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.
December 2012 Archives
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Since starting this class my respect for hip-hop has grown exponentially. I used to be apathetic and ignorant about hip-hop, but now I see how much potential it possesses. This potential can be harnessed for capital/corporate gain or for revolutionary action. It is unlikely that I will ever personally add to the index of global hip-hop but I will, without a doubt, be a proponent of it. As with any genre, there is a variation in quality and this is particularly exacerbated in our class by the fact that we are being exposed to the best of the best in terms of radical, feminist hip-hop. That said, it is both heartening and exciting to see the range (both in terms of geography and topic) underground and feminist hip-hop has. It has opened my eyes to the varied forms that activists can use as a platform. I also like it how it gives people who might not otherwise engage with activism, a voice and a vehicle to communicate. About once a week I hear people talk about the negative effects of the media and pop culture and they usually reference hip-hop. Now when people bring that up to me I remind them of hip-hop's roots and ask them not to generalize because it serves to erase the oppression that black people face(d) in this country and thus the roots of hip-hop. That said, in terms of the global hip-hop cipher, I am definitely a proud supporter and defender of hip-hop.
Coming in hip hop to me was exactly what it's "not" in this class. My mainstream outlook on the entire hip hop industry thinking that the only meaning in the music was to party, drink, drugs, and sex. I had no idea about all the under meanings and works of the more concrete hip hop artists and what they are rapping about. This has been an inspiring class and I have learned more in this class than any other through the semester. I really feel like the hip hop community is a welcoming one and I am glad, now knowing the background and meaning of it all, to be a small part of it. I have also gained a lot of respect for people in the industry now knowing more about it, knowing that again there is more to them and their music than drinks, drugs, and sex. Being a lover of music, being able to experience new artists has also broadened my itunes library quite a bit. The exposure to international hip hop, and international music at that, has almost been my favorite part. Not only is it new music that I haven't heard before but it also allows me to learn about what's really going on in the world and the true issues that the U.S. tends not to tell us as citizens. This has broadened my outlook on international work and travel and as bad as it sounds has made my outlook on the U.S. change a bit. I think being able to learn and expand thinking through music is such a great positive thing and I'm glad that's how we are able to learn in this course and I would reccomend this class to anyone because no matter the major or focus this class is beneficial to anyone. It's been an amazing semester.
When I first entered this class I had no idea that we would be learning about hip hop for the whole semester, my adviser had just told me I needed one class of this type to graduate, so I took it. I can now say that no other class has broaden my view on a topic as much as this class has. In the beginning, hip hop to me had always just been a music genre that I listened to at parties, filled with references to women, drugs, and sex. Now I have a much deeper appreciation of the power it gives people to speak their minds and talk about social or community concerns they have. I particularly loved writing my second paper on French hip hop, it gave me a more worldly view on hip hop, and the impact it had in many facets of people's lives there including politically, spiritually, ect. I would have loved to learn more about hip hop in other areas, and what it means to them. Also, learning about hip hop as a way of feminism was really eye opening for me, as I had always thought of this type of music as degrading towards women. As this semester comes to a close, I'm really thankful I stumbled into this class because it taught me a great deal of not looking into stereotypes and a topic that I was sure was pretty insignificant in the beginning is now so much more to me.
Favorite French artist Diam.
My position in the Global hip hop cypher has changed as I've gotten older but my love for the culture and music is still stay the same. I feel like hip hop provides a welcoming environment for those like myself that society has labeled as 'other'. This label goes beyond the constraints of race but for those who society has marginalized though a variety of methods. When I was younger I was interested in hip hop music that was centered around partying and fun but as I have gotten older i've become more interested in the conscious realm of hip hop music. I believe in hip hop's power to educate and open the minds of it listeners world wide and I think more rappers should keep this mind when writing their lyrics. In many African American communities these rappers are the only role models some children know and the messages in their music play a large effect in the way they view themselves. As a young black woman I have reaped the positive and negative benefits of hip hop and I choose to use those positive messages to empower myself and the negatives to critique some the over arching problems in the black community.
I took this class knowing nothing about hip-hop. I was interested to take it just for that reason. If there could be an entire class dedicated to it, then it must be worth while. What I gained from this class was a cool, fresh perspective on a topic I hadn't really considered worth engaging in before. I had no idea that hip-hop had it roots in southern black preachers, could and is used to express queer sexuality, and I certainly had no idea that global youth use it to spark protests and revolutions around the world. I still stand as a novice in the hip-hop world, but now I have considered hip-hop outside its United States stereotypes and have a new way of considering it.
In the global hip-hop cipher these days i guess i'm more near the center, Being an artist that is active, producing anf performing music that can educate and inspire young women makes me feel like i am doing my part. It's funny because at first i wanted to write that i am kind of laid back in the ciper but i write poetry at least twice a week and try to make it fit in with hip-hop beats. I am constantly trying to work on the formula that makes a good piece of hip-hop. Conceptual metaphors are one way to express thoughts and feelings. I have come up with a working theory that one needs a concept, then to create a domain, express truth in relation to the topic. Using creative language and remembering that the character of the concept has no literal expression. It's helping me with my art. I have taken inspiritation from men that still make hip-hop, but now i am an artist in the process of creation not a fan.
Where do I stand in global hip-hop? I do not have a concise answer to this question, but, I know what I feel inside and what I do and do not support.
I don't support the artist who uses power on his/their side to objectify people for a profit. I don't support the glamorized lifestyle of riches and arrogance. And I do not support the upper-class white men who manipulate young artists into participation of the system that discriminates against them and so many others.
With this said, I do support a politic, an art that aims to challenge and eradicate sexist, racist images and representations of black women, the black community and individuals overall. I support a art and politic that strives to understand the dominant operations of power, whether culturally, socially and/or politically. I support the activism of art that speaks from the self-outward and sheds light on multiple intersecting forms of identities that challenge dominant systems of oppression and destabilize hetero-patriarchal systems in order to promote liberation, love and peace. And Lastly, I support anyone who wants to express themselves, build personal growth and just have fun! in which is not at the cost and/or exclusion of others.
With this explained, I may not have a physical place within hip-hop. But, I can relate with aspirations and goals of many hip-hop ideologies and artist we have read.
Signing up for this class, already two weeks into the semester, due to scheduling and other class conflicts, I walked in on the first day expecting Pop Culture Women, where I figured we'd apply feminism to current media and public figures. What I actually got out of this class was so much more. I wouldn't consider myself a stranger to hip hop when I walked into this class, but my scope was definitely limited, and I hadn't viewed hip hop as something that could be tied with feminism. Though I had encountered more recent, independent artists that had meaningful, and political lyricism, I wasn't aware of hip hop's extensive political history, and what a huge role it played in Black culture. I'd written off most of hip hop as egotistical BS about livin' large, and mistreating women. It was hard to look past.
I was also unaware of hip hop's global reach, as well as its place in youth culture. Though hip hop can often be written off in America as being "non-musical" and simply distasteful, it's amazing to see how powerful it can be as a political and social tool in other cultures. I know that after having looked at hip hop through a more critical, feminist, academic lens, I will be a more understanding, yet critical listener when I continue to enjoy hip hop!
At the beginning of this class I did not know what to expect when coming into the course being that I am not a women studies major. The class was much different that I had anticipated and really dug deep into the development of hip hop as a whole as well as how feminism and women play a major role. I would absolutely say at the beginning of this class was oblivious to all of the cultural elements and deep rooted meanings hip hop incorporates. This class has definately changed my views and appreciation for the genre.
Barack Obama said it best when he surprised America by declaring, "The thing about hip-hop today is it's smart, it's insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable". Growing up with hip hop, I understood before taking this class how influential hip-hop could be. However, this class has deepened my understanding of hip-hop, enabling me to expand my knowledge about elements beyond lyricism and beats. In the same way, this class has also taught me to look deeper into lyrics and listen for the creative ideas expressed by the trickster. I can listen to hip-hop all day and night but looking at it from an academic perspective has peaked my interest and has allowed me to recognize that under the baggy clothes and sometimes distasteful lyrics, these are artists that deserve recognition for having the courage and intellect to discuss topics deemed by the social norm as forbidden.
