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April 23, 2024

Hip Hop’s Not Dead

Hip Hop’s Not Dead

“Hip hop is not dead, but it is gravely ill” (ix).

“For the wider audience in America, which relies on mainstream outlets for learning about and participating in commercially distributed pop cluture, hip hop has become a breeding ground for the most exploitive and increasingly one-dimensional narratives of black ghetto life. The gangsta life and all its attendant violence, sexual ‘deviance,’ and misogyny have, over the last decade especially, stood at the heart of what appeared to be ever-increasing hip hop record sales” (3).

Hip Hop’s Not Dead

“On the one hand, the increased profitability of the gangsta-pimp-ho trinity has inflamed already riled critics who perceive hip hop as the cause of many social ills; but, on the other, it has encouraged embattled defenders to tout hip hop’s organic connection to black youth and to venerate its market success as examples of pulling oneself up by the bootstraps. The hyperbolic and polarized public conversation about hip hop that has emerged over the past decade discourages progressive and nuanced consumption, participation, and critique, thereby contributing to the very crisis that is facing hip hop” (5).

Hip Hop’s Not Dead

“In fact, many conservative critics of hip hop refuse to acknowledge that the ghetto is a systematic matrix of racial, spatial, and class discrimination that has defined black city life since the first half of the twentieth century, when the Great Black Migration dramatically reshaped America’s cities” (5).

“What do fans, artists, and writers mean when they defend an escalating, highly visible, and extensive form of misogyny against black women by claiming that there are bitches and hoes? And how have they gotten away with this level of hateful labeling of black women for so long?” (6).

“The big media outlets that shape this conversation, such as Time/Warner, News Corporation, Bertelsmann, General Electric, and Viacom, do not frame hip hop’s stories in ways that allow for a serious treatment of sexism, racism, corporate power, and the real historical forces that have created the ghettos. When well-informed, progressive people do get invited to appear on news or public affairs programs, they wind up being pushed into either ‘pro’ or ‘con’ positions—and as a result, the complexity of what they have to say to one side or the other is reduced” (6).

Hip Hop’s Not Dead

“In particular, I am interested in a strategy that emphasizes the ability to experience some kinds of critique as a central part of the love ethic” (272).


Write a small paragraph reflecting the previous article then in a second paragraph answer the following questions:

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