There are many opinions about the meaning of hip-hop culture but the real meaning of the word would depend on the opinion of the person who is using the word. Hip Hop can be defined as making music through unification of words that would electrify a target audience in a groove anywhere. Another writer defines Hip Hop as an expression and critique of reality (3). Camellerie thought of Hip-hop as not only an industry but as a sign of the changing times (par 2).
The most appropriate meaning of the word based on the opinion of the author is that Hip hop is a culture born out of injustice and adopted as the voice of the people who had experienced injustice and inequality in society (Sanchez par 1). II. Types of Hip hop Genre As stated above, Hip hop can be seen as an ideology of rebellion. The construction of Hip Hop identities is based on different ideologies. It does not only focus on how rappers conform to an accepted ideology but it also considers how the members of the ideology rebel against society’s view.
According to HipHoplinguistics. com, there are three main ideologies in three different forms of rap in hip hop ( “Hiphop Ideologies” par 3). These are Gangster Rap, Political Rap, and Underground Rap. The gangster rap members of Hip Hop reject the inferior social class status that society had placed on them. They define that the majority class possess the same “gangster like qualities”. The Gangster rap makes use of images in urban life associated with violence and crime (“Hiphop Ideologies”, par 4). Examples of Gangster Hip Hop artist are Eminem, Dr.Dre, and 2PAC.
Eminem in his song “Who Knew”, opposes the American society’s beliefs. He questioned the existence of violence in the country that allows firearms and violent movies (“Hiphop Ideologies” , par 5). Dr. Dre, in his song “The watcher”, rebels against certain societal group, the police. He had expressed his belief that the police “trapped in the same place we are raised in” and that the violence is due to the introduction of “people who look like stangers” (“Hiphop Ideologies”, par 6).
Another example that was given by Hip Hoplinguistics.com is 2Pac. In his song the “Violent”, 2 Pac rebels against the actions of society and shows his belief that society created the need to have “gangster-like” qualities and blamed society for their violent actions (“Hiphop Ideologies”, par 7). Political Rap deals with the issues and current events. Political rap lyrics are used to rebel against the government and it refers to the actions as having the negative effects all over the world. The political rappers based their ideologies that rebels against the government.
( “Hiphop Ideologies” ,par 8) Examples of artists who are into the political rap are Jay-Z, Talib Kweli and the Geto Boys. Jay-Z in his song “Justify My Thug”, directly opposes the government drug policy. He inquires as to why there is a liquor store n “every other corner” of his community. He rebels against the actions that the president is making. (“Hiphop Ideologies” , par 9) Talib Kweli in his song “Manifesto”, he enforces the ideology of rebellion by accusing the government as the one who causes the degradation of the lower class (“Hiphop Ideologies”, par 10).
The artist also accuses the CIA that the they are the ones who are flying drugs in the country. He had also rebelled on the capitalist way of life in America. The Geto Boys in their song “Damn it Feels Good”, they had created an outright verbal attack on the president. The artist attacks the president and tells the listeners that he is the creator of the drug problem in the country and how the problem had stretched to the lower classes of society (“Hiphop Ideologies”, par 11). Underground Rap denounces the values of popular culture.
Underground Rap blames the world’s materialism in the popular culture craze, they construct their identities based on their rebellion to pop culture. (“Hiphop Ideologies”, par 12) Examples of Underground rappers are Evedea & Abilities, K-OS and Jurassic 5. Evedea & Abilities rebelled by demonstrating the effects on the goals and expectations of generation. He blamed its values for the “lower expectations” of his generation. They had influenced the youth to “trade in all your dreams for a job” (“Hiphop Ideologies”, par 13). K-OS in their song “Heaven Only Knows” tells people not to adopt the values of popular culture.
He had criticized “material lust” and challenged the listeners to “redefine who you are” and “let your life shine far” (“Hiphop Ideologies” par 14). Jurassic 5 in their song “Lausd” rebelled against materialism in Hollywood. He blames materialism for provoking “more folks to scheme”, rebelling against a popular city that “represents people’s hopes and dreams (“Hiphop Ideologies” par 15)”. These three biggest genres of Hip Hop show the presence of a unique ideology. These artists use their music to serve as platforms for the identity construction.