Exploring cultural influence and intersectionality in daily life through music

 

Hip-hop is a musical genre that allows listeners to interact with one another and the artist in ways that no other genre allows. WAIT! Before you quit reading and declare, “Hip-hop is a terrible genre that encourages violence, materialism, sex, and the degradation of women,” consider the social and cultural significance of hip-hop in modern society. Many people participate in hip-hop subcultures without recognizing it, whether it be graffiti, street art, urban attire, specific dances (yes, TikTok), phrases, vocabulary, and so much more. Its roots trace back to 1973 in the Bronx, New York; this is the original birthplace of hip-hop, and New York remains a significant player in the business. It combines rhythm, poetry, lyrics, and production in various forms. Because it influences the Gen Z population, it defines fashion, political, aesthetic, linguistic, technological, and educational norms and standards in many urban areas. According to numerous radio networks across the United States, Black listeners make up 46% of the hip-hop radio audience, with Latinos making up 25% and Asians 15%. That statistic indicates that a sizable minority demographic is being influenced and contributing to the success of hip-hop in a way that is inclusive. 

Understanding intersectionality regarding hip-hop is critical for us to comprehend collective challenges among our brethren. Kimberlé Crenshaw, a Black Feminist, invented the term “intersectionality” as a sociological concept. Intersectionality recognizes that many types of oppression exist, but it is also committed to understanding how those oppressions interact and to removing barriers to an individual’s or group’s well-being. It requires us to consider who might be excluded or negatively impacted by our activity and take concrete steps to address the suffering of the disadvantaged. If you are not in this group, or if you are but cannot seem to find something to gravitate toward, hip-hop still has a place for you. An excellent place to start for someone who isn’t used to listening to hip-hop is to explore!

During daily housekeeping, your stroll to class, or your grind time–school grind or gym grind–load up some music that seems fascinating. Use social media to hear snippets of intriguing sounds and styles, or research musicians to discover what they represent and promote to develop some rapport. It is important to remember that there are thousands of different hip-hop styles; thus, building your taste to tailor your playlists to your activity or mood is crucial. Artists who have dominated the hip-hop industry have been white men, white women, black men, black women, brown men, brown women, etc. Examples include Lil Nas X, Young M.A, Jack Harlow, G-Eazy, Cardi B, Khalid, etc. Inclusion should be an aim of all we do in society; Hip-Hop provides POC with a social and political voice and platform. It is meant to be shared with anybody open to receiving the art, regardless of appearance or financial status. I hope this inspires you to give hip-hop a try; you never know what you don’t like until you try it, and I am convinced there is something for everyone. I’ll leave you with a few tunes to listen to from my playlist.

 

Playlist:

YOU- Ali Gatie

Z Look Jamaican- Kodak Black

Vaccine- NoCap

Racks in the Middle- Nipsey Hussle ft. Roddy Rich

Industry Baby- Lil Nas X & Jack Harlow

Stompin- NLE Choppa

23- Slim Dinero

Shmoney- Bobby Shmurda ft. Quavo & Rowdy Rebel

Love Train- Meek Mill

Flossin- Youngboy Never Broke Again

Magic- Jorke -(Local Sackville Artist/MTA student)

 

Sources

  • Crenshaw, K. (2018). Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics [1989] [Abstract]. Feminist Legal Theory. doi:10.4324/9780429500480-5
  • Meijer, C. M. (2018). Donald L. Boisvert and Carly Daniel-Hughes (eds): The Bloomsbury Reader in Religion, Sexuality and Gender. Temenos – Nordic Journal of Comparative Religion, 54(2), 1-3. doi:10.33356/temenos.77353 • Dyson, Michael Eric, 2007, Know What I Mean? Reflections on Hip-Hop, Basic Civitas Books, p. 6. • Chang, Jeff; DJ Kool Herc (2005). Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-312-30143-9.

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