Hip Hop’s Greatest Controversy: Notorious B.I.G. vs. Tupac
Hip Hop started in the South Bronx, New York City in the 1970’s. Hip Hop as a music and culture started when block parties became popular, particular among African-American youths who reside in Bronx. Deejays would play popular songs on turntables at that time and start to break or “scratching” in between playing songs to create their own beats. Hip Hop served as a voice for the inner city youths were from a low-income families. The culture would reflect their way of life. As the years of Hip Hop progressed, a new form of Hip Hop was introduced that was called “gangster rap”, which rapped about the hyper-masculinity and violence. The biggest controversy in the Hip Hop world took place between The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur. Both artists took lyrical jabs at each other until their untimely death.
The documentary, Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, was produced, written, and directed by Byron Hurt and was released in 2007 by PBS. Mr. Hurt is an American activist, lecturer, and a graduate of Northeastern University where he played American football as a quarterback. The documentary provides details about sexuality; violence, homophobia and hyper-masculinity in Hip Hop culture. Hurt, a long time hip-hop lover, the more he learned, the more the lyrics, violence and sexism became more unexpected to him, and this influenced him to make the documentary Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes.
My interviewee, Chantal Jones, is a longtime admirer and lover of Hip-Hop. We have the same passion and love for music. I have known Chantel for close to three years. She is 18 years old and she is from the St. Vincent and the Grenadians, but has lived in the states for over four years. I choose Chantel because she is an aspiring singer and songwriter. I spoke to her about hyper-masculinity and violence in today’s Hip-hop culture.
Troy Ennis: “What do you think hyper-masculinity and violence in todays rap music?”
Chantel Jones: “Honestly I think it is a bad way to send their message out because there are a lot of kids that listen to those kind of music.”
Troy Ennis: “Do you believe its wrong for a man to show their emotions in todays society?”
Chantel Jones: “No I don’t thinks its wrong, I thinks its actually right are they should show how they really feel about a female, I feel like that’s where their relationship go “wrong sometimes.”
Question: “Do you think in order for rappers to be successful, they have to rap about violence and sexualization of woman?”
Answer: “No, no, no!!! I’ve been telling everybody that walk up to me like, I’ve been meeting a lot of that say they’re a rapper, I be like spit something for me real quick let me hear something and the first thing I be ask them for is to rapping about something about life or what’s going on in your life or something about today, that happen to you yesterday and what’s going on in the world today if you can not rap...