Where I Stand Now

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I have always loved hip hop. My parents hated that I would blast it in my room and I started doing it probably when I was in about fifth grade. I loved the beat, the lyrics, everything about it. It made me want to dance! But I never really understood hip hop apparently until now. I never associated hip hop with social change before. I am a B.I.S. major at the U and I am concentrating on Social Justice, Sociology (LCD) and Psychology. I was pleased that I was able to draw so many connections between this class and my sociology and social justice classes. We talk alot about white privilege and inequality and how that inequality is perpetuated by our society and culture. I feel like this class helped make what I now know from this semester much more concrete and has given me a way to apply that knowledge to something to something that I can connect to personally.

My Place in Hip Hop

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This class has definitely changed my view of hip hop. I feel like I have a much better understanding of the roots of hip hop, especially how it is an art form rooted in oppression. I feel like because I am now more knowledgeable on the origins of hip hop and its use in the United States and other countries as a tool to give voices to the silenced, I can better appreciated "good" hip hop. I feel that I will be able to listen to hip hop artists, like Missy Elliot and Jay Electronica and Queen Latifah and Nas and Lupe Fiasco, and be able to better appreciate the message that they are sending. I also feel like I am much more cognizant of the role women can play in hip hop. It's not a man's game. Realizing that there is feminism in hip hop has definitely changed my views of the genre as an art form and a catalyst for social change, and I am definitely on the look out for more feminist hip hop artists to appreciate.

Hip Hop after this class

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Before I took this class I was well aware of the concious hip hop movement happening in the US, however, I was never aware of the extent of it's progression and global movement. The only conscious hip hop artists I knew of were those a part of Doomtree in Minneapolis. Now I know that many, many artists in the US (even some commercially successful ones) have attempted to facilitate social awareness and changes here, while artists from different countries have used hip hop to expand awareness of issues relavent to their own cultures. For me, the most enlightening hip hop movement we learned about was in the context of the conflicts between Israel and Palestine. Palestinians have long been looking for a way to spread knowledge about theirs beliefs, fears, and resolutions in respect to this conflict, and hip hop seems to be the first success in doing so. By utilizing an art form known and performed worldwide they were able to not only inform others about the conflict, they could also built support by those who now understand that their own situations and struggles are not far from those in Palestine. Considering Osumare's discussion on "collective marginalities" in relation to the Palistinian efforts to spread knowledge of and solutions to their issues, I now understand the importance of parallels between separate cultural issues and truly believe that the only way to resolve and of these issues is to know that they are shared experiences. I have learned to look for these parallels in US as well as global hip hop, and I feel personal fulfillment for being aware that they do exist.

PRESENT

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As i descibed in the first blog in this class. The place i originally came from in hip-hop was that of a groupie. I followed the artists and some even made music about me. I was not actively making my own music. Today in hip-hop i have another identity and that is PRESENT. Present is my stage name and i am a rapper. I did my first open mic this December and am up on YouTube (to find go to YouTube.com search: Lana Trendov and then click on the Present link). This class expereince motivated me to delete five high profile rappers off my Facebook friend list because i came to the realization they are not going to support me with my art. I do have rappers that are real friends that do support me. I plan on doing another open mic Dec. 29th, 2012 (2-4:30pm) @ Rondo Library (community room) 461 Dale Street North, University and Dale, St. Paul, MN. I have found my voice and am using it.

The New Me

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Before taking this class hip-hop to me was just a form of music that only focused on sex, drugs and money. Now that this class is over, I know that my first instincts were completely wrong, there is much more to it. I was as ignorant as the rest of society, not knowing the history behind it. And after reading all the articles of the different elements of hip-hop I can see that it isn't as what it seems and there's more depth to it than what appears. Basically going back to the saying, "You can't judge a book by it's cover."

Although I have learned quite a bit and my views have changed, I still do not enjoy hip-hop all that much. I definitely do not think it's as derogatory as it was before, however, I'm much more of a mellow person so hip-hop can not appeal to me as much as it does to others. But through this course I have found one artist that I do enjoy quite a bit. He was brought up during class, Macklemore. His style is definitely hip-hop, but calming as well and his songs are full of meaning.

All in all, now that the course is over, I have definitely regained faith in hip-hop. Thanks Professor Isoke!

