Essay on the Hip Hop Subculture
Number of words: 627
A deviation of cultural rules and values from the larger culture by a particular group or groups of people is what is referred to as a subculture (Holt et al., 2017). Integration into the larger cultural group, sharing, use of symbols and requiring learning are the four aspects of culture that also apply to a subculture. Subversive values which are unlike mainstream values have been identified in subcultures which are established as countercultures to the one of the mainstream communities. The African-American community that was ostracized in the early seventies in the US developed the Hip hop subculture (Muhammad, 2015).
Communities of African descent in the state of New York developed the Hip hop subculture. The mainstream American community did not wholly or partly accept the subculture and the origin of the subculture was predominantly low income. Since he came up with the breakbeat, Disk Jockey (DJ) KoolHerc is regarded as the father of Hip hop who more often than not hosted block parties in the Bronx which later gave rise to Hip hop culture. Societal problems and frustrations were openly expressed by those who participated in the events via the tool that was Hip hop rap. Common practices incorporated in the Hip hop subculture since are sampling of music and Disc Jockeying. Older songs have remained relevant as new songs are being developed through sampling. One of the rapping groups coined the term Hip hop as an insult on the style of other groups which later became the adopted name for the genre. The 1970’s rapping groups such as the Furious Five are credited Hip hop’s many terms (Putra & Suwito, 2020).
Since the rap culture is mostly dominant in the East side and the West side, hand signals are used to identify the respective origin of a rapper because the Hip hop subculture utilizes symbols to put its message across. Racism, crime, and racism against African-Americans are the main themes addressed by graffiti as a style of art employed in the subculture (Bąk et al., 2019).
Above is the mic-drop symbol used in the Hip hop subculture and it signals triumph at the end of a performance that involves deliberately dropping one’s microphone. Metaphorically, when a rapper is pleased about their performance, it conveys triumph as well as demonstrating immodest attitude (Smith & Powell, 2018).
The Hip hop subculture means a lot to me. Mainstream culture does not offer a sense of community to the African-Americans and this is where the Hip hop subculture steps in to provide a sense of ethnic identity to this marginalized group. Another reason I am passionate about the Hip hop subculture is that it gives a chance to vent and speak over social injustices and it also offers a way of addressing their grievances while giving a voice to the voiceless. Additionally, the subculture has learned to appreciate and encourage low-income learners despite their social status and provided them with a community where they have a sense of belonging.
Bąk, T., Kardis, M., Valco, M., Kalimullin, A. M., & Galushkin, A. A. (2019). A philosophical-sociological diagnosis of youth subcultures in the context of social changes. XLinguae, 12, 163-185.
Holt, T. J., Freilich, J. D., and Chermak, S. M. (2017). Exploring the subculture of ideologically motivated cyber-attackers. Journal of contemporary criminal justice, 33, 212-233.
Muhammad, K. R. (2015). Everyday people: public identities in contemporary hip-hop culture. Social Identities, 21, 425-443.
Putra, D. L., and Suwito, K. A. (2020). Hip-hop Cultural Representation in Hip-hop Community through Song Lyrics. Talent Development & Excellence, 12.
Smith, G. D., and Powell, B. (2018). Introduction to the special issue on hip hop, or how not to other the other. Journal of Popular Music Education, 2, 3-7.