Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hip Hop's Influence on Popular Culture


"Slumming" is something I have seen all of my teenage life, especially in high school. Gans describes it as when those who come from higher cultures continue to indulge in the lower cultures. I think it's safe to say that in our society, the African American and hip hop influence on our culture is considered to be low or popular culture. In the past, it was basically an unwritten rule that only black people could produce rap songs or wear FuBu or sport corn rows, however recently, the rules have changed and more and more non-blacks are sporting this "ghetto" look and even speaking in ebonics. 


As the first popular white rapper, Eminem was a pioneer in allowing white people to feel comfortable in taking part of the popular culture that is hip hop, however he was heavily criticized at first since society wasn't yet familiar with this type of slumming. Nowadays, you can look on most people's ipods and find Eminem and Mozart in the same playlist. More and more of us are becoming "omnivores" when indulging ourselves in both high and low cultures.

1 comment:

  1. A Few Notes on the Post:

    1. For the purposes of this argument it might be fruitful to distinguish between "hip-hop culture" a term used by anthropologists to describe cultural trends of the 1970s, 80s and 90s and "hip-hop" a vernacular term that describes a wide range of largely black music sold primarily to white teenagers.

    2. While hip-hop is widely considered to be lacking in depth it is worthwhile to note that "hip-hop" as defined by Afrika Bambaata (who coined the term in the doctrine of his musical collective Zulu Nation) was built on the back of a highly-Intellectual movement.

    3. While Mr. Mather's success is unprecedented for a white musician or otherwise, it would be a misnomer to consider him "the first popular white rapper." Lest we forget the slew of white, black and hispanic artists who made up the second wave of hip-hop in the 1980s and early 1990s... The Beastie Boys, Vanilla Ice, 3rd Bass ect.