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Rap and Hip-Hop Panel Reflections- Melissa Green

I found the Hip-Hip panel to extremely interesting and entertaining. I was surprised to learn that rap is a subset of hip-hop, rather than a new form altogether. I had always assumed that hip-hop was rap but with more "traditional" musical conventions than rap. However, hip-hop is a kind of sub-culture, complete with its own elements and various artistic styles such as dance, graffiti, music, and poetry. I also found it reassuring that there still exists hip-hop that makes social commentary on issues such as poverty, race, and drugs. The commercialization and involvement in capital has unfortunately kept much of this kind of music underground. Instead, we are innundated with hip-hop that revolves around sex, money, and the objectification of women. This crap rap does not really represent the original spirit of community togetherness that rap once did, nor does it attempt to affect social change. What I hope will happen in the future is that another group like Public Enemy will become popular in the mainstream, and thus bring important issues to the forefront of American consciousness. As whites are the largest consumers of hip-hop in the country, hearing socially conscious music will bring these problems to the ears of all those who need to hear it.