By: Crishna SresantheraMUSI 2520 Section ASunday, March 31, 2019Is the ‘commercialization’ of hip hop a positive or negative phenomenon?The commercialization of hip hop is a negative phenomenon that has negatively impacted hip hop and its community. This essay will discuss the inner workings of what hip hop is, how it came to be, what sparked the commercialization of hip hop and the impact it has had on hip hop in further details. Before we begin, it is important to understand what hip hop is and how it came to be. Hip hop, in its truest sense, is a way to provide a voice for those who are unrepresented. From itsroots, it has been an underground form of art that was authentic and genuine. It spoke about political issues that those who were suppressed were being silenced by (“A Brief History Lesson in Hip Hop: The Commercialisation of Hyper-masculinity,” 2015). It was a symbol of hope for the people. Artists connected with their audience through their similar struggles of fighting against the powers that oppressed them. This is evident through how both Lauryn Hill and TupacShakur used their music to spread messages of the problems faced by the people in the hood (Howard, n.d.). For example, in Lauryn Hill’s hit song, “Doo Wop (That Thing)” talks about women empowerment and how women should not let a man try to control her. She also voices her opinion on ending abusive relationships (“Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing),” 1998). On the other hand, in Tupac’s classic song “Changes”, he talks about how black people were victims to the US government who supplied the drugs and guns for the youth to be corrupted by. Specifically, the crack epidemic in the 1980s-90s which is said to be initiated by the CIA and the US government in Los Angeles (Strictlyrevolution, 2017). The crack epidemic led to the growth of violence, gangs, and riots. It also led to thousands and thousands of broken homes and black men being placed in prison, which still has its lingering effects on the youth today (Williams, 2017). It created the cycle that currently exists where young men are unable to escape the hood and are stuck falling to stereotypes. They missed out on having a father figure be there to teach them what is right or wrong and many fell victim to the gangster lifestyle. This hindered the progress of these disadvantaged communities from escaping this vicious cycle. What does this have to do with the commercialization of hip hop? Well, this is what ignited what genre of hip hop that became commercialized, hyper-masculine rap.The commercialization of hip hop began during the 1990s when mainstream corporations realized that they could profit off the growing popularity of rap music, mainly gangster rap.