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Archive for April, 2010

Journal Entry #4: Hip Hop

In Rose’s article she brings up a very elaborate background about the Hip hop culture for us. She associates hip hop with its local identity. Hip hop came about during economical shifts. Artists faced problems getting a job in their field of study and some of them leaned towards entertainment. breakdancers, rappers and graffiti artists were all part of the hip hop entertainment events. It had become a very competitive genre in that people want to prove their success and prestige. Artists are able to use their creativity to make their own styles and were known for them. Hip hop fashion depicted the “power of consumption” where they use alot of jewelry to show their royalty, designer brands, and “baggy” clothing.

Rose also explains the importance of one’s identity in the hip hop culture. For one’s status to elevate, he/she needs to be innovative and creative in making their own distinctive style that can make a big impact.  There is an emphasis on flow and layering in break dancing, graffiti art and rap. Especially in rap music, flow and rhyme plays a significant role in creating a musical message. It also needs to have abrupt distractions in music that have a certain rhythm to it.  What is interesting about rap is that it isn’t a continuous melodic pattern, instead it emphasizes the artists’ spoken language, almost like speaking a poem, in a certain rhythm. Unlike a lot of other genres, rap is one genre that stands out because of this element – it digresses away from typical melodic form of a song and brings in the spoken aspect of it and emphasizing the beats or rhythm.

Hip hop culture was very concerned with one’s identity. Graffiti artists create their art on public walls, break dancers had their signature moves that were distinctive from the rest and rappers create their own beats and tend to communicate to its audiences about their own experiences and reflections of the world around them. Therefore, I believe, the hip hop era brought about a lot of innovation, art and creativity for the African American community, especially since one’s “status” was in direct correlation to his or her own ability to bring out “style”.

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