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Hip Hop Culture in America

Although Hip Hop was not designed to be a cultural movement, it became one. In the introduction to Jeff Chang's Can't Stop, Won't Stop, DJ Kool Herc describes the Hip Hop movement as being one where the vibe is "Come as you are," with no showing off or phoniness (Chang, 2005, p. xi). The historical factors that influenced its development were the civil rights movement and the decline of the South Bronx, or "Necropolis," as Chang (2005, p. 16) terms it, coupled with the advent of Reggae DJ Kool Herc. Herc adapted his native Jamaican Reggae music, which was not too well received in the Bronx, and the adaptation of chanting over the instrumental parts of the music became Hip Hop. Intermingled with these factors was the influence of other black groups, such as the Boboshanti, a Rastafarian sect (Chang, 2005, p. 39) and Latino groups, as well as gangs. These groups had been shunted aside culturally and disadvantaged, and Hip Hop became an outlet for them. The founders of Hip Hop incorporated these cultural issues into their movement through free self expression by Hip Hop rappers.

Interestingly, the Hip Hop movement of the 70s is similar to what we are experiencing today, with a few differences. In the 70s, there was a stronger black pride element to Hip Hop, since blacks were more disenfranchised from society than they are now. In today's society, blacks have gained greater equality with whites and have become more assimilated; the fact that the current President of the United States is a black man underscores this shift. Nevertheless, this does not mean that blacks do not still struggle with issues of disenfranchisement and abandonment; these are just less focused on the black-white dichotomy and more on the issues of isolation and disconnect in everyday life, such as those between men and women. Male Hip Hop artists often rap chauvinistically about sex, while female artists are preoccupied with love and abando...

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Hip Hop Culture in America. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:23, May 29, 2020, from