can probably find a Hip Hip artist in every country on the planet, I feel as though we are now witnessing a watered down version of what was once a powerful movement. Granted there still are socially conscious rappers who narrate the struggle but the culture has turned into a money making machine controlled more so by huge corporations run by the "white man". It has made people more aware of this culture but most people tend to look at whats on the surface such as the expensive cars, girls and bling rather than look behind at what it started out as.

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