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.