I entered this class knowing nothing about hip-hop. When we had to create our first blog, I had no idea what to write about because I was so unfimiliar with the subject. I was worried about offending hip-hop lovers by saying something wrong. Now that the class is almost over, I am comfortable talking about hip-hop music and culture. I have learned many things. Before the class, I was very naive, I didn't even know that people in the middle east enjoyed hi-hop. I learned that hip-hop can be used as a social movement. For example, we talked about Palestinian's feeling like they weren't citizens in their country. They used hip-hop to create awareness of this issue. My favorite unit was the one on queer hip-hop artists. I learned the diverse ways in which people utilize hip-hop. My favorite artist discussed this semester would be Missy Elliot, just because she breaks norms, and uses HHNL to challenge social corruption. It was cool to finally learn the meaning behind the lyrics in her song "Gossip Folks."
When I signed up for this class I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. I thought to myself, "I am an animal science major what am I doing taking a Sex, Politics, and Global Hip Hop class?" I talked to my roommates about it and they had the same thinking as I did. As I got further into the class I realized that I had made the right decision in sticking the class out. I learned so many important things while in class. One of the most important things I learned in this class was how hip hop music is so different. Before taking this class I thought that all hip hop was the same and they all sang about the same things... sex, drugs, alcohol, and money. Once the class progressed and got further into the discussions in class I realized that there is much more to hip hop than just that. Hip hop in the United States may be about drugs, alcohol, sex, and money but that doesn't mean that all artists sing about that.There are still current artists that sing about political and "real world" problems. We may just have to look outside of the mainstream artists or maybe even globally.
Taking the concept of hip hop and applying it beyond the genre has opened my mind in several ways. Firstly, using hip hop to describe different historical movements has shed light on many contemporary activist collectives. Now knowing the genesis of different feminisms and sounds I hear on the radio are all because of hip hop. Moreover, I know have a more multi-faceted view on Black feminisms in general, being able to explore and delve even deeper to a passion of mine. Lastly, before this course I was only able to see race in hip hop in a purely one-dimensional way; not being privy to complex race relations rooted in authenticity within the music industry. In conclusion, I believe that I stand at a more seasoned and less ignorant position within the cipher that has enhanced my feminist paradigm.
Since taking this class, I have gained a new outlook on the meaning of global hip hop. I came into the course with little knowledge of this music genre and I leave it knowing some really interesting things. I do not view all the music as one anymore and can tell what is being commercialized and what is true. I am able to pick out the main themes of hip hop in the songs and figure out the meaning the artist is trying to depict. This course has also introduced me to some feministic ideas that I have never been associated with. It has broadened my view on such ideas and I am interested in continuing to gain knowledge on such topics. One other item I have gained from this course is the fact that I am more interested in learning about hip hop from other countries and I plan to continue doing so.
Before I took this class, I thought hip hop is just one of musical genres, and does not have much of meanings to society. However, this course has expanded my knowledge and understanding of hip hop. I could understand what are the important elements of hip hop unlike other musical genres, and how those elements have changed and adapted to different cultures. Hip hop feminism was totally new to me, but through this concept, I could see how hip hop can promote feminist movement around the world. This class also allowed me to understand how hip hop has helped people inform their absurd social situations as well as express their feelings. Feminist perspective allowed me to see things from the point of view in women side. Moreover, I was only interested in American and Korean hip hop culture, but now I am also interested in global hip hop including Palestine and Egyptian hip hip. Overall, through this course, I could get an expanded perspective and deeper understanding of hip hop.
I feel like this course has really expanded my understanding of what hip-hop is all about. Often times people's perception of hip-hop is based off of what they see in the media and they assume all aspects of hip-hop are about sex, drugs, money and violence. Although, I think there are a lot of artists that rap about really materialistic things and disrespect women within their lyrics and videos. I also respect hip-hop as being an oppositional culture and I think it is a really great opportunity for young artists to spread messages about oppression and social injustice. I have learned a lot about hip-hop on a global scale and I admire the impact hip-hop has made on other communities struggling with similar oppressions. It allows people to relate with each other on some level regardless of the differences between their own cultures. Overall, this course has given me in depth knowledge on the history of hip-hop as well as current representations. I feel comfortable talking about and critiquing hip-hop with other people, which is something I would not have been able to do before this class.
