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Pop culture is a set of attitudes, imageries, concepts, notions, and viewpoints within a given social setting. The social influence of African Americans on popular culture is perhaps among one of the most widespread and enduring aspects in this area. Even in the face of a history of entrenched racism, black artists have had a massive impact on the popular culture of Americans in general (Williams & Zenger, 2007).
The most referenced pop culture genres within the African American pivot, according to Justman (2005), include films, music, and spots that constitute the mainstream of pop culture. The film “As Good as It Gets” is, no doubt, one of the examples that fill the bill of pop culture in the African American context. Produced in 1997 by Laura Ziskin, “As Good as It Gets” is an American romantic comedy directed by James Brooks. The film stars Jack Nicholson (Melvin Udall) as a cynical, unorthodox, racist, and novelist. The film also depicts Helen Hunt as a single mother whose son chronically ill. Greg Kinnear is a gay artist and a very outgoing individual. Several themes permeate the film to explore psychological principles, disorders, and another phenomenon that falls within the study of pop culture and psychology.
The influence of African culture on hip-hop music
Hip-hop music started in the 1970s with the African America teenagers taking a greater proportion of the movement. Initially, this type of music had four elements, namely Rap music, Turntablism, B-boying, and graffiti arts. Hip-hop music has made tremendous progress since the introduction of the industrial revolution. Initially, hip-hop was only dominant in urban areas and later spread to suburban areas. In essence, the neglected Africans in America introduced this new form of music that involved raping and the use of arts during the play. Particularly, the Bronx was the home place of these African Americans that introduced hip-hop dancing.
Records show that hip-hop was written by considering the cultural practices of African America (Justman, 2005). For instance, beginning from the way of dance and the type of music was a true replica of the African cultures. Clearly, many scholars have connected the raping style with the tradition of the West Africans. Africans had vocal skills and itinerant storytellers that contributed to the formation of the songs. In addition, African American culture embraced the use of the rhymed stanzas in open and private places. Since the beginning of the 21st century, many other forms of music like R&B, Jazz, Rock, among others, have borrowed the hip-hop skills like poetry and writing skills (Williams & Zenger, 2007). Remarkably, the route of the hip-hop has been traced from the black churches in America. The report shows the preachers, and the clergy used various parables that attracted the audience. Finally, African Americans had the ability to insult their opponents with humor.
“As Good as It Gets” is probably a popular fictional singularity that addresses an aspect of culture. The social influence of African Americans on hip-hop is in full play in this film. In pop literature, a leading cultural feature is always an aspect of the art. Africa Americans had traditional practices that contributed to the development of hip-hop. For instance, the storytelling and dancing skills contributed to the performing of hip-hop. Moreover, the preachers from black churches contributed to the humorous aspect of the hip-hop dance. Their ability to attract the audience during the sermons was used in the development of hip-hop music. These fascinating traditional practices have influenced the development of hip-hop dance.
Justman, S. (2005). Fool’s paradise: The unreal world of pop psychology. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee. Web.
Williams, B. T., & Zenger, A. A. (2007). Popular culture and representations of literacy. New York: Routledge. Web.