The study of the hip-hop culture - Essay Example

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In the past, the study of the hip-hop culture was subject to contempt. However, the study of hip-hop culture among the modern scholars is gaining momentum making the hip-hop culture less marginalized than it was a decade ago…
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Some of the professional fields concerned with the study of the hip-hop culture include musicology, literature, African-American studies, linguistics, and so forth (Leach, 9; Alridge and Stewart, 190). In academic and professional conferences, hip-hop culture topics are receiving a wider attention as people strive to understand this culture. Equally, hip-hop materials are currently being sought after by research institutions (including Harvard and Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture) to provide researchers with adequate materials in the analysis of the hip-hop culture (Leach, 9). This essay compares Eminem’s video for “The Real Slim Shady” with N.W.A.’s video for “Straight Outta Compton”. In the analysis of these different rap videos, the essay constructs an argument about how hip-hop has changed since its formation in the 1970s. Defining and Understanding Hip-hop and Rap Numerous people (including knowledgeable hip-hop writers and listeners) do not understand the meanings of rap and hip-hop; particularly, many of these individuals think that the two are interchangeable. Nonetheless, hip-hop is a cultural movement originating from South Bronx, New York. It has four main/primary elements that include rap, graffiti, DJing (also known as turntablism), and break dancing. Other elements that are also part of the hip-hop culture include language, beat boxing, and fashion. Among these elements, rap is the most popular and the most celebrated element of the hip-hop culture. ...
Rapping is also known as emceeing. In this hip-hop element, the rapper or the performer speaks rhythmically to a musical beat; his/her words rhyme from one sentence to the other. In the modern hip-hop perspective, an MC is different from a rapper. An MC is an individual with superior lyrical ability; on the other hand, a rapper focuses less on lyrical prowess. Particularly, this characteristic is evident in many of the mainstream rappers today (Aces and Eighths). Although it originated in New York, hip-hop has its roots in African-American and West African music. Griots are a group of West African singers and poets whose musical style is similar to that of the hip-hop culture. They have an oral tradition similar to the one in rap music; however, theirs dates back to hundreds of years. In the City of New York, griot-like musical performances from artists such as Mansur Nuriddin and The Last Poets influenced the post-civil rights era culture in the 1960s. In the 1970s, block parties became common creating the humble beginnings of the hip-hop culture (Aces and Eighths). “The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem “The Real Slim Shady” is a hip-hop song done by Marshall Bruce Mathers III who is popular by the name Eminem. In the process of writing this song, Eminem sought assistance from Andre Romelle Young (popular by the name Dr. Dre) and Thomas Joseph Coster Junior (popular by the name Tommy Coster Jr). Eminem was writing this song for his third studio album “The Marshall Mathers LP” released on 23 May 2000. This song was the lead single in this album. The song was highly successful as it reached number one in UK (United Kingdom) and number four on the “Billboard Hot ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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