The discussion on How Does Hip Hop Affect Youth has been going on since the advent of the culture and music. Before gangster rap people didn’t over analyze rap music and the hip-hop culture in a negative manner. Yes, there were some older people who didn’t understand it and thought it wouldn’t have grown into what it is today, but knew that it had a tremendous effect on their children and youth in general.
In this post we will discuss the different effects hip hop has had on the youth, society, and popular culture; whether negatively or positively.
The Roots of Hip-Hop
The roots of hip hop can be traced to the streets of the black communities in New York City. Specifically the Bronx. Hip-hop is basically the culture of a genre of music called rap.
The culture consists of different elements which we will discuss later on in this article. But basically, the culture of hip hop includes street slang, street clothes, dancing, djing and mceeing. The hip-hop culture is what influences the music.
So you would hear the music talk about crime and violence because that is a reflection of their environment. You will also hear in rap new slang or street terminology because that’s also in the streets. Even the new dance crazes that rap artists come out with first comes from youth in these neighborhoods. The streets and urban neighborhoods create the culture and the culture is exposed to the world through rap music.
What Does Hip-hop Stand For
Hip-hop stands for giving a voice to the voiceless. It stands for the culture of the streets where there is both triumph and failure. Through rap music, you learn how hard it is in these communities because of neglect and support to make these neighborhoods move livable and vibrant. There are fewer opportunities and funding given to these neighborhoods so poverty forces them to commit crimes they wouldn’t necessarily commit if the proper help were given to them.
There is also a strategic plan constructed by the government to eradicate these people by shooting them even if no crime was committed or throwing them in jail for petty crimes. you can find this in the 1994 Crime Bill support by Bill and Hilary Clinton.
Hip-hop also stands for peace and unity and embraced by different people around the world. We know this is true because you can go anywhere in the world and find people of all races, age, and gender doing rap music. Also copying the cultural slang and dance moves. Hip-hop embraces everyone and brings them together for the love of the culture.
The Elements Of Hip-Hop
There are 4 Original Elements of Hip-hop, later a 5th one was added:
1) Emceeing (Rapping)
3) B-boying (Dancing)
4) Grafitti (Or Arso-Writing)
Mceeing/Rapping – Rap music is influenced by the things that are going on in urban communities. The rappers draw from personal experiences or stories told to them by friends and families and rap about them. So you will hear stories of violence, crime, prostitution,drugs, no employment opportunities, poor educational institutes etc. The emcees are the messengers that speak about the neighborhoods through rap music as a way to inform the world what’s going on where they come from. There are also positive things that are being rapped about that people should take heed to.
Djing – The dj sets the foundation for the emcee to rap. The dj is the backbone of rap music because without him being on stage hyping up the crowd before the rapper comes on, or without playing the emcee’s music in different venues or on the radio as a means of promotion, the rapper really wouldn’t have a career to stand on. The dj was and always has played an instrumental part in moving the hip-hop culture forward.
B-Boying – B-boying is still relevant. It’s essentially break dancing in an urban style. Competitions for the art form still carry on today. For the most part, the youth of hip-hop have steered away from that style and have created their own unique styles of dancing. To view the latest dance style visit Hip-Hop Dance Tips
Graffiti – Is an element that visually expresses the culture. It is also known as tagging. It’s the element that allows you to express yourself through drawing/scribble/scribing. It gives life to the expression of hip-hop without words being vocalized.
Knowledge – Knowledge refers to knowledge of all elements within the culture. Not only that but it is to have true knowledge of oneself. Once you know who you are are where you stand within the universe and how to contribute to making the world a better place, then you will know true peace. Knowing this knowledge gives you not only peace but power!
Hip-hop’s Negative Influence On Youth
The only negative influence hip-hop can have on the youth is through negative rap music. This sector of rap music is called gangster rap or street rap. It talks about and sometimes advocates killing other people, robbing them, taking drugs, and doing criminal activity.
When rappers partake in this form of rap music they are addressing the harsh realities of where they grew up. I feel like it’s important for them to rap about the harsh circumstances that they grew up in because it’s a part of their story and hip-hop is all about being real. But I don’t like the part where some of them advocate and encourage others to do negativity.
This is how one aspects of hip-hop culture negatively influences the youth. And to be honest it won’t stop until people with great influence and money try to help better the conditions they live in so they can have something more s]positive to rap about.
Yes, there are some rappers who rap positively but that is just a handful. The majority of these rappers come from very harsh circumstances and rap about it to tell the world about how bad it really is to grow up in those conditions. If you want to help better their situation, don’t look at them and blame them for society’s ills. Instead, help them by helping out their neighborhoods.
They need more employment opportunities, better schools, betting housing, more access to business loans just like their white counterpart. There hasn’t been an even playing field since slavery, so many benefited from the free labor while other suffered, and continue to suffer.
Hip-hop’s Positive Influence On Youth
There are many positive influences the hip-hop culture has had on youth. Hip-hop encourages the youth to be themselves. The word “be real” is always thrown around in rap music. Rap doesn’t promote being someone else but rather encourages youth to be the best versions of themselves. People and organizations involved with hip-hop have known to give back to the communities in a variety of ways.
Whether it’s feeding the youth through breakfast programs, or starting after hour school clubs, donating to worthy causes, or having conflict resolution classes. it teaches the youth to have a giving heart and give back to those in need. And also to respect themselves as well as others. Hip-hop has always been a tool that brings people together through its dancing, music, and graffiti.
Hip Hop’s Influence On Society
Hip-hop has always had a major influence on society ever since it became mainstream. It became mainstream when the rap aspect of the culture when rappers endorsed or partnered up with major brands such as Coca-Cola, Sprite, Addidas, Nike etc. Once rap music was displayed on these major brand platforms hip-hop became mainstream and people started to look into what the culture was about.
Through rap music the culture has spread all over the world. Every new slang the rappers create can be heard not only being used everyday people but also by radio and tv personalities. The hip-hop dances are mimicked by athletes, actors and even news anchors. I’ve seen it all! Both kids and adults embrace the rap lingo and wear the clothes that rappers wear; this is hip-hop’s influence on fashion.
In Conclusion, no matter what viewpoint you see hip-hop from it has had a major influence on the youth which are both positive and negative. It has influenced society in speech, behavior, and fashion. Hip-hop will only continue to grow and we should all be proud where it’s come from and be excited to see where it heads.