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Hip Hop: Seeking Freedom Through A Counterculture

2750 words - 11 pages

Music has transformed drastically in recent years and has emerged as a form of counterculture. Specifically, hip hop music, has been identified as a counterculture that has inspired social change through its message. Although many consider hip-hop controversial, it has become a global phenomena in its ability to unify races, classes and cultures. However, societies have argued that this art form is riddled with violent lyrics, degrades women and is uninspiring. This paper will examine four aspects of the hip-hop counterculture: the socio-political influences of this counterculture; the distinction between this art form and Rap music, society's unfriendly perceptions in regards to individuals whose art form has helped transform societies globally and its powerful message that has inspired a movement.Fashion as well as music have transformed society, and in time has become a significant part of our lives. In the past few years, we have witnessed the birth of pop culture music, Hip-Hop, grunge rock, etc. These musical art forms influenced fashion, attitudes, cultures and languages. For instance, in the 70's, the music scene exploded with the Beatles steadily on top of the charts as well as the Jackson Five who along with Michael Jackson helped transform the pop culture. Little did we know that in the future, the world would experience the decline or nonexistent of such artists and the emergence of a new era of music fashion and culture.Let it be a clear reminder that Hip Hop is NOT the same as Rap. It is often mistaken by many as the same art form and contains the same message. However, there are clear differences between the two art forms. Hip Hop concentrates on portraying a message of a peoples struggles, civil rights and social welfare, which is all summed up as a socio-political message. On the other hand, rap music contains no significant message other than a message that is full of materialistic bragging, degradation of women, and violence and this being one of the biggest reasons why society has perceived this art form generally as derogatory. It is hard however to distinguish the two since both contain the same beats, rhymes and style.The raw beginnings of contemporary Hip Hop music can be traced to the Bronx in the mid 1970s. Hip Hop music was a way that urban black youth expressed themselves in a rhythmic form. This art form, along with graffiti and break dancing was the poetry of the street. The collective message of this art counterculture told candid stories of the urban streets stories of drugs, violence, injustice and crime. No matter how hedonistic the message, urban youth found a platform to outwardly express their rage towards the system. To them, the police embodied the system; they were indeed a reflection of America's attitude towards them. Before Hip Hop, there was Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Bob Marley, and more recently, punk rock, which galvanized the rebellious spirit of youth across the U.S. Now what seemed to be a passing...

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