Hip Hop is not just music, it is a cultural movement that was started in the 1970’s by African Americans that essentially evolved into something bigger as years went on. It is a way for people to express themselves, from fashion, art, music, and film. In the novel The Hip Hop Wars by Tricia Rose, the author discusses the viewpoint on hip hop within today’s society and why the negative outlook is a problem. Rose argues on the debate of the representation of hip hop whether it is causing violence or just a depiction of violence within a culture that is proclaimed to be ghetto. Rose also argues whether hip hop is mered to be sexist or an anti-sexist movement towards women, and whether hip hop is degrading the African American people and causing less success of advancement for the people. Hip hop has been one of the most discussed topics within pop culture, and is arguably one of the biggest debates on what hip hop depicts in society. In the first few chapters, Rose discusses the critics of hip hop and the blame it receives within society. As the novel goes on, she starts to reveal her arguments on both sides and how and why hip hop is perceived the way it is, violent, dangerous and ghetto. Rose speaks on those who claim hip hop to be pure, authentic and real because it is part of their own culture. It is conveyed that hip hop is not the reason to blame for the conflicts and violence that is going on within society, but instead is a representation portrayed of how life is really like and what happens for some people.
The novel ultimately wraps up with how different things could be in the future if society changed their perspective on these controversial subjects that do involve race, gender, and culture within hip hop. The Hip Hop Wars does a great job explaining the foundations of hip hop and the stereotypes that have been defined through the movement. It dissects the different elements that imply the problems that hip hop is associated with stereotypically and defines the truth in that. For example, Rose states how hip hop is degrading and women and is demolishing the values that are held in America today with the violence and hate. In society today, many have associated the black culture with hip hop which ultimately justifies that blaming the problems hip hop has brought upon on social and moral issues is only judged based upon the race of the issue. However, Rose does a great job being unbiased on the issue to use both sides of the viewpoint, that has become a debate, to justify her point. One of the debates Rose discusses in her novel is the representation of hip hop and that it is portraying a black ghetto culture to the people. Because of the history of the African American people, in America, they are often degraded, disrespected, and disregarded of who they are as people and what they have contributed to society. This has created multiple problems for blacks in society and has led them to need to fight for an identity for themselves. That is where hip hop has come into play. They have been able to create a culture and movement through the use of art which has evolved and expanded into much more in today’s world. Denying the roots of this process misses the bigger and much more important image of black deviance as a function of the apparent excesses of hip hop (Rose, 2008, Page 65).
It is important to understand the depth of black culture within hip hop and understand it with a wide range of traditions and values that are associated with the culture and movement. In today’s generation, hip hop is so much more diverse and understood than when it was in the 1970’s. From legends of Tupac to now Eminem and Logic. It has evolved into something bigger. Many people feared hip hop to be the cause of violence and danger, but failed to realize that it was an expression of what those had to go through and are going through. In the novel, The Hip Hop Wars by Tricia Rose, she spoke for her people at a time where racism was more alive than ever. A time where people were demeaning woman. A time where a culture and movement was brought upon, but was misunderstood by both sides of the people. Rose did a great job underlining the key points and arguments as to why hip hop has been an controversial issue to some. For some who were in favor of hip hop grasped it as the reality for them on what life is really like for those in the ghetto. For others, hip hop claimed to be the sole cause of danger and violence that hurts the stereotype of blacks. Rose is ultimately trying to shed light on what hip hop really is. The perceptions of hip hop’s moral values and social construct has led to false impressions on what it is. She tries to justify the truth amongst hip hop for people to better understand the core of its values and the culture itself. With the understanding of hip hop, people could then truly appreciate the culture and why it is such a relevant part of society especially in today’s world.
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