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Hip Hop/Rap Music Essay, Research Paper

Often times when people hear about Hip Hop/Rap music, they’ll paint a

picture in their heads of black men cussing, guns, marijuana, lots of gold,

and girls looking like prostitutes. Parents and teachers put an image in

their kid’s head that Rap music is “bad”, and they don’t want their kids

to be influenced by something that is negative. With the way Rap music is

advertised in the US, I would have to agree with that looking at it from an

average parent’s point of view. But what people don’t know is that Hip

Hop isn’t just a type of music, it’s a culture. It’s a culture full of

original elements, and it’s also a place where people can show others what

they’ve got and who they are. Within this original society called Hip Hop,

there are basically four main elements of MC, Break, Tag, and DJ. And each

is represented by millions of people all over the globe. When the four come

together, it makes Hip Hop music, and people live the music instead of

listening to it.

MC-ing is what people know as rapping. The main point of an MC is to make

your crowd enjoy your music, and to send a message out to them. Unlike most

of the lyrics out on the market today, Hip Hop contains meaning and it sends

a message to the listeners. Although those messages might have bad words,

and show images of things that are socially wrong, that’s actually what’s

going on where they are from, and that’s who they are. Their music

represents their area and their people, and it’s no different from a farmer

singing about his cows and chickens in Idaho. Besides, “Gangster Rap” isn

’t the only type of Hip Hop music, it’s actually only a small sect of it

all. Many rappers put out lyrics about what they believe in, their own

philosophies, entertaining others, and although it may seem unlikely, many

lyricists seem like Einstein to me. Just like all of the other geniuses like

Newton, Galileo, and musically Jimi, there are MCs that are geniuses too.

What makes those guys remarkable compared to others are their strength and

choice of words, and their flow, or the melody, of their rhymes. I

personally can’t relate to the ghetto, guns, and all of that “gangster”

stuff, so I don’t listen to that genre all that much, but there are many

elements people can pick up from the Hip Hop music. There is a whole

Japanese Hip Hop scene that is growing bigger and bigger, and that’s what I

personally live.

The next element is Breaking. Breaking is a term used for dancing, and most

people know it as Break Dancing. Although Breaking has become a small part

of the whole dance scene in Hip Hop today, it’s the first form of Hip Hop

dances. People spin on their heads, do handstands, slide with just their

hands on the ground, spin on the floor with their legs spread out, and all

kinds of astonishing moves. This is probably the most popular form of Hip

Hop in Japan today because its so easy to begin and watch.

DJs have one simple task: make people dance. Or that’s what it used to be.

Before, their main goal was to have the knowledge of the music so they can

make people dance according to the mood and time. Also scratching records

were their performance. Now, DJs have lots more jobs and probably the

toughest element of all. Most DJs team up with MCs so they can act as the

rhythm section of the Hip Hop performance, and to do that and be original,

they must create sounds of their own. They basically make the beats and the

MCs lay the words on it. The steps to be able to make beats and tracks takes

lots of time, money, and mind, so most DJs don’t/can’t take a step further

into the scene. Today, more and more artists are creating their own tracks,

for the money, and they tend to realize that they can’t be rapping at age

40 while its perfectly normal for a 40 year old to be playing the guitar. It

’s not wrong to say that DJs are the backbones to the Hip Hop music.

The final element is Tagging, and its graffiti. This is actually a

controversial issue because many people believe its wrong. But it’s a form

of art to the culture, and it shows character of each artist. Its definitely

not just about claiming area by the gangs, and its not just about

vandalizing other people’s property. People need to admit that New York

City would not have its flavor that it has today without all of those

artwork, and there are many artists that put up their pieces just so they

can show others what they got. It’s a way of communication in the form of

Hip Hop.

Many other types of music can be a culture too, and each person feels if it

is a culture to them or not. If music means culture to that person, then

they probably feel that uneasy sensation of going to bed without music,

going on the train without your Walkman, and have that anger towards vacuum

cleaners. Music also is a form of communication when there is the kind of

society where people understand one another through it. Which creates

influences on others, and makes music grow.

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