Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hiphop vs Academia

~so, as some may know, Ive been laboring my way through grad school for the last 4-5 years--its been an interesting ride(and its almost over!!)--Ive learned quite a bit and, despite my borderline-poverty existence, have found my time in grad school to be 'enriching,' as they like to say.....

so, Ive decided to post a copy of my research paper (29 pages) for any that may be interested...its not perfect, as few essays are--however, I feel it reflects my perspective adequately...and if you grew up on hiphop in the late 80s/early 90s, then you should no doubt feel where Im comin from...

heres the intro...

"For many in America, hip hop music evokes images of young, dark-skinned males sporting oversized gold chains, collectively boasting about their fancy sports cars or vast coterie of salacious women. Tune to any urban radio station marketing to the young, hip hop market and surely one will encounter such braggadocio and misogyny. As if the materialism and crude characterization of females were not sufficient, today’s hip hop artists are also perceived as overtly angry and violent, with the music they produce sometimes leading to brawls in the nightclubs in which the music is played or performed. Such occurrences have even led some club owners to cease booking certain hip hop acts altogether, so as not to have to deal with the violent and rowdy crowds that attend these performances.
Certainly one cannot simply argue that the music itself causes violence, for there exists a sizable portion of hip hop artists that view these characterizations of violence, misogyny, and materialism with disdain. Yet, at the same time, there are the gangsta rappers who use characterizations of ghetto stereotypes—such as the pimp, gangster, or hustler—to convey an aspect of social realism that aims to express the reality of ghetto life. Instead of focusing on these stereotypical characterizations, conscious rappers—a term used within hip hop culture to differentiate the ‘gangsta’ rapper from the ‘intelligent’ rapper—attempt to address social issues with aplomb. These conscious rappers deliberately attack social ills, such as poverty, unemployment, inflation, poor housing and substandard educational systems. Rap music is, as Tricia Rose suggests, “a hidden transcript” that uses “cloaked speech and disguised cultural codes to comment on and challenge aspects of current power inequalities

When Hiphop Mattered

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