Harassment at the hands of police, Los Angeles riots and the beating of Rodney King by law enforcers pushed the N. W. A. to make music. Music was the only escape from police brutality, crack dealing, 'Reaganomics ' and gangbanging. They were pushed to make music from their experiences in their neighborhood. Dre and Eazy-E, members of N.W.A., were once harassed by police for shooting paintball guns. Ice Cube, another member of N.W.A, explains how there was mistrust between police officers and people in his neighborhood.
‘For What It’s Worth’ by Buffalo Springfield has a logical message because it is referring to the Sunset Strip Riots that took place in Hollywood during the 1960’s. People protested when they lost their civil rights due to a curfew law that was put into place. The song says, “Stop, children, what’s that sound. Everybody look- what’s going down?” Community members were angry at the young people going to clubs at night because they were “loud” and “disruptive”. The curfew law was put into place after the complaints and the youth became outraged.
The film Boyz N the Hood is a story about life in South Central Los Angeles. The film was wrote and directed by John Singleton in 1991. I chose this movie because of its relevance to the course and how it reflects pop culture in that time period. The opening line in the movie “one out of every twenty-one Black American males will be murdered in their lifetime” really catches the audience attention. This movie goes into detail and shows the life of three young males living in the hood of Los Angeles battling a life surrounded by drugs, violence, and questions of race.
K-Camp and Future, although they are Hip-Hop and Rap artists some would think their songs are hardcore and rough. However, some of the songs were slow and mellowed the crowd all listened and sang along to the lyrics. Other songs were hardcore and rough putting; it spoke about violence and assault. It put some individuals into a mood that also caused a couple of fights to happen there and then. However, it was stopped immediately by different security guards who were at the concert to stop it.
Hip Hop was the wildfire that started in the South Bronx and whose flames leapt up around the world crying out for change. James McBride’s Hip Hop Planet focuses on his personal interactions with the development of Hip Hop culture and his changing interpretations of the world wide movement. Many of his encounters and mentions in the text concern young black males and his writing follows an evolution in the representation of this specific social group. He initially portrays them as arrogant, poor, and uneducated but eventually develops their image to include the positive effects of their culture in an attempt to negate their historical misrepresentation. McBride begins his essay in high contrast to his intended purpose with an anecdotal discussion of his first encounters with Hip Hop music that inevitably represents black men as arrogant, aggressive, and poor.
These individuals retaliate with spite in their hearts and only want to achieve chaos as their primary goal. Yet, this mentality of violent protesting undermines the solidary among communities and negatively impacts the righteous cause. Violent protesting demonstrates the implementation of a short-term strategy to show the accumulation of anger and frustration among communities. The 1992 Los Angeles Riots demonstrated a prime example of the release of the accumulative of anger and frustration among the African American community. According to Bert Useem, a professor of sociology at Purdue University, the acquittal of four police offers from the assault case of Rodney King triggered the response of the Los Angeles Riots (Useem, 1997, p.357).
During this time you had the black panthers who were people fighting for civil rights, people who were fighting for women's rights, and people who were fighting for gay rights. Nixon felt the need to fight against these movements and therefore one was more likely to get arrested for attending these rallies— for committing a crime which really wasn't a crime. He strategically blinded the public to this by calling it "the war on crime".
African Americans began to generate a sense of pride within themselves, and a discovery of their own identity. Blacks and whites began mixing socially; and it was the art of Black America that made this connection between the races possible. The Harlem Renaissance had a big impact on the art world and for African Americans. While the Harlem Renaissance was built on African American traditions and culture, it was also influenced by European and White American artist. Art has always been a form of expression, and for African American it became an outlet for opposing racial inequality and to quote, “primitive/savage” stereotypes placed upon them.
This violence and presence of deadly weapons just adds to the negative perception of the stereotype of the gangsta image and that people that fit that image are viewed as gangstas. Another film which showed many of the characteristics and behaviors that have come to be associated with the gangsta image is the 1993 film Menace II Society. For instance, one perception of young African American men fitting the gangsta image is the opening scene in Menace II Society when one of the main characters Caine is at a corner store and being looked down upon because of the way he looked and was acting then shoots both the clerk and his wife in a fit of anger then robs the store (Hughes 1993). Often times, a life of crime is one of the behaviors that has come to be linked with the gangsta image. Some other scenes in Menace II Society that further the stereotype of the gangsta image is when he is buying cocaine or when he steals the wheels for the car he purchased from an illegal chop shop.
This apparent correction is in reality the band’s boldest conflicted statement in the song: it is representative of a whole counterculture generation that had promoted peace and love and felt disgusted by the mere thought of engaging in violence (count me out). However, the unstable political situation of the time had caused many demonstrations; riots flooded the streets both in America and Europe, and the naive pacifism of the Flower Power was being challenged in a call for direct action. The young people who, a year later, would see their hippie ideals culminate in the form of a gathering named Woodstock suddenly found themselves in an incredibly confusing position, unclear about the violence limits they were willing to reach. Many of them partly desired to participate in the social revolution, but still believed in the peace and love values. The Beatles were not there to tell them which way to go: they simply offered two choices.
Murder? And he practically walks away with a slap on the wrist? This tragedy and many more that followed sparked the movement of national protests and social media hashtags such as #BlackLivesMatter. Police are not being held accountable for their killings of unarmed people of color. Police are also unfairly targeting blacks.
Another factor that contributed to the spatial pattern of Hip-hop around the world is protesting through hip-hop music. Rapper Artist, Tupac Shakur, rapped about gun violence in America. In his song “Trapped” he described how police cause violence as they use guns as their weapons to harass and arrest black people. He says in the lyrics, that they can’t put the black man down and he’d rather die than to be trapped in a living hell. Kanye West also protested about the conflict “blood” diamonds in his song “Diamonds” (featuring Jay-Z) which is against violence.
In this particular conflict, conflict has been built one to another. Ferguson is highly populated by black population; however, there is a lack of representation within the law enforcement by blacks. The problem also situated because of heavily militarization of police. People see a police force as an enemy and the entire community sees the Michael Brown as their child. In addition, violence created violence, some extreme groups, or criminal gangs have had the opportunity to create more violence through looting, and burning the city.