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Hip Hop. for Youth Leaders. Hip-Hop. A Black thing? An urban thing? A commercial thing? A white thing? A Global thing?. Studying Hip-Hop: Documentaries. “Style Wars” 1980s “Straight out of the Streets” 1990s “Hip-Hop: Beyond the Beats” 2006

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hip hop

Hip Hop

for Youth Leaders

hip hop2
Hip-Hop
  • A Black thing?
  • An urban thing?
  • A commercial thing?
  • A white thing?
  • A Global thing?
studying hip hop documentaries
Studying Hip-Hop: Documentaries
  • “Style Wars” 1980s
  • “Straight out of the Streets” 1990s
  • “Hip-Hop: Beyond the Beats” 2006
  • Christian Critique: Ex Ministries“The Truth Behind Hip-Hop”
studying hip hop movies
Studying Hip-Hop:Movies
  • “Beat Street” 1984
  • “Wild Style” 1980s
  • “Brown Sugar” 2002
studying hip hop books
Studying Hip-Hop:Books
  • Tricia Rose (1994) Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America
  • Adam Sexton (1995) Rap on Rap: Straight-Up Talk on Hip-Hop Culture
  • Nelson George(1998) Hip-Hop America
  • Bakari Kitwana(2002) The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis of African-American Culture
  • Murray Forman & Mark Anthony Neal eds. (2004) That’s the Joint: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader 628pp
definition of hip hop
Definition of Hip Hop

Broader than Rap; Rap is a part of Hip Hop

You will hear the term used in different ways depending on who is talking, where, andin regards to music, fashion, or cultural style

Hip Hop originally referred to three urban art forms:rap music (including dj-ing and scratching), break dancing, and graffiti.

bakari kitwana s description
Bakari Kitwana’s Description

… hip-hop culture, the youth-oriented lifestyle(of those born between 1965 and 1984)that birthed rap music. Certainly, the commercialization of rap music expanded the definition of hip-hop culture beyond the fourelements (graffiti, break dancing, dj-ing, rapmusic) to include verbal language, body language,attitude, style, and fashion….

krs one essence of hip hop
KRS-One: Essence of HIP-HOP

… we are advocating that hip-hop is not,just a music, it is an attitude, it is an awareness,it is a way to view the world. So,rap music, is something we do, but HIP-HOP,is something we live. And we look at hip-hop,in its 9 elements; which is breaking, emceeing,graffiti art, deejaying, beatboxing, streetfashion, street language and knowledge, andstreet entrepreneurialism--trade and business… (from “HipHop Knowledge”)

discussing the origins of hip hop
Discussing the Origins of Hip Hop

What examples of rap, dancing, and graffitican you mention throughout human history?

What do you see as the general backgrounds of these art forms?

What specific factors might have produced hip hop in South Bronx of NYC and LA during the 1970s?

roots history of hip hop
Roots & History of Hip-Hop
  • Graffiti goes back to the cavemen. Music and dance are also from the beginning.
  • The roots of rap can be traced back to Africa and the love young Africans have for verbal challenge, rhyme and rhythm.
  • African-American history includes rich examples of verbal banter, musical improvisations (musical & preaching style with its litanies & response. Note the impact of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation and discrimination.
spirituals and gospel music of the black church
Spirituals and Gospel Musicof the Black Church
  • Inspired American pop music: jazz, rhythm and blues and hip-hop.
  • Study Tommy Dorsey especially--the jazz musician, the death of whose wife led to his “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.”“Dorsey combined the good news of gospel with the bad news of blues in a form worldly singers called gospel blues.”--and many church folks resisted.
  • Note intermingling of worldly and church music throughout history.
historical background
Historical Background
  • Rap slowly emerged as a reaction against disco, using African/Caribbean beats and the power of poetic call and response chants.
  • West coast trio, The Watts Prophets, formed in late 60s, produced “Rappin, Black in a White World” in 1971.
  • The Bongo Band produced “Bongo Rock” in 1972, “The Return of the Incredible Bongo Band” in 1974.
historical setting
Historical Setting
  • The South Bronx, impoverished further by Robert Moses’ Bronx Expressway which cut up the community.
  • Hunger for dance and artistic expression.
  • Coming together of musical styles and innovations with other local art forms.
early rap
Early Rap

Afrika Bambaataa (Asim) and his Zulu Nation (a collection of DJs, breakers, graffiti artists, and homeboys--new pride and respect)Kool Herc (Clive Campbell, the pioneer)Grandmaster Flash (Joseph Sadler), Herc’s helper, and Grand Wizard Theodore developedmixing, the break and scratching, .

Rap was being developed in LA as well as NYC.

run dmc
Run DMC
  • Takes Old School Rap to Golden Age
  • Called “the Beatles of rap music”
  • “Rap began in the Bronx, but was perfected in Queens.”
  • Noted for their loose Adidas-brand shoes, thumpin’ beats, and high energy shows, the first rap group to go platinum, to receive an Emmy.
  • Neighborhood friends: Jam Master Jay (Jason Mizell), Run (Joseph Simmons), & DMC (Darryl McDaniels). Sadly, Jam Master Jay was shot to death, 2Oct02.
stages of hip hop
Stages of Hip-Hop

Old School Hip-Hop (1970-1986) DJ Kool Herc and others just mentioned

Golden Age of Hip-Hop (1986-1993) Run-DMC, Public Enemy Rap spreads globally (globality)

Modern Era of Gangsta Rap (1993-present) Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Busta Rhymes, et al. Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G. Tendencies of diversification, mixes

rap more extreme revolutionary
Rap: More Extreme & Revolutionary

Public Enemy (1980s), the X-Clan, and Poor Righteous Teachers in the 1990sBoth the market and industry, along with society, realized this was going too far, dangerous

Movement toward sexual nastiness, Naughty by Nature, and extremes in personal wealth, “bling-bling” in Manny Fresh of the Big Tymers, a Cash Money act.

