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GWS research Final Draft

GWS research Final Draft - Shin 1 Jae Shin Prof J Rodriguez...

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Shin 1 Jae Shin Prof. J. Rodriguez GWS 20 8 December 2009 Identity through Hip-Hop When I first arrived in America at age eleven, I was exposed to a culture that I could not fully comprehend at the time. Hip-hop and rap music soon became my primary source for learning the English language, and very soon I fell in love with its beats and rhymes. Cisco's "Thong" music video was frequently played on TV, and as a young boy, I did not realize the demeaning representation of women as sexual objects dominated by "ego-stroking" (Fitts 212) Black males. In time, I found myself fully absorbed into a culture that I did not quite understand. In the following research, I will give a brief background of hip-hop and its emergence and how and why Asian-Americans identify and assimilate themselves through a culture that is not originally their own. Hip-hop is considered the rage of contemporary times. It is a form of pop music characterized by hosting dance clubs known as emceeing & DJ'ing. The other elements of hip-hop are graffiti and break-dancing. As hip-hop transcends into big business, these four elements are constantly being merged with others like fashion, language, and mentality or attitude that is distinct from earlier generations. If there is one music genre that characterizes hip-hop, it is rap music which combines poetic verses to music and delivers in rhythm of beats. Another characteristic of hip-hop music is the creation of a unique musical sound called “scratching” which involves stopping a vinyl record while it is being played on a turntable with a hand, creating a strange scratchy sound but when adeptly manipulated, can create “beautiful” music to the ears of a hip-hop artist though it may be plain noise to the uninitiated.
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Shin 2 Some accounts would say hip-hop originated as early as the 1920s when musicians, particularly African-Americans, introduced a brand of music that was considered out of this world during those conservative times (Wang). It started in the Bronx in the 1970s through an immigrant named Clive Campbell. The music he introduced was based on the toasting practices of his native Jamaica that consisted mainly of reciting poems along with music. His practice soon developed and became known as rap music in the succeeding years. From the basketball courts of the inner cities, this music would gradually gain a wide following, especially among the African-American youth. The music has helped bring about a new dance routine called break dancing which was also the frenzy among the youth of the 1980s that combined martial arts-like moves such as tumbling and somersaulting to create flashy moves on the dance floor. In line with this rage came changes in fashion as well where hip-hop culture is characterized by the manner of dress by the youth. Certain signs of hip-hop fashion over the times have included baggy clothes and other accessories such as baseball caps, mostly baseball and matching leather caps often worn inverted with the brim facing backward,
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GWS research Final Draft - Shin 1 Jae Shin Prof J Rodriguez...

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