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What is the message of HIP HOP Hip hop’s many different faces
• What are the stereotypes of Hip Hop artists according to you? ? ? • What comes to your mind when you hear Hip Hop? ? • Is it positive, negative, none. . • Do you listen to hip hop?
BLACK STEREOTYPES: Athletes Different clothes=>brands : Sean John, FUBU, expensive, jewelry Different dialect + accent Loud Gold teeth
• 4 main elements of Hip hop culture are • MCing = rapping • DJing • Graffiti • Breakdancing = b-boying • Further elements beatboxing, fashion, slang, …
• Hip-hop emerged in the late 1970 s and early '80 s from South Bronx (section of NY). • BY Afrika Bambaataa, DJ and community leader from the South Bronx, Caribbean orig. • DJ Kool Herc: Jamaican origin (funk music -> jazz origin) • Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five Fuses classical, jazz and folk music many different cultures and musical styles
Hip hop created …………. . • • • artistic expression designed to cope with: urban frustrations and conditions=dealt with the problems of contemporary urban life = has stayed within this tradition by actively addressing the role of anger and violence. Question: how can one refuse HH for its violence, since the violence is only a reflection of someone’s life=> HH created an open dialog to society, dialog about issues concerning AA community and its reality • “CNN of the Black community”
Hip Hop addresses: • HH: address racism, education, sexism, drug use, and spiritual uplift, social conditions=> social criticism • Hip-hop criticism: primarily focused on the music's negative and antisocial characteristics, slang, clothing, often connected with violence, drug abuse, objectifying women, or even misogyny leaves out hip-hop’s side
Hip Hop and anger Black Arts literary critic Addison Gayle, Jr. , notes that Black art has always been rooted in the anger felt by African. Americans, and hip-hop culture has remained true to many of the convictions and aesthetic criteria that evolved out of the Black Arts Movement of the '60 s, including calls for social relevance, originality, and a focused dedication to produce art that challenges American mainstream artistic expression.
Historical events= examples of Black frustration and rage: for example, the Los Angeles riots of 1992 and the riots that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968. “. . . anger-raw and unhollywoodishis what we are talking about, " writes Haki Madhubuti. "Anger for unfulfilled promises, anger toward legislators who back stepped on policies decided, passed and not implemented, anger pouring undiluted toward a rulership that feeds on greed and exploitation and views Black people as enemies or as necessary burdens to be thrown crumbs like animals in their latest theme park" Dave Chappelle “ANGRY THROUGHOUT HISTORY”
Poem ~ Hip Hop We want "poems that kill. " Assassin poems, Poems that shoot guns. Poems that wrestle cops into alleys and take their weapons leaving them dead with tongues pulled out and sent Let there be no love poems written until love can exist freely and cleanly. (Written by Amiri Baraka)
Dilemma • Main question: how should HH deal (reflection of minority) function in capitalist environment , should it produce for mainstream audiences, conserve its aesthetics criteria • the Harlem Renaissance: Can one's art go unaffected by commercial considerations, and are the effects of commercialism necessarily negative?
