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Hip Hop Music And Its Impact On American Culture

2529 words - 10 pages

It was a Tuesday morning in the Information Technology class at State College. An older student was doing his best to ignore the loud, obscene disruption occurring next to him, the result of two younger students ignoring the lesson at hand. Finally, he gave in and spoke up against their sanctimonious display, and was quickly bullied and threatened with violence in front of the entire class. Both aggressors exemplified and embodied every aspect of the hip-hop culture: Ebonics spewing out of their mouths, expensive and baggy clothing draped and sagging from their bodies complete with headphones around their neck blaring expletive laden song lyrics. The dynamic duo mentioned here certainly aren’t the only members of this ilk, nor are they unique specimens of any particular breed. In fact, they could even be labeled as poster children for the hip-hop culture. Indeed, many people have encountered similar “thugs” and “thuggish” activity, the putting-down others and degrading society, seemingly as they wish. This has caused a general fear of most of these types of people, in addition to staining the mind of the American consciousness with the thought that this is somehow “cute” or a passing trend. To this effect, the hip-hop culture is the most detrimental to the American consciousness, because of its poor moral code and mental attitude that produces underperforming citizens.
You might be wondering what exactly does a poster-child for hip-hop look like. Well, in turn I might ask, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word thug, or gangsta? How about top-selling rap artist in the country? As for me, I think of a black man, about 22 years old, wearing $200 Nike shoes, pants that are held by a belt just under his buttocks, a 5X, plain t-shirt, platinum chain, and a crooked baseball hat with the tags still on. This cookie-cutter mold can sadly be seen on just about every street corner. Why? Because it’s part of the culture. When you are a part of a culture, you adopt the food, music, speech, and dress that are unique to that culture. People who are a part of the country music-based culture are generally perceived as wearing tighter fitting jeans, button up shirts, and cowboy hats, whereas punks and Goths are assumed to always be wearing black, tattered clothing and are typically paler in appearance than most. Stereotypes and generalizations like these don’t simply fall out of the sky, rather, they are brought about by how the majority of any particular culture represents it. Your culture, be it domestic or adopted, is indicative of who you are as a person. Each culture also contains more than just clothes and food, but also a mindset, a way of thinking, and a set of values.
In the world of hip-hip and rap, the default emotion/mindset appears to be anger, anger at a world that represses and stymies the advancement of the minority race through society, forcing them to turn to selling drugs and dropping out of school just to...

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