Coming into this class, I knew absolutely nothing about hip-hop. However coming out of this class, I can sincerely say I have learned so much, gained a rich new perspective, and have grown to love hip-hop music from all countries.
In this class I have learned so much, from talking about the roots of hip hop, and how authenticity, the DJ, the Rapper, the MC and the Tricksta are all invaluable parts of hip -hop, and how hip hop dance has evolved to what it is today. In learning about these differing topics, I felt that I gained a deeper understanding of hip - hop and how it came to be. It gave me great insight as to why many of the rap artists of today often talk about women, or the hood. I understand the concept of authenticity and how that has helped to shape hip -hop as it expanded to countries all over the world.
One of my biggest take- aways from this class has been learning about women in hip hop, and how they are subjected to different things than men in order to make it, in the business. Often women have to change their entire look, whether that requires getting plastic surgery, or just getting a new wardrobe. They are also not allowed to use hip -hop to talk about real issues. They must write music that sells. In this aspect hip hop industries are taking away one of their first amendment rights. In watching videos in class I was really able to see how passionate most of the women who don't make it are about making a difference in their communities, and how they have truly found a voice through hip hop. I feel horrible that large companies are more worried about profits versus social change.
Another concept that I enjoyed learning about was the spread of hip- hop throughout the globe. I loved how artists such as Arabian Knights was able to use hip hop to talk about things that other media outlets were not allowed to share the truth about. I loved that they were able to use hip-hop to spread word about the dire conditions in which millions are living in and that they were able to persuade people to take a stand against their government through their music.
Before taking this class, I didn't understand hip-hop, I didn't understand the vulgarity and objectification of women that took place in most American made music videos. After taking this class I have learned that hip -hop is so much more than fast cars, women in bikinis, gold chains, and money. I realize that hip-hop is a means of communication. It allows people to have a voice that normally wouldn't. Hip-hop is a means of change, a means of expression, and a means of social justice. Through hip-hop people can express reality, they can persuade people to do the right thing, or to understand a perspective. Hip- hop is so much more than I ever imagined, and I find it truly astonishing.
Through this class I have learned a lot about other non-American hip hop artists. I have since discovered MIA, and the Arabian Knightz. These artists have all found their places in my ipod, and I have started looking into other hip-hop artists as well. As someone who is quite shy and not really a performer, I believe that my part in the global hip - hop cypher will remain as a consumer. I believe that after taking this class I will expand my horizons and look to artists from other countries, not just those who are hitting it big in America. I believe that hip - hop is a great media to learn about some of the oppression, and worldly problems that are taking place throughout the globe. I am super glad to have taken this course, as it has really allowed to me to grow, and to understand a great art form.
Attatched are some of the songs I have really come to like by MIA, and Arabian Knightz