Effects of commercialism • • Positive: music reached wider audiences, other minority groups, middle-class whites, wider impact on society=>gets to know about issues AA community must face Negative: – wants to appeal to white culture=>AA cultural values lost – commercial concern damaged: HH’s aesthetics, political, racial, and social consciousness lost, reinforcement of negative stereotypes, many artists worried commercialism will destroy the genre POP? – Busta Rhymes worded: “…What happened to creativity, dignity, integrity. . . Understand that word and how you use it, rap is business music, hip hop is cultural music. “ • Ex. : Duke Ellington (famous Jazz composer, pianist, etc) didn’t receive the Pulitzer Prize, artists suggest for DE to receive PP, he would have to compromise in his artistic performance His reaction at 67 years old: "Fate is being kind to me. Fate doesn't want me to be famous too young. " =>GAP: growing btw. “real”/ underground
• “Should we really be concerned about recognition from a society that oppresses us, exploits us. . . ? Recognition from dominant white society should not be the primary aim of the black artist. He must decide that his art belongs to his own people. This is not to deny that there are some "universal" factors at work; but we are living in a specific place, at a specific time, and are a specific set of people with a specific historical development. ” Understand that rap is rebellious music therefore only the rebels should use it the pop artists abuse it when the audience hears real rap they boo it see rap music is a culture and every one outside that culture is a vulture the vulture makes money on the culture… ("How Not to Get Jerked)
“Don't wait for your company's promotion staff promote yourself with your own cash but this might mean ya' can't buy gold ya' might have to put that on hold” ("How Not to Get Jerked") • Solution for many artists= create own independent (of white) institutions=>aesthetic + economic independence; nowadays=underground HH • NOTE: Something Cornel West would propose; greatly encourages the same for Black academy
• Third view: art cannot exist for its own sake, it has always been and is a reflection of the conditions from which it arrives, should be relevant to its present conditions “Poems are bullshit unless they are teeth or trees or lemons piled on a step. Or black ladies dying of men leaving qickel hearts beating them down. . ” • Hard to answer, even during Black Arts Mvm. many views, looking for framework, definitions=>defining it also means limiting it All views: agree art should function to better the condition of African-Americans • 4 view: The hip-hop trio De La Soul "It might blow up (succeed), but it won't go pop. " => they might reach the same level of success within their community, but not sale on mass level, pop culture level • One of its members claims: "mending, bending, compromising any of my style to gain a smile. “ • Many real HH against this “Hip Pop!, ”
Hip hop and SLANG: in particular the word “Nigger” • Probably the most powerful and controversial word in today’s American English+ society, can be viewed as offensive, as well as a term of endearment. It is both hated and admired. The term “Nigger” has been declared illegal to say or write. It is being cut of many songs, video clips and speeches that are broadcasted by television or radio programs. • Its frequent employment by both Black + White community is the core of the great controversy • It is one of the major issues of American “political correctness” world, referred to as the “N-word” same as HH
• Dilemma: should everyone be allowed to use the term, or just some people. Some say that the word “Nigger” acquires either positive, or negative meaning in relation to whether a Black, or a White person employs it, i. e. if Blacks use the term “Nigger” = “ok, ”, if Whites= racist. • Black use: Some Blacks hold really tight on the word “Nigger” as they consider it as something their own, something that only belongs to them; their voice, emotions, power, social standing, personal expression…all what they had to battle and undergo is transformed and accomplished by the word, yet only when used by them.
• Others argue that the term “Nigger” can be used by anyone, no matter what color is their skin. They view it that it simply depends on the intention with which the term is used; therefore, the context is the final factor that determines either its the positive, or the negative connotation. • Also: since the Blacks designate each other with it, that it can not be a racial insult. • How do people outside AA know Blacks use it=>hear it in music • That’s one of the negative images of HH, its frequent employment of this term=> its effect on today’s language =>common appearance of the term among people
• But because of the process this word has undergone through out the history, it carries a stigma that will never leave it just a simple, plain word. It is impossible to destigmatize it; therefore, it should not be used by anyone, whether black or white. • Many Blacks (and Whites-not hurt) are very angry at the youth for using it; • correlates with terms; slave, servant, inferiority, racism, white supremacy… it reflects their humiliation, white prejudice, racism, self-hatred, ignorance…even more, their conformity to the white, mainstream culture.
• In reaction to the “political correctness, ” “the N-Word” created • During last February (Black History Month): NY city councilman Leroy Comrie (AA) symbolically banned the “N-word”; mostly aimed at the hip hop community and the entertainment industry; such a declaration of a “symbolic moratorium” on this term carries no weight in law
Hip-hop, rap: a positive term • • • Black hip hop / rap artists and young, namely male members of the AA community. Their point of view: term has already undergone its alteration and therefore, it has (when used by them) an affirmative context in which it symbolizes brotherhood, same as if they were saying “brother, ” “bro, ” “dude, ” “hey man, ” etc. They can express the most racist thought through it, as well as give it the most loveable aspect. According to the context in which they use it, especially in songs or among each other, it seems as they wish to “destigmatize” it, to turn it into something positive.
