This packet is the second in a series that explores music as media. Students will develop better critical thinking skills by analyzing information, reflecting on their own thoughts and feelings, and attempting to solve problems. Students will become more media literate and develop a better awareness of the social issues that affect music and its listeners.
Hip-Hop music emerged from the Bronx, New York, in the mid-1970s, and soon spread to other large cities, including Los Angeles. The term “hip-hop” is credited to three New York musicians, Busy Bee Starski, DJ Hollywood, and DJ Afrika Bambaataa. Through much of the 1980s and early 1990s, most hip-hop recordings were bought by young African-Americans living in large cities. However, the popularity of hip-hop gradually spread, and more than half of the people today who regularly buy hip-hop albums are white suburbanites. There are also an increasing number of white hip-hop and rap musicians.
Some observers believe that an important reason for the growth of hip-hop and rap’s popularity is the resistance that it has met among parents’ groups and others. This resistance is based in part on the obscene and violent lyrics that are often (but not always) present in rap songs. Some adults do not realize that there are different types of rap and hip-hop, but they instead associate all rap with “gansta” rap.
There is another reason why hip-hop has become so popular: Hip-hop is now a profitable business in corporate America. Yes, big businesses are making money by heavily marketing hip-hop.
Read the following document and answer the questions at the end to test your knowledge of the subject.
Source: Journal of Hip-Hop, Volume I, Issue 1 Spring 2005
This file contains two articles discussing the commercialization of hip hop.
Source: Source: Journal of Hip-Hop, Volume I, Issue 1 Spring 2005
Regardless of whether you like Eminem or not, describe why you think his fans believe he has credibility. Why do you think credibility is considered important to rap music fans?