The New Me

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Before taking this class, I listened to hip hop as merely another genre of music. I listened to Nicki Minaj while running on the treadmill and Twista in the car with my brother. I enjoyed the beats and lyrics but didn't take it into any serious account. After taking this class, I am well-informed about the movement of hip hop and the stance it takes in activism. This class has opened my eyes to the social issues in society as well as the global impact hip hop has made. Furthermore, I now view hip hop as an expression and a means for which people to express themselves. Hip hop has created a connective marginality within different cultures and has made an impact on me. I am now more aware and open to different points of views and can view lyrics as a gateway for expression. Hip hop has made the impact of social awareness on me, and that is what I will take away from this class.

My hip-hop life now

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Before taking this class, I had a certain appreciate for hip-hop but did not spend much of my time immersed in the music or any of the culture. I had friends that I knew were involved in specific Minneapolis hip-hop circles, but never really asked any questions. After taking this class, I feel like I have a better perspective of the meanings and interpretations that stand behind hip-hop. I have a much more expansive view, world-wide, on various types of hip hop and the connectedness of oppression as an underlying theme. Also, this class has been beneficial in so many ways. I had never been enlightened on the Israel/Palestine conflict, and did not expect that my Hip-Hop Feminism class would be the place in which I acquired all of my information. I have further pursued information on the conflict in order to shape my very own view on the on going conflict. I think that this class has really helped me to understand the driving forces in which hip-hop is created and it has led to me to become more involved in my friends' involvement with local hip-hop. I think I have gained a better understanding, and I will now listen to hip-hop with a different ear. I will give more of my attention to the underlying themes to create understandings. I feel like I am better educated on more aspects of oppression and hip-hop as a tool to raise awareness and create safe spaces in which individuals can create and educate on social issues. I have learned about more than just hip-hop culture. I am very happy I decided to take this course for it has bettered me.

After taking this class...

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Before taking this class, I felt less than knowledgeable about the hip-hop realm. I really only knew what I heard on the radio. I had never thought about it more than just a musical genre and thinking it to be a political movement was not even on my radar. I have now come to see it as a medium for (usually) young people who have felt oppressed by dominant cultures and are using music to take back their voices. It is both an artistic and conscious way of developing yourself in the context of oppressive regimes.
Due to this class, I have been introduced to global hip-hop and how hip-hip as a music genre and a community function in non-U.S. areas. Since reading the articles on hip-hop in the East such as Palestine or Egypt, I've starting following artists such as the Arabian Knightz or El Général.
I've come to understand queer and feminist translations of hip-hop and how they fit into the hip-hop community. I've been introduced to artists who alter what it means to be hip-hop.
I wouldn't ever consider myself a hip-hop expert my any means, but I'm much more conscious of the effects it can have on people as a serious global movement for change.

The New Me

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Although I have always been a purveyor of hip hop, only after taking the time to examine it critically have I fully understood it's firm place in the culture of the United States and the World. My place in the global hip hop cipher has changed since the beginning of the class. Now I can identify when hip hop is being used as a way to enact change in the community and organize people and push their ideas. I feel that my deeper understanding is a good thing not only in terms of hip hop but also in recognizing injustice and hegemonic power structures the world over. Although I could be seen as 'privileged' from certain perspectives there is still a lot of power in play working against me. The global recession has waned a bit and created more wealth but still a high number of 20-29 year olds not found jobs. The recession has not quite recovered for them. This along with the high cost of college is viewed by me as the hegemonic power structure protecting their protected place in society. Perhaps I should stand up to this oppression bringing awareness and support to my cause! I have the power to bring new networks of people together to create positive change in my community!

Blog #5

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Before entering this course I thought that Hip-Hop was simply a display of music and tradition. I did not have much of an interest in the genre of music or the history involved with it aside from the fact that I danced to it.
Now, I understand that Hip-Hop is not only music but it is a way for people to communicate the situation they are in effectively to others. Through this course I learned that this genre of music extends far further than I once thought. I never would have looked into current events happening worldwide and how those events have an effect on music. I am personally extremely glad that I took this class not only because it opened my eyes to an area of music that I never would have explored but because I got a different perspective on college curriculum outside of my major. I now look at music with a more open point of view which I find to be more interesting.

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