This class has really allowed me to expand my horizon when discussing hip-hop. The "old me" was a competitive dancer in which hip-hop was taught to me, but I was never the strongest hip-hop performer. I only performed it when I was required to. I was very timid and did not feel as though I could perform the moves correctly or quite as well as the others around me, I was more of a jazz and lyrical performer. Through taking this class, I have been able to learn the deeper meanings and origins of hip-hop in general. This has helped me view it much differently and understand why it was created. Being a retired dancer, I can now watch others perform and understand what their body is saying through their performance. I now feel like a much more empowered women after taking this class because I learned about the many struggles women have endured and how they use their performance to make a difference. Below you will find a picture that sort of conveys the way I was introduced to hip-hop to begin with. I was the ballerina, which had to try and converge to become a hip-hop dancer.
Before starting this course, I had limited knowledge and understanding of hip hop, and even less knowledge about the idea of global hip hop. I did not know that hip hop was such a medium for giving youth a voice and for mobilizing change. I did not realize the expanse of hip hop beyond western culture, reaching corners of the world and making such an impact in different ways.
I would say that now that I have completed this course, I have a much more expanded understanding of hip hop and the role in plays on a global level. I am by no means a hip hop expert and still do not listen to much hip hop music. But I have a new appreciation for the power of hip hop and the deep messages it can relay and the tool it can be for our world's youth.
The issue of young people and narcotic use is apparent in America, but what we refuse to notice is that it is also a large issue for youth on a global level. From Afghanistan to London, these dangerous drugs are spreading quickly and continue to become even more deadly than before. With the rising number of chemicals that can be combined with these drugs, they are becoming less pure and most of the time youth using these drugs do not realize what they are actually taking. A lot of this rising epidemic can be blamed on both the media and the way youth role models brag about using these drugs. Disguising these deadly drugs as a way to party and a necessity for a good time, young people are especially subject to false messages.
I like the way Macklemore addresses this issue. As a former drug user himself, he brings along a real perspective and criticizes those artists in hip hop that glorify drug use.
Before taking this class, I was hardly familiar with many hip hop artists and in many ways only saw hip hop as being a commercialized product that commodified women and was not very inclusive. My judgements on hip hop were mostly because of the stereotypes that the media chooses to portray about it, a lot of gangsters with money dancing with half naked women and and drinking expensive champagne. After taking this class, I've realized that the media and also part of my former self could not have been more wrong. Hip hop is so much more than gangsters or half naked women. Now, I think hip hop is an incredibly important genre of music that not only brings all different types of people together but acts as a platform for activism for youth and also marginalized people that need a voice and an advocate. I've learned that hip hop is a lot more that just a beat and some guy or girl rapping over it. It is a complex system of different patterns and sounds that's roots trace back to the continent of Africa and to Slavery. I've learned that hip hop exists all over the world and connects many people though ideas of hope and determination for change. Now I know that hip hop doesn't just put women down and objectify them but actually gives them a space to critically challenge the gender stereotypes and the common male dominated discourses of of current society. Honestly, over this semester this class has taught me more than all of my others and made me realize that I have a place in the hip hop cipher too, even as a suburban-raised white girl. Along the way, I have learned some great artists from today and the past that have definitely become some of my new favorites!
Before taking this course, I only saw the highly commercialized genre of hip hop discussing sex, drugs, and money. I did not think that was what true hip hop was considered to be. I knew it had to be that way because sex sells, and that there were hip hop artists out there that can talk about real issues. I never really questioned the commercialized hip hop genre too much before taking this course. I did not pay attention to the lyrics as much. Now, it is hard for me to listen to a song and not judge the lyrics and the artist for making such, in my opinion, idiotic songs. It is weird to think that although these artists want to be authentic by creating a "thug" and "gangsta" image that some of the artists have never really experienced the violence that a true "gangsta" has. I never thought about the different aspects of hip hop, including b-boying and b-girling, and graffiti. I knew that they were a part of the hip hop genre, but I always focused on the rapping aspect of hip hop. I used to consider hip hop as a truly American phenomenon, but after all of the readings and discussion of global hip hop, I now consider hip hop to be a truly global phenomenon. I do not believe that American hip hop artists can coin hip hop as their own. I think that other countries are staying truer to the authenticity of hip hop by discussing important issues concerning society, and by commercializing those topics. American hip hop artists can learn for others, including Palestinian hip hop artists, to make popular music that discusses less superficial aspects of society.
I chose an image of the group DAM as a reflection of where I stand in the global hip hop cipher because I think they are a truer representation of what hip hop really stands for compared to many American hip hop artists. I stand for hip hop that discusses important issues facing the audience that artists aim their music toward.