Bling Bling Lifestyle

Bling Bling Lifestyle - MacKenzie Green English 106...

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MacKenzie Green English 106 Bling-Bling Lifestyle Paper October 22, 2007 From Hip Hop artist, to the Vatican City, even a bejeweled Las Vegas piano player “bling” has been in the public eye. And what is its fascination? Bling has become so mainstream that it’s even a term in the dictionary. Merrian Webster’s Dictionary defines Bling as, “flashy jewelry worn especially as an indication of wealth, expensive and ostentatious possessions.” Why are we drawn to the glittering baubles and the lifestyle they seem to intone? “Nowadays hip hop is such a dominant force that sometimes it’s hard to remember a time when it didn’t influence popular culture. But the fact is that mankind has loved gems and jewels since time immemorial” (Oh, 4). The “Bling-Bling” lifestyle is a reflection of a standard of living of wealth and excess that has emerged from the Hip Hop culture. The Bling-Bling lifestyle has created a rift between the reality of the audience, and people that are touched by hip hop and the false images that are shown on TV, in magazine, on album covers, and through out the images of hip hop. Hip Hop emerged in the mid to late 1970’s. It came from a culture that put a strong emphasis on the importance of freedom of expression. It allowed minorities to express themselves in a genre that applauded individuality and over the top braggadocio. This emphasis on freedom of expression gave birth to the more garish over the top style of dress, which would later give rise to the bling-bling lifestyle. Hip Hop’s bling has evolved with hip-hop itself. In the mid-to-late 80’s as hip-hop began to explode into mainstream culture, a new generation rappers made way for the golden age, amongst the oppression of Reagenomics. Gold jewelry - in
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conjunction with over-the-top designer logos, floor-length furs, and tricked out cars – became the announcement that you had arrived. “Thus the image of the rapper in a thick rope chain was thrust onto the national stage” (Oh, 10). As Hip Hop continued to make its place amongst popular culture a stereotype began to emerge. Rappers were being pegged as nothing more than buffoons with gold ropes around their necks, speaking in unintelligible slang. Mainstream observers started to criticize raps move toward materialism, and many within Hip Hop had a problem with the direction, which the genre was headed. A community of rappers emerged who rejected the conspicuous consumption of Hip Hop. They used their collective influence and beats to inform, inspire, and encourage social justice. What became en vogue among them was wearing leather medallions and African-
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Bling Bling Lifestyle - MacKenzie Green English 106...

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