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Hip Hop: Song Analysis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By kpag926
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Hip Hop: A Way of Thinking?

Since the development of hip hop nearly three decades, it has become a ubiquitous form of music in the nation, influencing the youth with its edgy music and empathetic lyrics. First pioneered in the streets of New York as a response to the oppression of blacks during the civil rights movement, hip hop and its successful influence on its listeners, especially the black youth, was able to thrive due to its uncanny ability to adapt and respond to the problems that that era presents. From the socially and politically conscious hip hop (SPC hip hop) during the civil rights movements to the mainstream music we hear on the radio today, the difference in message projected by today’s modern, hyper-masculine hip hop onto society compared with that of SPC hip hop has become a controversial subject criticized by American media such as Byron Hurt’s movie “Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes” and Tricia Rose’s article “There Are Bitches and Hoes.” With regards to the negatives that hip-hop music could have on society, the songs “Let Nas Down” by J. Cole, “Come Get Me” by Jay-Z and “Bitches Ain’t Shit” by YG each respectively complicate, exemplify and extend Hurt’s claims that hip hop artists solely produce generic, hyper masculine mainstream music for the production of records; glorify violence and negatively portray women as sexual objects in order to prove their man hood.
When the song “Let Nas Down” by J. Cole is analyzed through a historical context and compared to Hurt’s claim that hip hop artists solely produce mainstream music for their own benefit to the claim that is projected in the J. Cole’s lyrics, a complication between the two claims is illuminated. In the song “Let Nas Down”, Cole—who is a lesser known but reputable rap artist trying to produce SPC hip hop , expresses his shame on the negative response of his idol, Nas— a successful…...

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