The golden age. Rap music. Hip-hop. Gangster rap. These are just some of the few terms that people call the 90’s era of music. Many people in the United States view the 1990’s music as the start of rap culture. From Compton, California all the way to Brooklyn, New York. This was a way that people told stories. How they got their daily sights and activities out to the public. While this was a great thing for many American’s most of the population viewed this as dangerous and wreck less. Following the release of these rap groups; NWA, Tu Pac, Outcast and many others, violence sky rocketed. It influenced drugs, entertainment and clothing apparel for the youth of America. It brings the culture of the poor out to the world to people that might not understand that don’t live in the same situation. (Richardson)
The American population viewed the golden age of music as violent. For example, gun violence with teenagers under the age of 15 are 12 times higher than 25 different countries combined. (Richardson). This may be including with the constant aggressive marketing tactics that the record companies would use to get the albums and the music to spread. The constant view of drugs and guns on the album covers. Some children may view this as cool and the big thing to do in life. To try and fit in, they begin to act the same way as some of these groups. This shows a picture that the entire African American race is like this. Filled with violence and death. Americans across the country grouped them as rebellious.
If you take a look at the past, while gangster rap is filled with violence, it isn’t the first popular song to deal with death, drugs, and rebellion. The famous artist Bob Marley has some of the most well-known songs to hit the United States. Songs filled with drugs and violence. The hit song I shot the sheriff (1974) discusses death and rebellion. The same thing that is being depicted in the 90’s rap culture. Another example of a large market artist that makes a violent and hostile song is Johnny Cash’s hit Folson Prison Blues (1968). 90’s hip hop has also been viewed as racist and favoring the African race with the use of vulgar language. Heavy metal has always had violent lyrics and also includes race at times. For example, Metallica’s hit No Remorse (1983) included lyrics Only the strong survive, can’t save the weaker race, This has the same aspect on favoring one race but that doesn’t spark aggression or the urge to cause harm to someone. With the release of these songs violence didn’t sky rocket or cause an increase in death.
The golden age is an attempt to show how race is taken advantage of in the 1990’s. African Americans would be questioned just because the color of their skin. Ice Cubes hit single F*ck the Police showed a great deal of how he was taken advantage of and treated poorly. How he would be arrested just walking home to his house. There was no way that they would be able to voice the struggles that they go through any way else so they described it through music. (Travis 458)
The rap culture began in the 1960’s. It comes from deep African roots coming from roots of slavery. The golden age of hip hop was a must needed action. It joined cultures together and it allowed the African American population to tell stories and show what is happening around their neighborhoods and the daily life that they go through. To give a voice to the younger generation. To allow a change in the race war.
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