The late 1970s was the period rich for various events including the intentions to identify civil rights, prove the importance of feminism, and underline the importance of the role of a woman in society. Still, for many people, one of the main distinctive features of the late 1970s was the emergence of hip-hop. During several decades, people tried to give a number of definitions to hip-hop. It was introduced as a separate genre of music, a social movement, or even a style of life. Many writers share their opinions and attitudes to hip-hop, and some of them will be used in this paper in order to comprehend if it is possible or even correct to give one clear definition of hip-hop.
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For example, Watkins offers to give several definitions of hip-hop regarding different periods of time and comprehend it as a real and organic movement, a simpler time in history when it was not spoiled and sullied by the power of commerce and political divisions (9).
For many people, hip-hop was a chance to unite their powers, skills, and interests and organize the groups within the frames of which they can share their opinions and discuss the issues that are really important to them. In fact, many authors underline the fact that commercialization of hip-hop has changed its essence considerably and deprived modern people of the possibility to understand the essence of hip-hop and true reasons for its appearance. Nowadays, it is hard to comprehend that such serious and definite genre of music as hip-hop was introduced as a form of signifying with a number of formal qualities and iconoclastic spirit (Bradley, DuBois, Gates, D, and Common xxiv).
At the same time, the intentions to be indifferent made people believe that the hostility of hip-hop, the possibility to avoid taboos, and the ignorance of language rules could provoke young people. The development of stereotypes occurred. Kelley wanted to explain how the question of gender was raised in hip-hop song and clips. Violence against women, male superiority, and physical power became inherent to hip-hop music and made people believe that stereotypes could not be excluded from hip-hop (Kelley 198).
With time, the definition of hip-hop was changed and commercialized. In addition to the power of men, the idea of money was introduced. It was not enough for hip-hop artists to use special words and terms, to demonstrate special moves and signs, or even to be black. Hip-hop became available to everyone, who was in need of self-defense and power, and who could pay for it (Chang 12). The analysis of hip-hop and its history prove that it is not easy to give one clear hip-hop definition. Much time as well as more opinions and approaches is required.
In general, the only thing that is clear is the fact that every person is free to choose any definition of hip-hop given at different periods of time and be correct with their choices and explanations. Hip-hop may be a music genre, a style of life, or even just another way to earn money. The definition of hip-hop depends on people’s attitude to this phenomenon. As hip-hop was created as a free movement for people in need, people are free to make their guesses and give their independent definitions. Hip-hop remains to be a salvation for every person, who wants to find out it in the chosen music genre. Hip-hop is a kind of music chameleon that could understand what a person is in need of at the moment.
Bradley, Adam, Andrew DuBois, Henry Louis Gates, Chuck D, and Common. The Anthology of Rap. New Haven: Yale UP, 2010. Print.
Chang, Jeff. Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. New York: St. Martin Press, 2005. Print.
Kelley, Robin D. G. Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class. New York: The Free Press, 1994. Print.
Watkins, S. Craig. Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of Movement. Boston: Beacon Press, 2005. Print.