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Hip Hop - Essay Example

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Hip Hop Has a culture lost its authenticity when it has been commercialized? As Cook so astutely puts in his chapter on hip hop, one of the main tensions inherent in this musical form is the way it has dealt with success. Hip hop began as a form of resistance and rebellion…
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Hip Hop
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Hip Hop

Download file to see previous pages... These men were the rebels of the day. But as hip hop has become more popular, its stars have become brands and multimillionaires too. They do not commit crimes because it would reduce their brand value. Instead, like Michael Corleone, they try to become legitimate businessmen. In the process, they sell their music as entertainment. They become the fat cats and authority figures that they once railed against. In early times they would talk about how hard their lives were and how impoverishing the ghetto was—but now they told such stories from their Manhattan penthouses. This tension causes a real problem for hip hop. The answer to the above question must be “no.” With commercialization, hip hop has lost much of its authenticity. It is no longer a product of the street, but is instead a product of the businesses and record people who sell it at Walmart. Record labels can try to fabricate and market street cred, but that does not make it authentic (Watkins, 2). Authentic hip hop still exists in clubs and among the undiscovered, but it has lost something over the years. It is no longer as real as it once was. What does the transformation of the “hood” from an inner city location to a consciousness allow artists like Jay-Z to do? Through his music, Jay-Z is capable of transforming a physical location or state of poverty into something much more inspiring. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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