Hip Hop Feminism Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1111 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Music

Hypocrisies in Contemporary Hip-Hop Culture

Prevalent Themes in Hip-Hop Culture and Art

Certain images have been hallmarks of Hip-Hop culture even before its inception, dating back to the earlier rap genre of the 1980s and early 1990s (Price, 2006). Specifically, the accumulation of wealth, the ostentatious display of high-profile vehicles, clothing, and jewelry have been (and continue to be) featured prominently in the themes expressed in the art form. The extreme sexualization and exploitation of women and the depiction of their roles as subordinate figures or even as acquisitions associated with the success of male artists are other elements of Hip-Hop art and culture (Price, 2006).

To the extent education is referenced at all in Hip-Hop art, it is almost always portrayed negatively as a source of unwelcome authority and negative messages about the potential of performers before their eventual success (Alim, Ibrahim, & Pennycook, 2008). Likewise, antagonism toward state authority is a perpetual theme depicted in lyrics denigrating police and blaming the problems in urban communities on racial prejudice, police bias, and persecution. Frequently, those media include overt suggestions that police are the enemy and that those who cooperate with police investigations into violent crime in the community are "snitches" (Alim, Ibrahim, & Pennycook, 2008).

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Jealousy is another predominant theme in Hip-Hop culture, represented by lyrics and visual images of envy for the trappings of wealth and success associated with achieving a high status in the community. Sometimes, Hip-Hop art merges with real urban violence, such as when rival artists instigate long-running feuds with other artists through their lyrics and public statements and then escalate to physical assaults and even attempted murder over disputes that originated as "art."

Positive Images Portrayed in Hip-Hop Culture

Term Paper on Hip Hop Feminism Assignment

The negative messages often contained in Hip-Hop art contradict some of the public statements and the publicized efforts of successful artists to contribute to their communities. Several prominent female Hip-Hop artists have established charitable foundations to empower women, particularly in the African-American and Latino urban communities from where they came. Several high-profile male Hip-Hop artists, including some of the most successful music producers and promoters in the nation have also either established, continually supported, or contributed to charitable social organizations and education funds as well (Watkins, 2006).

Glaring Contradictions and Negative Imagery throughout Hip-Hop Culture

In many respects, the positive aspects of Hip-Hop culture are far outweighed by the prevalence of the hypocritical behavior of its highest profile figures. Without focusing specifically on any individual artist or public figure, even some of the most charitable and public spokespeople for the community within the Hip-Hop industry have exhibited profoundly anti-social conduct both before and even since becoming community activists (Price, 2006).

Various Hip-Hop artists who participate in public service messages and campaigns against domestic (and other forms of) violence have extensive arrest records that have continued to get longer since their rise to the status of philanthropist (Price, 2006). In some cases, those arrests were precipitated by charges of domestic violence; in others, they arose in connection with physical assaults on business associates within their industry; in the most extreme cases, Hip-Hop artists have been implicated and even convicted of murder and attempted murder of rival artists (Alim, Ibrahim, & Pennycook, 2008; Price, 2006).

The False Basis and Hypocrisies of Various Hip-Hop Themes

At their root, many of the predominant themes… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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