Introduction: Hip-hop as Critical Conscience: Framing Dissatisfaction and Dissent
- 571 Downloads
Originating from youth cultures in the South Bronx during the late 1970s, the performative musical genre of hip-hop represents “a form of rhymed storytelling accompanied by highly rhythmic, electronically based music” (Rose, 1994, p. 2), one frequently portraying narrative experiences born from socioeconomic desperation, structural oppression, and other forms of perceived hardship (Flores, 2012; Neal, 1999). The social conditions lived by the first hip-hop artists were significant in shaping lyrical content. The South Bronx area of New York was known at the time as “America’s Worst Slum” (Price, 2006, p. 4) with Black and Latino communities facing “high rates of unemployment, extreme poverty, and other social structural barriers, such as a change from a manufacturing to a service-sector economy, along with urban renewal programs that pushed many black and Latinos from their residences” (Oware, 2015, p. 2). This situation was expedited by the construction of the Cross-Bronx Expressway (1948 and 1972), which resulted in the large-scale displacement of Blacks and Hispanics from razed neighborhoods into the South Bronx. Rose (1994, p. 33) explains how these displaced families were left with very little, and in particular with “few city resources, fragmented leadership, and limited political power”.
- Chang, J. (2008). Can’t stop won’t stop: A history of the hip-hop generation. Paris, France: Allia.Google Scholar
- Flores, L. J. (2012). Hip-hop is for everybody: Examining the roots and growth of hip-hop. Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse, 4(5). Retrieved from http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/a?id=639
- Neal, M. A. (1999). What the music said: Black popular music and black public culture. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Osumare, H. (2001). Beat streets in global hood: Connective marginalities of the hip hop globe. Journal of American and Comparative Cultures, 24(2), 171–181.Google Scholar
- Oware, M. (2015). “We stick out like a sore thumb …”: Underground white rappers’ hegemonic masculinity and racial evasion. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1177/2332649215617781.
- Pennycook, A., & Mitchell, T. (2009). Hip hop as dusty foot philosophy: Engaging locality. In H. S. Alim, A. Ibrahim, & A. Pennycook (Eds.), Global linguistic flows: Hip hop cultures, youth identities, and the politics of language (pp. 43–62). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Persaud, E. J. (2011). The signature of hip-hop: A sociological perspective. International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory, 4(1), 626–647.Google Scholar
- Price, E. G. (2006). Hip-hop culture. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CILO.Google Scholar
- Rickford, J., & Rickford, R. (2000). Spoken soul: The story of Black English. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Rose, T. (1994). Black noise: Rap music and black culture in contemporary America. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.Google Scholar
- Taylor, C. (1991). The ethics of authenticity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Watson, J. (2004, February 18). Rapper’s delight: A billion-dollar industry. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/2004/02/18/cx_jw_0218hiphop.html