Hip Hop Cultural Analysis

1405 Words6 Pages
Introduction Hip-hop is a cultural art form that originated in urban centres on the American East Coast in the 1970s (Morgan, Marcyliena, and Dionne Bennett, 2011, p.1). From the point of its conception to today, hip hop has been used as a political tool for African Americans to express their discontent with their marginalized status in North American society (Eberhardt and Freeman, 2015). Due to the large role that African Americans played in the development and continuation of the genre, hip-hop has often been described as a part of “black culture” (Ghandonoosh, 2010). By the late 1980s, however, other cultures and races had begun to appreciate and recreate the art form (Rodriquez, 2015). Most notably, starting in the 1990s, white North…show more content…
The definition of cultural appropriation states that it occurs when a dominant group borrows or takes an aspect of a subordinate’s group’s culture and incorporates it into their own without fully understanding its significance (citation). This implies an inherent power imbalance, and possibly, a complex history of settler colonialism. Given this definition, I will argue that the cultural appropriation of hip-hop occurs when a dominant group (i.e. white people) take aspects of Black hip-hop culture and incorporate it into their own. As such, it is not considered cultural appropriation for other marginalized groups to use hip-hop, and it is not appropriation for other groups to appreciate and consume the art form. It is, however, considered cultural appropriation the dominant group in society to reproduce hip-hop music under certain circumstances. White People and Hip…show more content…
Rodriquez, for example, argues that white people use colorblind ideology to justify their presence in the hip-hop community by removing the racial messages found in lyrics and replacing them with colorblind ones (p.1). Not only does this argument assume that all white people cannot and do not understanding the racial messages found within the lyrics, it also does not use the correct definition of cultural appropriation. As stated above, cultural appropriation implies that a dominant culture is taking an aspect of a subordinate culture and incorporating it into their own. Given this definition, white people simply listening to and enjoying hip-hop music cannot be considered cultural appropriation. In fact, according to Androutsopoulos and Scholz (2003), the appropriation of hip-hop begins not when fans listen to the music, but start to reproduce it for themselves
Open Document