I’m so tempted to write a long post about this as I’m such a fan and it’s a perfect excuse to reminisce over my Hip Hop DJ’ing days but I won’t. I’ll keep it nice and short. Hip Hop turned thirty, with three decades since the release of the of the Sugar Hill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight.
Since then Hip Hop has grown from an underground artistic movement in the Bronx in New York in the 1970’s, to a mainstream industry that crossed over not only to millions of Americans but to people arround the globe. But has it all been good?
It has been described by Public Enemy’s chuck D as the “CNN for black people” but again it has proven that it’s about much more than race with white rappers
and hip hoppers in different parts of the world finding their voice through the four main elements of the Hip Hop culture (Deejaying, Emceeing, Breaking, Graffiti).
But while it’s been hailed as the voice of the people by some. It’s been blamed by others for glorifying violence, degrading women, drugs and gangster life. It’s also been criticised for playing up to racial stereotypes.
One criticism for Arabic Hip Hop is that it has nothing to do with Arab culture and that it’s a meek attempt by some Arab youth to imitate a Western style of music. I spoke to a number of Arab rappers and hip hoppers and while most of them admit they haven’t fully mastered the craft, they insist that even though it started in NYC, Hip Hop has no nationality and is a tool for self expression.
If you’re in the USA, what do you think Hip Hop added to your culture? And do you think it had more of a positive or a negative effect? If you’re outside the USA, are there any well known Hip Hop or Rap acts in your country? What do you think of them?