• • Others: find it ridiculous as it catches even more attention There is not such a word as the Nword Funny: The American server Rolling. Stone has already been making fun of such a resolution, and did not forget to emphasize the vanity of such a measure, especially in a city, where “hip hop was born. ” The image of the hip hoppers new way of greeting: “Hi, how are you, a person of an African, or Caribbean origins, ” is indeed very funny. ” “violation of the 1 st Amendment”, “banning words, for any reason, is the first step in legalized government censorship. ”
DO YOU USE THIS TERM, IN WHAT SENSE? DO U HAVE ITS EQIVALENT IN YR. LANGUAGE? • • • My research for BA thesis: CZ HH, frequent employment of the term “nigger, ” always in positive connotation, they even created a Czech version “Negr, ” “Negrice. ” The love Black music, visible in their lifestyles: clothes, language, attitudes: no racism detected among them (Gypsies are another story). . =>result: Hip Hop connects people worldwide and those who otherwise would not get to know AA, they learn about their culture =>even more the message of HH should be positive? Czechs most the time don’t understand it, love the music, if anything=>are motivated to study English (and date Black guys: )
• The X axis reveals with the terms that correspond with the numbers in this order: 1= Negro, 2= Nigger, 3= Colored, 4=Black, 5= African American.
• • • What is the message, the result? Its impact worldwide, HH culture = mainstream culture in Czech too and what about in your countries? ? Real hiphop stays true to battles, freestyling, spontaneous performance, life audience in clubs=>those are the real judges, not white public masses which are detached from AA life Real HH= reflection of AA oral tradition HH as misunderstood today as jazz in its emergence Should Hip Hop be art, which escapes from realities of daily life vs. reflection of them? Hip Hop mainly funded by white America Hip Hop is by many referred to the aftermath of the Civil Rights Era Others say talkin' loud and ain't sayin' nothin‘ Misogyny, one of most important controversial issues: Black community is very angry about this => break down of AA families, many AA women trying to fight this
• • • Songs today more relevant to youth than MLK’s “I have a dream, ” are the songs gonna be remembered in couple of years? HH reflects philosophies of Marcus Garvey, MLK, Malcolm X & other significant AA leaders Even Cornel West cooperates with HH artists nowadays; ) Definitely the most visible item from AA culture HH community, very diverse=> many hip hop “wannabees”, white guys pretending to be Black => ALI G Blacks arguing hip hop is only theirs=>yet USA so diverse, hard to define who is what • DAVE CHAPPELLE : RACIAL DRAFT Argument: White people can’t make music and dance DAVE CHAPPELLE : WHITE PEOPLE CAN’T DANCE
Bibliography • • • Empowering Self, Making Choices, Creating Spaces: Black Female Identity via Rap Music Performance Cheryl L. Keyes The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 113, No. 449. (Summer, 2000), pp. 255 -269. Hiphoprisy (in Conversations) Ishmael Reed; Michael Franti; Bill Adler Niggas with Beatitude (in Conversations) Joseph Simmons; Daryl Mc. Daniels; Amy Linden Rap and Race: It's Got a Nice Beat, but What about the Message? Rachel E. Sullivan Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 33, No. 5. (May, 2003), pp. 605 -622. The Black Arts Movement and Hip-Hop (in Popular Music) Marvin J. Gladney, African American Review, Vol. 29, No. 2, Special Issues on The Music. (Summer, 1995), pp. 291 -301.
• Hip Hop versus Civil Rights? (in Essay Review) The New H. N. I. C. : The Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip Hop Todd Boyd Review author[s]: Derrick P. Alridge The Journal of African American History, Vol. 88, No. 3. (Summer, 2003), pp. 313 -316. • Can Hip-Hop Be the New Driving Force behind Increased Racial Integration? (in News and Views) The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, No. 38. (Winter, 2002 -2003), pp. 64 -67. • Slouching toward Bork: The Culture Wars and Self. Criticism in Hip-Hop Music Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 30, No. 2. (Nov. , 1999), pp. 164 -183. + 3 personal videos by DAVE CHAPPELLE