View Full Version : Hip Hop Songs and Black Racism

08-16-2011, 07:47 PM
Hip hop music emerged throughout the 1970s in New York. According to Rachel E. Sullivan in &quotRap and Race: It’s Got a Nice Beat, but What About the Message?&quot by the late 1980s, hip hop songs had been no longer viewed as a fad hip hop was viewed as a distinctive musical type. Even though there had been escalating numbers of white hip hop fans, many men and women nevertheless viewed the music’s shoppers as predominantly black.

Examining the lyrics in hip hop songs provides a deeper understanding of the social, political and economic circumstances of everyday shared experiences for lots of African Americans. Via examining hip hop songs it is possible to see the cracks in the foundation of a predominately white patriarchal structure that nonetheless represses opportunities for men and women of color.

Institutional Racism and Hip Hop Songs

The lyrics of hip hop songs underscore the realities of institutional racism. According to Toby S. Jenkins in &quotMr. Nigger: The Challenges of Educating Black Males Inside American Society,&quot in the late 1960s integration of black students into white suburbia created a disconnect among students, teachers and parents, and hip hop music served as a method of inclusion for black intellectual believed and expression. At the time of desegregation in schools when blacks had been silenced and marginalized in the classrooms, they started to make an choice type of cultural expression that welcomed the social and political commentary of shared experiences and rage against the energy structures of America.

Hip hop music tells the story of what it is like to be black in America. Jenkins argues that hip hop songs are reflective of black male encounter that denotes, &quot… poor well being, drug trafficking, social oppression, violence, social and political rage, depression, prison business complicated, enslavement, unemployment, poverty, and the have to have for self-really like.&quot Hip hop is 1 of the handful of cultural spaces exactly where African Americans can voice their discontent with American energy structures that make it hard for blacks to be prosperous.

Even though several consumers argue that the prospective for good results in the United States is only restricted by a person’s capacity and willingness to succeed by selecting themselves up by their very own bootstraps, statistics reveal that the underachievement of African Americans in the United States specifically within educational institutions is suggestive of a society riddled with discrimination.

According to Jenkins, studies reveal that the high school drop-out rate for blacks is high with 20% to 30% of young urban black males leaving school prior to graduation. In 1996 the college drop-out rates for blacks from 300 of the nation’s biggest colleges dropped from 35% to 33%. Furthermore, one in 5 black men lives in poverty compared to 1 in 12 for white males.

Hip Hop Songs and Cultural Realities of Oppression

Hip hop songs like all music mirrors the cultural climate of its time. In &quotThe Words Have Changed but the Ideology Remains the Very same: Misogynistic Lyrics in Rap Music&quot Terri M. Adams and Douglas B. Fuller state that &quot…music is a reflection of the cultural and political environment from which it is born.&quot Social expression requires countless types, &quot…from triumph and hope to utter frustration and despair.&quot

Adams and Douglas state that hip hop songs or rap has been &quot…denoted as the poetry of the youth who are regularly disregarded as a outcome of their race and class.&quot When the lyrics of hip hop songs are often regarded derogatory, they nonetheless reflect the systematic and social effects of black racism and are by countless scholars regarded as worthy of research and academic study.

Hip hop songs draw from eclectic and historical sources that span more than decades of black racism. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature notes that rappers generally cite historical black vernacular idiom and African musical forms as inspiration for their music. From spirituals, gospel, ballads, function songs and secular rhymes to the blues, jazz and hip hop, African American music resonates social and political struggles for blacks in a white dominated society.

Contemporary Oppression and Hip Hop Songs

Even though slavery was abolished in 1865 in the United States, racial oppression nonetheless thrives in American society albeit far more stealthy. According to Bakari Kitwana in The Hip Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture, statistically, African Americans are much less educated, employed and successful as whites. Incarceration, health problems and death rates are larger for blacks compared to whites. The emotional influence of these statistics is really apparent in the lyrics of hip hop songs.

Hip hop music underscores the legacies and the realities for blacks in a society that reveals by means of numerous of its cultural forms that Jim Crow ideology is nevertheless rather very much alive right now in American society. What lots of consumers do not want to accept is the reality that the tentacles of racism reach far beyond the boundaries of individuals of color.

08-16-2011, 07:49 PM
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