355 201 Final paper

355 201 Final paper - English 201:T4 Research Paper Draft 3...

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English 201:T4 Research Paper Draft 3 4/17/08 Profit Maximization: Hip-Hop in the Corporate Environment The genres of rap and hip-hop have had an immense impact on music production and consumption for today’s generation. Hip-hop’s growth in popularity caused its influence to be recognized by major record labels which has subsequently caused it to shift into the popular music category. The apparent changes in the production and consumption of the music in the past two decades have had various influences, including corporate strategy. Myer and Kleck state in their article, “Corporate influence over rap music slowly morphed the genre to fit into the parameters of a mainstream culture. Ultimately, rap music loses the value of its messages, social urgency, and authenticity as it gets watered down and formulaic with corporate control” (147). In the present time, the commercial music labels have a major influence on the creation of the music in these genres and can be seen to be as both positive and negative. However, this relationship is an unbalanced one and there are many factors involved. Keith Negus argues that the corporations have a significant control over the production of the music but production itself is “shaped by broader cultural processes and the practices that are not directly within the control or understanding of the company” (268). Therefore, the corporations can not accurately prescribe the production of the music to the exact consumer demands and due to this they actually have a negative impact on the music. The corporations also affect what the artists should create and the formulaic production of the music forces artists to put out music in a certain way. There are many corporate strategies that work against what is demanded by the actors in play connected to
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the production and consumption of the music. In hip-hop, these strategies get in the way of what the original essence of the genre, with elements such as the significance of authenticity and other elements. Many questions arise when one looks at the economic aspect of music production such as, how much of an impact is caused by the strategies? Does it get in the way of what consumers want? Which strategies cause this negative impact? An icon in the hip-hop world, Nas, named his most recent album Hip-Hop is Dead though he was not referring to the genre as being dead analogous to a fad dying out, because that can not be the case if one looks at the genre’s record sales. The artist was, however, alluding to the fact that commercialization and corporate exploitation of the genre has shifted its message by a great margin from what it was once in the past. Hip-Hop’s presence and consumption in recent times is greater than ever before, and the genre has shifted into a global platform, something no one would have thought possible 25 years ago. The genre’s evolution can be attributed to many different variables, one of which is the
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355 201 Final paper - English 201:T4 Research Paper Draft 3...

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