HIP HOP CULTURE AND ITS INFLUENCE ON THE BLACK PEOPLE OF AMERICA FROM THE YEAR 2000 TILL TODAY
Hip-hop culture can be found in almost every aspect of life, from the music heard on the radio to the Supreme Court cases that set precedents about the first amendment’s right to freedom of expression. Hip-hop culture grew as a response to the social and economic status of African Americans and Hispanics in America. Hip-hop music has grown from a small subculture in the South Bronx to a multibillion-dollar industry, but its popularity is not limited to the African-American community and other minority groups. Hip-hop music stems from hip-hop culture. Hip-hop culture can be fined as expressive practices that draw from Black and Latino cultural roots, which brings a community together, incudes but not limited to music, rap, art, Djing, and graffiti. There is much overlap in what is considered hip-hop culture and what is considered hip-hop music. As a result of this, many individuals use the terms interchangeably.
Hip-hop music has become relevant in the field of education and educational research due to the increasing rate of high school teachers as well as college professors’ who use of hiphop music in order the classroom to actively engage students in the curriculum. There is popularity in designing their curricula within the context of musical texts in order to captivate marginalized students’ interest. While hip-hop music captivates students in the classroom, the hip-hop culture is also instrumental to identity formation. “The creative processes of hip-hop and the messages constructed in the music are woven into processes of identity formation by which youth and young adults conceive of themselves, others and the world around them” (Chang 2006). Identity formation is the process by which an individual develops and forms their distinct personality.
Since its inception, hip-hop music was labeled controversial because of its politically charged nature. Hip-hop music has also been accused of perpetuating racial stereotypes through its negative portrayals of African Americans. However, these negative themes cannot be generalized to a whole genre of music. “Confusion also exists because of the different perspectives on hip-hop as an expression of racial identity and affliction in the 21st century,” this confusion is the opposing mindsets that scholars have on hip-hop music (Petachauer, 34). Hip Hop’s controversy is an important aspect of hip-hop culture because race is directly tied to its roots. “Rap in essence became the voice of urban plight in response to oppression” (Brooks). The strong effect that hip-hop culture exhibits is directly correlated to the treatment of African Americans historically. “Black urban youth utilized these tools in order to project their experiences that often focused on issues of racial oppression and hyper-masculinity” (Brooks). Hip-hop music was thus used to express the opinions and experiences of a voiceless group of individuals.