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Hip Hop’s Expendable Warriors<br />By: Hayley Cavallaro<br />
The Evolution<br />Since the late 1970's - hip hop has evolved from a contemporary art form to a multi-billion dollar industry.<br />The link below is to a video which highlights the evolution of hip hop from the early 90’s to today.<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-acX-Zt3LfE<br />
The Difference betweennow and then<br />The difference between hip hop songs of the early 1990's and hip hop music of today is:<br />1. the lyrics have become more negative talking about shooting, killing, robbing and sex.<br />II. the industry supported this move toward more violence because gangsta rap was the highest grossing type of music.<br />III. Black youth has been alienated and stereotyped in the process.<br />
The Lyrics<br />The first big rap hit, the Sugar Hill Gang’s 1978 “Rapper’s Delight,” featured a catchy bass groove that drove the music forward as the rapper celebrated himself as a ladies’ man and a great dancer. Soon, kids across America were rapping along with the nonsense chorus:<br />“I said a hip, hop, the hippie, the hippie,<br />to the hip-hip hop, ah you don’t stop <br />the rock it to the bang bang boogie, say <br />up jump the boogie,<br />to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat.”<br />
Tu Pac<br />Lyrics from the late West Coast rapper TupacShakur's song "Changes" outlined the trials of a young black man:<br />I see no changes. Wake up in the morning and I ask myself,<br />"Is life worth living? Should I blast myself?"<br />I'm tired of bein' poor and even worse I'm black.<br />My stomach hurts, so I'm lookin' for a purse to snatch.<br />Cops give a damn about a negro? Pull the trigger, kill a nigga, he's a hero.<br />Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares? One less hungry mouth on the welfare.<br />First ship 'em dope & let 'em deal the brothers.<br />Give 'em guns, step back, and watch 'em kill each other.<br />"It's time to fight back", that's what Huey said.<br />2 shots in the dark now Huey's dead.<br />I got love for my brother, but we can never go nowhere<br />unless we share with each other. We gotta start makin' changes.<br />Learn to see me as a brother 'stead of 2 distant strangers.<br />And that's how it's supposed to be.<br />How can the Devil take a brother if he's close to me?<br />I'd love to go back to when we played as kids,<br />but things change, and that's the way it is.<br />
The artists and the rappers<br />Tu Pac was praised for his unending devotion to "keeping it real". Tu Pac spoke about the root of the problems African Americans faced by talking about what is and also what could be. Other rappers took the lowest road by being part of the problem entirely. In Ice T's rap "Cop Killer" he is likened to a cult leader pushing others to do acts he himself wouldn't. <br />I got my black shirt on.<br />I got my black gloves on.<br />I got my ski mask on.<br />This shit’s been too long.<br />I got my 12-gauge sawed-off.<br />I got my headlights turned off.<br />I’m ’bout to bust some shots off.<br />I’m ’bout to dust some cops off. . . .<br />I’m ’bout to kill me somethin’<br />A pig stopped me for nuthin’!<br />Cop killer, better you than me.<br />Cop killer, fuck police brutality! . . .<br />Die, die, die pig, die!<br />Fuck the police! . . .<br />Fuck the police yeah!<br />
The Figures on poverty<br />25% of African Americans live in poverty while only 10% of whites live in poverty. Although hip hop music has helped to trap the perception of African Americans, obviously there is a larger problem. We need better education, more tolerance and rehabilitation instead of incarceration.<br />
The facts<br />The unemployment rate for African Americans under the age of 19 is 27.1%; under the age of 25 unemployment is at 19% and some research suggests that for African American youth in rural or desolate areas; unemployment is as high as 50%. This is compared to 9% for the average white person.<br />