Hip Hop vs. Country and Western
For many centuries, music has been one of the most sought mediums for personal expression with musicians finding new ways to share their feelings and beliefs with the rest of the world. …
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Out of these modernized creations, hip hop and country and western were born. Hip hop and country and western music, both of which have become increasingly popular in the past few decades, are two very distinct genres. Reaching out to different crowds, each genre contains unique messages and remarkable ways of representing them. Despite their differences, the two distinguishable genres also have their similarities. Hip hop and country and western touch upon various aspects of life, ranging from love to death and everything in between. While both genres can show the negative and heartbreaking characteristics of love, hip hop might take a harsher perspective while country and western tends to take a more uplifting, positive point of view. Some music critics, including the musicians themselves, argue that hip hop shows the reality of life situations and country and western music reveals what people wish would take place instead in those situations (Palmer, 2005). Hip hop might explain what went wrong in a failed relationship, yet country and western will explain the good that might come of the relationship ending. This concept is due to the fact that it is believed that those that listen to hip hop are more seasoned to the hardships of life and those that listen to country and western are more optimistic for things to improve in the future (Palmer). Though each genre has their own unique way of expressing these life events, they both focus on sharing similar stories. Whether it involves a hip hop artist growing up in a tough city or a country and western singer being brought up in a rural area, the songs of these artists reveal what life was like having to deal with social or economic situations, growing up in their varying neighborhoods, love and death, and just simply getting through life in one piece. The sole purpose of the music that these musicians put out is to share with others what life was like for them, and how life continues to be. Similarly, the artists of both hip hop and country and western vary with the point of view of their songs. In some songs, the singer may be narrating their own stories, putting themselves at the center of a tale that happened to them or else placing themselves in a scenario that happened to someone that they knew. Yet in other songs, the singers are narrating stories that involved other people in their lives, or even putting into song an event that they obtained from the news. A common occurrence in regard to point of view in both of the genres is the narration of fictional events that happened to fictional characters, which serves the purpose of most fiction stories - to teach a life lesson to the listeners or to reveal something about life to the audience. No matter the story that is being told, how it is being told, or the genre that the story is being told in, hip hop and country and western exist to share these compelling stories and make them known to their audience. Another likeness between hip hop and country and western is that the singers usually have damaged personas (Rausch, 2011; Cusic, 2008). A hip hop artist and a country and western star may have come from completely different backgrounds, but they both could have faced identical issues with violent family members or personal drug and alcohol abuse. Oftentimes, these characteristics are why the musicians chose music as their expressive outlet to begin with, which is usually the basis for many of their songs. Since these musicians, regardless of their genre, sing about events that they struggled through in life, connections are going to be found between the two genres. Hip hop and country
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