“You Never Thought Hip Hop Would Take It This Far”: How Hip Hop Has Influenced American Society

1019 words - 5 pages

Introduction - What Is Hip-Hop?
Credited as “the birthplace of hip-hop” by legions of hip-hop fans around the globe, 1520 Sedgwick Avenue’s recreation room is the home of hip-hop. In what is known today as the “Boogie Down” Bronx, what is acknowledged as the world’s first hip-hop party was held on August 11, 1973 when DJ Kool Herc spun records for his sister, Cindy’s, “Back to School Jam” from 9:00pm until 4:00am. Although it is agreed that hip-hop did not start specifically in the recreation room and in fact was sprouted in different areas of the state of New York, it is agreed that the party was a major influence on the rise of the genre that would become known as hip-hop. Since that party ...view middle of the document...

In the 70's, ten years prior to it’s [sic] gaining global recognition, Hip Hop was a celebration of life gradually developing each of it’s [sic] elements to form a cultural movement. Due to it's [sic] energy, dynamics, and momentum, Hip Hop culture has become, ultimately, a key to upliftment and reformation, as well as a billion-dollar industry.”

The Five-Percent Nation
Founded in 1964 by a man known as Clarence 13X, the Five-Percent Nation - also referred to as the Nation of Gods and Earths or The Five-Percenters - broke away from the Nation of Islam after disputes about who God truly was. An offshoot of the Nation of Islam, which is in turn an offshoot of Islam, the Five-Percent Nation taught that the “Asiatic Blackman” was God personified. This is contrary to the Nation of Islam’s belief that their founder, Wallace Fard Muhammad, a biracial, was God on Earth. The Five Percenters’ belief is that black people are the original inhabitants of civilization and are the fathers (Gods) and mothers (Earths) of the world. With believers of the Nation moving away to attend college or becoming hip-hop artists, the Nation’s teachings were propagated throughout the United States. With hip-hop on the rise, listeners were introduced to the teachings originally created by Clarence 13X. With hip-hop music already using conscious themes such as Afrocentricism and Black Nationalism within the genre, the Five Percenters teachings fit well to create the subgenre of conscious hip-hop. Along with other subgenres such as gangsta rap, jazz rap, and alternative hip-hop, the era now knows as the “golden age of hip-hop” was created. This peak lasted from the mid-1980s until the late-1990s in which the subgenres of hip-hop coexisted peacefully in the African-American music stratosphere.

The Golden Age of Hip-Hop
Seeing how profitable hip hop was starting to become, executives...

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