Rap and Hip-Hop not so underground:
My project focus is on Hip Hop in the early 90’s. Just after much of the subculture was underground within the 90’s it really started to become a more main stream excepted culture for teens and young adults. This subculture has remained alive for over thirty years now. The fact that this type of subculture has remained so popular means that it is constantly recycling itself and changing to adapt to each new generation that comes. To keep the popularity of this subculture there are a few things an observer of this culture must understand. The way in which it remains a hot way of life, the way it still appeals to new generations, how it changes with the times but yet remains the same all at once.
History of Hip hop:
- This music trend started in the late 1970’s
- The subculture began in 1977 in bronx, New York.
- Described as an urban lifestyle that would go on to change many different industries. A few examples:
- The music industry
- Clothing industry
- Teen culture in general
- The journey to main stream media wasn’t so welcoming to begin with for this subculture. Pop culture was the over bearing radio choice at the time.
- The subculture took off in the 1980’s
- Where music videos began on MTV and gave the subculture life.
- To be able to put images to the sound gave young teens a fast track into the type of clothing and image they would need to be apart of said culture.
- Although this subculture exploded in the 1990’s.
My main focus:
- With the media now by Rap and Hip-hops side the subculture took on a new life.
- The media industry understood that instead of fighting this subculture they could commercialize it and package it in a way that not only kept it appealing to new audiences but that they could make a large amount of money off of this.
- TRL on top of MTV gave this subculture and these music artists a voice.
- With companies that reflect this subculture being smashed into the young teens faces when these people who make television appearances.
- An example of how this subculture adapts it the fashion forward movement:
- That image of a hip-hop rapper in baggy pants and a crooked walk wasn’t always the fashion iconic look for this subculture.
- Each generation has a significant fashion impression on hip-hop culture.
- It used to be matching baggy track suites with a boom box on the shoulder.
- And today it is a mix of different kinds of fashion styles with labels being the main focus of an outfit.
Rap vs. Hip-hop?
- In the 1990’s rap and hip-hop became one unit.
- A rap artist was often refereed to as a rapper who is also a hip-hop artist.
- This music industry change wasn’t that far fetched. The reason being one may be a rapper but that beat in the background is a hip-hop beat.
- In the 90’s music stores stopped having a separate section for rap and hi- hip you will now find that it its categorized as rap/hip-hop.
- This genre of music is one of the largest and these two are put in the same category.
- That significant hip-hop beat you hear is thanks to the electronic sound of 1980’s music.
- It was the soundboard for artists that they used to rap off too.
- On top of just the hip- hop sound what kept the rap industry going was the evolving slang words used by rappers to appeal to younger and younger audiences.
- I use the word audience because that is what this subculture is an audience.
1990’s package image:
- This can probably be pin pointed straight at the rapper Ice-T.
- This development of a subculture of a subculture.
- This gave life to the baggy pants, hard core rapper look and lyrics.
- Thanks to public enemy’s decision to go main stream for fear that their subculture would die gave birth to a new era of rap/ hip-hop.
- Introducing gansta rappers such as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Biggie, Wu-Tang Clan just to name a few.
- By re-packaging this lifestyle it selling it again to young teens kept it alive.
- Rap/ Hip-hop remained in high demand thanks to the idea to go mainstream and change the subcultures image.
West coast vs. east coast
- The next move for the industry to spread across the country and get the audience more involved was making them choose sides.
- This rivalry as real as it may have been for the Gangsta rappers themselves gave entertainment to young teens.
- Both being areas of inner suburbia and the home to notorious gangs kept making headlining news for famous shoot outs or drive-bys.
Mention of the later 1990’s:
- The west coast quickly lost in the battle between the coasts.
- It became east coasts to repackage and make their own. It’s home New York City.
- Introducing newer artists like nelly, lil jon, ying- yang twins with dr. dre and Jay Z still the top iconic figures of rap/ hip-hop.
History of rap/ hip-hop:
West vs. East: