Relating to Hip Hop

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My past with hip hop is minimal at best. I grew up in smaller towns south of the cities, lived in the country, showed horses, and spent thirteen years in 4H. I had no experience or real understanding of urban struggle or life and the hip hop culture. I was raised on classic rock, alternative and a blend of most everything excluding hip hop. The only hip hop I was exposed to growing up was mainstream radio hip hop, which is obviously only an incredibly small sliver of hip hop as a genre. As a kid, with heavy influence from my parents, I went so ar as to actively dislike hip hop, and didn't think of it as music. As a kid growing up with a slightly agrarian lifestyle there was just nothing for me to relate to or enjoy at the time.
Over the years my exploration and appreciation of hip hop has expanded greatly. I've become much more interested in hip hop over the past year and a half. The hip hop I had previously been exposed to had been the heavily urban, "thug lifestyle," drug centered hip hop that was incredibly unappealing to me. However, in college and through friends I began to find hip hop that was so much more than that. I began listening to Macklemore, Dessa, Doomtree, P.O.S and other artists who don't embrace the "thug" part of hip hop, and spin it their own way. Much of their music is relatable to the everyday person's struggle, and more than occasionally you can hear echoes of social justice and intellectual themes in their work. Before these type of artists, I was unaware that hip hop could be so intelligent. I'm aware that they aren't the first hip hop artists to create work like this, but they are the first ones I've encountered. I had always felt like an outsider when it came to hip hop, not entirely unwillingly though. It was an are of music I very consciously chose not to interact with. Over the past year and a half though I've put my foot in the door, and though I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm an insider, I would say I'm much more comfortable within the space.

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I feel that you and I may have sort of the same background. I was completely blindsided by hip-hop as a dancer. Before becoming a dancer, I did not have a clue what hip-hop was and when I heard it for the same time, I was awestruck. I found it very compelling because it was so different from what I was used to listening to. I too had parents that were not fans of hip-hop so I was held back from listening to it. I am completely changed now that I have been introduced to it, and have had the opportunity hear so many hip-hop artists.

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This page contains a single entry by dunn0384 published on September 26, 2012 12:12 PM.

Twin Cities Hip-Hop Feminism was the previous entry in this blog.

Why is Hip-Hop Feminism so hard to find? is the next entry in this blog.

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