The commodity of Hip Hop
As Alexis De Destructive stated In a description about Americans, “the recollection of the shortness of life is a constant spur to him. Besides the good things that he possesses, he every instantly fancies a thousand others that death will prevent him from trying If he does not try them soon. ” In a country that promoted communication and mass production, American society thrived on Its quest for new and exciting things. Nearly two centuries after his report, what was then this American oddity has transformed into a global phenomenon.With the increasing interdependence on one another for trade, multilateral organizations like the World Bank and the MIFF were established In order to facilitate trade. Naturally, this ‘globalization’ process Is not Limited to the transfer of goods.
It instead refers to the transfer of goods & ideas, While proponents of capitalism praise its promotion of global integration, others view globalize as a form of ‘neo-colonialism’; a new form of oppression In which the rich rule the poor. In fact, despite capitalism’s vow to Improve the lives of the poor, the gap between the rich and the poor has never been larger (Lecture).In this paper, I argue that capitalism and unilateralism are responsible for both the emergence of hip-hop, and the popularization of it. Thus, although capitalism has created a system of oppression, its design has Ironically encouraged resistance. Given Hip-hop’s success and Its ability to unite people around a set of grievances, it can serve as a means of social manipulation leading to social movements. The model for capitalism is in large part, responsible for the perpetuation of the cycle of poverty.Because investments in wealthier neighborhoods are bound to produce more profit, affluent districts receive more ands.
As a result of these funds, more money can be allocated to education, transportation, and institutions, allowing for the overall development of the region. In the absence of these resources, the poorer neighborhoods are unable to compete with the affluent ones. Thus, the poor become poorer as the rich become richer. With arbitration, and urban development, African Americans and other minorities were pushed further into the slums. Confronted by the ways in which displacement by urban renewal, economic recession, and the fiscal crisis of the state combined to rate desperate circumstances for Inner-city youths” (Lips, 181). Because outrageous stereotypes appeal more to the masses than accurate qualified depictions in a capital oriented economy, African Americans and other minorities were reclaimed. Although African Americans had already been depicted as a permanent ‘other’ and an ‘enduring problem’, post-colonial poverty added yet another dimension to the black stereotype (Silversides, 365).
Instead of encouraging dialogue and understanding, “politicians and journalists in the USA regularly depicted Black omen as unwed mothers and Welfare queens’ (Lippies, 180). Despite the improvements in electronic communication, the economic separation between the rich and poor led to the physical separation because of the emergence of public housing In Inner cycles (projects). Thus, a large portion of society relied on depictions in the news and media. While African Americans contributed to all forms of media, 1 OFF correcting the inaccuracies of their depictions (HINT AAA).Hip-hop emerged as a means of self-expression to underprivileged teens who felt their voices weren’t heard. Hemmed in by urban renewal, crime, the police surveillance, and silenced by the neglect from the culture industry, the school system, and city government, they found a way to declare themselves part of a wider world through music” (181). Through this shared consciousness, Songs like Lath’s “Ladies First” thus told stories the “achievements, ability, and desirability of Black women” (Lippies, 180).
Thus, although poverty continues to be rampant, hip hop emerged as a source of expression. It provided people with shared experiences a sense of collective identity. Ironically, the very system of oppression that was responsible for creating the circumstances for hip-hop’s emergence, also helped popularize the music. Re- affirming Discotheque’s analysis, a part of rap and hip hop’s success can be attributed to its radical departure from everything that came before it. Because consumers are in a constant search for new products, music with any semblance of ‘exoticism’ becomes appealing.After all, “a search for novelty, boredom with familiar paradigms, and traditional European and American practices of fascination with (but not respect or) the “exotic” also accounts for recent “emergence of post-colonial art in Western consciousness (Lippies, 184). The emergence of Hip-hop, however, differs from the development of Blues and Jazz.
Because the messages in rap and Hip-hop are such blatant criticisms of society, they cannot help but be political. The frustration and anger felt by these young African Americans was manifested into re-producible commodities.Given the laissez fairer approach to economics, the popularization of Hip-hop happened independently of, and perhaps in spite of, the American elite. By reducing mix-tapes in protest of the American system, these teens were ironically adopting and utilizing the system. In doing so, they were able to enter a realm of society controlled mainly by supply and demand. Thus, “the relentlessness of capital in seeking new areas for investments has also led to the unexpected emergence and convergences in the field of culture (Lippies, 186).As Hip-hop became more and more popular, African American youth gained a level of control of their portrayals.
Hip- hop’s scope of impact, however, lay beyond its importance to African American ultra. Because these expressions of frustration were rooted in a system shared by many, “the reach and scope of commercial mass media [has] unite[d] populations that had previously been divided” (Lippies, 186). Hip-hop was instrumental in bridging the divisions with both members of the African Diaspora and with other minorities with similar grievances.The transnational nature of a global market led to the distribution of Hip-hop records and mix tapes all around the world. Because the rhythms and beats found in Hip-hop emerged from the African tradition, rap and Hip-hop appealed too global audience. “By combining rhythmic drumming and systematized pitch into the same instrument, they created a vehicle perfectly suited for expressing sedateness in both European and African musical traditions” (Lippies, 188).And yet, it was not only the music that resonated with the African Diaspora.
Given the global nature of capitalism, blacks in different parts of the world could relate to certain aspects of the messages embedded into the instrumental beats. Thus, “the music of African American Diaspora testifies to the capacity of post-colonial ad similar, although not identical, experiences” (Lippies, 187). Hip-hop’s role in promoting minority cohesiveness in the U. S. Should also be noted.Although minority groups often competed with one-another, Hip-hop seemed to highlight their shared grievances. After all, as African American writer Land Jenkins argues, “[d]emending respect for the dignity, equality and human rights of all people is central to African- Americans’ history and consciousness, as well as to our own advancement” (Hint & Johnson, 48).
Because Hip-hop constitutes as a form of protest against social power elation’s, it has found tremendous support within different groups normalized by the effects of capitalism.Its appeal to these groups has also increased Hip-hop’s scope of success and influence. It has unified the poor, not only in the U. S. , but all throughout the world. With the emergence of ‘identity politics’, Hip-hop served as a rallying cry against injustice to the poor in general, and to black people in particular. Indeed, “new forms of domination also give rise to new forms of resistance” (Lippies, 184).
By adopting the system that oppresses, Hip-hop has ironically managed to deliver a level of liberation.