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Cure Of The Streets Essay

889 words - 4 pages

The poet Rainer Maria Rilke says that "a work of art is good if it has sprung from necessity” (Farley). Hip Hop was born on the poor and dangerous streets of the USA. Minorities such as African-Americans and Hispanics dominated these streets, and they felt the need to address their long-standing common issues. Therefore, a new form of art, hip hop was born, and became the method of self-expression for these minorities. Lyrics have presented what they have been through. While rap has turned from a tool of self-expression to a multi-billion dollar industry, it has continued to constructively affect the social and economic structure of the society. While serving as a good alternative to the ...view middle of the document...

Low standards of living led the poor to find ways to make ends meet. Jay-Z emphasizes in his memoir, Decoded, that for many African-American teenagers who “fed up with watching their moms struggle on a single income”, selling drugs and becoming a hustler was one of the few ways to survive (Jay-Z 13). In addition to this, Jay-Z says that “teenagers wore automatic weapons like they were sneakers” (Jay-Z 13). For Jay-Z, “hip hop was the solution, the product of self-determination self-realization, creativity, and pride” (Price XI). Hip hop was Jay-Z’s salvation. Instead of selling drugs, he escaped the streets as he dedicated his time to hip hop. Having come out of these conditions, Jay-Z has become the owner of his records label. This has also provided him other entrepreneurial opportunities of being a sports agent and a team owner. Meanwhile, Jay-Z still addresses the long-standing problems of the minorities such as violence, drugs, and poverty which he observed as a hustler. As Jay-Z’s critical approach to these common issues bring diverse people together to discuss them through hip hop, his lyrics educate the youth, and his success story leads them to a better life out of the streets.

First of all, hip hop serves as an alternative to the streets and formal schooling. Many rappers, such as Jay-Z and Notorious B.I.G, were financially supporting their families by hustling, but when they started rap, they stopped selling drugs and instead focused on their rap careers. For some young people, “interest in the rap music industry has stimulated their...

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