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It drives you insane. It blows your mind and still you want to hear it, see it, feel it. Take it in again and again. That’s what I call hip-hop. Ruling the hearts and minds of people by making them cry and die for every lyric that fills their senses, in the voices of their beloved musicians that create not just music but magic. Hip-hop does not limit itself to music, but more than one can think inside the box.
Originally a form of silent protest to White supremacy and enslavement, hip-hop shaped the culture of the black youth and conveyed it to the rest of the world. The genre is constantly declining in its message and respect, having become less about black empowerment and more about individual wealth. The commercialization of hip-hop has removed the core aspect of its origin.
Hip-hop has its “own-language”. It has distinctive associated slang which assimilated into the cultural discourse of several dialects. A number of words which predate hip-hop but are often associated with the culture, with homie being a notable example. Hip-hop lyrics also contains swear words. In particular, “bitch” is seen in countless songs, from NWA’s “a bitch is a bitch” to Missy Elliot’s “she is a bitch”. It’s often used in the negative connotation. Some female artists have tried to reclaim the word and use it as a term of empowerment.
Others consider it as the voice of people globally, a more expressive way to show struggles and harsh situations in life through the songs.
Before diving in as to how hip-hop grabs our money, let’s slightly remove to have a glimpse as to how hip-hop is no more of an art movement and focuses on image than substance. Rappers have understood that records are secondary revenue stream and the primary lies in the music videos and lyrics lifestyle which attracts millions in seconds. The artiste creates chains and brands for their lifestyle clothes and materials which add into 10 of what they earn. For example Jay-Z’s rocawear was sold for $219 million. Just like Dave Matthews band style sells middle aged affluent concerts. The point is Hip-Hop has paved a way in modern way economic profit.
The open show of drugs in videos has created an image of coolness. It’s an identification for peer link to consume drugs as portrayed. There is a romanticized link between intoxicants and artistes. Like Alcohol, lyrically represented in songs of Stephen King “I never understood social drinking, that always seemed to me like kissing your sister”. Dr. Dre has rightly said that, “hip-hop is not just music, it’s a culture. it’s living, breathing thing”.
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