Hip-Hop Forum *Dominic Nemmers*
It was interesting to have a lot of the facts and fogginess surrounding rap and hip-hop, and the culture that goes with them explain to me at this week’s discussion with Melissa Rivere and Professor Alex Pate. My questions had to deal with the violence associated with rap music and the venues associated with it. While these questions weren’t overtly answered, there was a lot of good information presented that allow me to better understand and try to answer them.
The violence associated with the music probably has to deal with the popular masculine message being presented; this message being popular to the ‘tough guy’ image which is portrayed by the people who listen to and purchase the music. The evolution of the message of financially successful rap, deemed ‘popular’, leads to the pushing of issues that are seen as profitable without really seeing what the message is that is being presented. This message is absorbed by the listening public and although not immediately shown, is seen as typifying the crowd associated with that music, which makes the people who are listening to that music, themselves being viewed as violent.
My other issue, dealing with the academics and hip-hop, was answered by Pate and Rivere. They felt that much of the academic learning and information being presented took too specifically one issue of rap or hip-hop and tried to explain the entire culture without looking at how the entire culture affects everything inside of it. Pate also felt that rap should continue to push out the message even though if it was unpopular with academics or popular culture, and that the study of rap shouldn’t deal with how the culture affects popular culture, more that it should be viewed upon as modern literature, the poems of today, and the job of academics were to sort through the messages being presented and disseminate and objectively rate them.