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Hip hop is a type of music genre that consists of rhythmical vocal style that accompanied by backing beats. Hip hop is a part of culture started in New York in the 1970s by African Americans. This paper discusses why hip hop music has become so popular and whether it has changed in order to become more available.
Postindustrial urban American life is inscribed in hip hop style, lyrics, theme and sound. Hip hop emerged from the intersection of a lack of desire to manage painful contradictions of the social alienation of African-Americans and Hispanics in the postindustrial city of New York. Therefore, hip hop emerged as a cultural form, which attempted to negotiate marginalization experiences, oppression and brutally truncated groups. Thus, it became a binding tie between African Americans and Hispanics setting a frame for the development of hip hop. Hip hop is treasured because it transforms stray technological parts intended for cultural heap by means of replicating and reimaging urban life experiences using sound, style, attitude and dance (Ross and Rose 71).
Connell and Gibson assert that the energy, the style and the anger of depressing urban environment were attractive to hip hop fans, in the same way reggae was in 1960s. They argue that hip hop built unity across racial borders, because it did so by expressing a shared masculine contempt for women. Hip hop popularity was fueled by block parties with DJs, playing other popular genres of music. At that time, hip hop was liked by many people, since it was easy to dance following beats and because its lyrics pushed boundaries. A ‘new rap’ style also gained a lot of popularity, because more songs with good beats emerged that appealed to more people, especially by the way stories were told, and because it did not contain repetition as pop music did (75-76).
According to Ross and Rose, hip hop culture emerged as a source of alternative identity formation. It became a social status of the youth in the society, where they were looked down upon, especially, by the older white generation (78) claiming that hip hop train served both as a means of inter neighborhood communication and a source of creative inspiration (86). Therefore, it was evident that hip hop principles responded well and acted a blueprint for social resistance appealing more to the marginalized youth. Klosterman alluded that hip hop became so popular that some white groups, namely the Jacksonville-based band Limp Bizkit, felt that they were connected with hip hop. One of the band’s vocalist, Fred Durst, admitted that he’d preferred being straight in a hip hop group, but it was impossible for white people to get credibility in the black denominated industry (Klosterman 243-244).
The popularity of hip hop continued to grow in the period from 1980s to 90s and different hip hop groups and artists continued emerging. People, in particular the youth, liked not only the music, but also the fashion, clothing and lifestyle, exhibited by these artists. Hip hop artists started minding how they appeared, and their fans paid attention to them.
Since that time, hip hop music has been transformed because of the spatial mobility. Connell and Gibson (10) concur that hip hop has influenced and changed the way of cultural changes and wider global economics. Music was used in campaigns opening up global trading, sometimes even leading to cultural changes and erosion. Connell and Gibson (17) also assert that hip hop music has appealed to global audiences by its sub-cultural approach enabling local mobilization of hip hop language and its diasporic identity. An example of this is when American and Chinese merge (MC Hammer and Queen Latifah merged with other alien Chinese influences) created quite different form from what people have predicted.
The vailability of hip hop music also enhanced another form of mobility, namely tourism. As a result of it, tourists from foreign countries may demand hip hop music from well-known artists ensuring that hip hop songs and dances are retained. Music is heard everywhere and is mediated by local and international factors. Globalization provides the best vehicle for the global reach of western music, in particular, in cities and towns where hip hop has unique sites of broadcasting, production and consumption. Radio played a big role in reaching out to hip hop fans all over America and, even in the states, where the governments excluded hip hop from being played on radios, cassette recorders helped to spread the massage (Connell and Gibson 69).
Ross and Rose (123) implore that radio is very important in making hip hop more available to a wider audience. Tapes of most hip hop artists are made for underground radios, despite being a pre-commercial market. They assert that artists with concert skills also help to fuel the growth and availability of hip hop music. Once these artists toured their own country or other foreign countries, hip hop music was spread to new grounds and new fans. Except for the radio, TV also helped hip hop music become available across continents to different fans worldwide.
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Hip hop is a genre of music originated in 1980s. It became so popular because of its rap system, easiness to dance following good beats. The style appealed to a number of people and soon it became like a race and hip hop artist, whatever the fashion they wore, became a ‘hit.’ Radio helped to spread hip hop all over America and all over the world by means of tourists. Cassettes made hip hop songs available to a wider global reach, especially in countries that banned this kind of music. Hip hop is bound to continue growing in the near future all over the world, since hip hop artists reap benefits.