Gradual personalizing of anger and violence and emergence of gangsta rap of 90s and beyond

rap as postmodern art
Rap as Postmodern Art
  • Deconstructs traditional musical rules
  • Is a pastiche of many musical elements
  • Copies, borrows, steals samples and uses them in ironic ways
  • Often mixes high and low artistic tastes
  • Is immediate and for pleasure laying no claim to ultimate artistic taste
  • Represents a return to oral tradition
  • Is often self-reverential in style and content

Angela McRobbie & Kobena Mercer (in Warren Kidd’sCulture & Identity (2002) “Rap, and especially scratching,represent a highly postmodern phenomenon and the ultimateexpression of postmodern values.”

exegeting rap
Exegeting Rap

Positive aspects: creative artistry, dynamism, showing real life & problems, expressing real hurts, adapted into many cultures…

Note Ironies of Rap and its postmodern qualities

Negative critiques • study its promotion of thug life • understand its glorification of bad, its idolatry of bling, sex, bodyparts • deal with its disrespect for women, others, and self • note its spiritual confusion (hunger?)

strongest praise for rap
Strongest Praise for Rap
  • Its revelation of injustice and cry for justice>
  • Its creative artistry (poetic, rhythmic, musical, dance, etc.)
  • Its cross-cultural/class communication
  • Its success (entrepreneurial genius)
strongest critique for rap
Strongest Critique for Rap
  • Its undermining of womanhood and manhood.
  • Its glorification of violence as manliness and consequent violence toward sisters and killing of brothers.
  • Its loss of love and substitution of sex.
  • Its selling out to commercialism and loss of creativity.
russell simmons on rap 2003
Russell Simmons on Rap 2003?

I think the new rappers have grown up writing the poetry, and they are more polished and witty. I believe that many of them are stuck in creativity when it comes to subject matter. The main thing about rap is that the dialogue is honest. I believe that honest rappers have all kinds of lifestyle, social and political issues, and I believe that that diversity is not as apparent in the body of work that's being promoted in hip hop. It's not as apparent as I'd like.

kids on hip hop attending simmon s summit of 02
Kids on Hip-Hop(attending Simmon’s Summit of ‘02)
  • “The problem today is the lack of communication between adults and youth… a Summit like this can’t lose, because our voices will be hard and adults will learn that we are much more than what they see on the surface.” Tim, 20
  • “What the older generation must understand is that we value and need their support… We want them to know that we understand what being a future leader is all about… even though we might be into hip-hop… and won’t be able to get there without their help and support.” Thandika, 17
more from hip hop youth
More from Hip-Hop Youth
  • “Hip-Hop is more than just videos about having money, nice cars, and being surrounded by beautiful women. Hip-Hop is a culture, a message that represents the who, what, and why of today. It does more than entertain, it can educate.” James, 17
  • “My people [Native Americans] are longing for a remedy…. Being on the reservation makes us easy targets for more severe mental health and substance abuse problems. It hurts me every time I go back home and see the deal” Anna, 18
youth speak out to adults cont
Youth Speak Out to Adults (cont.)
  • “Parents have to consider that we are growing up in a much more advanced society than they did, you know with technology and all. The pressures and anxieties we face are so different from theirs. Learning to face them in the right way is critical to our success.” Tasha, 16
  • “I’m ready to work with adults who have respect for our opinions, and at least a little respect for the positive side of Hip-Hop.” Carlos, 15
rap in youth ministry
Rap in Youth Ministry

Deal with it… the Player, OPP, Disrespect…But do so, gradually, sensitively, positively first, let youthful fans do the discovery and develop their own negative critique.Slowly, firmly, keep pushing them, encouraging themStretch them into other kinds of music.

Consider the use of rap in youth ministry… in worship. (See Efrem Smith & Phil Jackson,The Hip-Hop Church)

holy hip hop
Holy Hip-Hop

Keep up on what’s happening

Christian rap, dancing and stepping,the whole Christian hip-hop scene

Efrem Smith, senior pastor The Sanctuary Covenant Church, Minneapolis, and Phil Jackson,assoc. pastor The House (Covenant Church)in Lawndale on Chicago’s West Side.The Hip-Hop Church: Connecting with the Movement Shaping Our Culture (2005)

consider holy krumping and slamming
Consider Holy Krumpingand Slamming
  • See the movie/video “Rize” how Tommy the Clown and others are creating alternatives to gang banging--and think/pray creatively.
  • Watch the movie/video, “Slam” and imagine poetry nights or clubs… or a part of a worship service with Psalms, readings or prayers in slam style.
for your careful consideration
For your careful consideration…
  • Know Christian rappers and rap groups
  • Consider all the reasons hip-hop began,and why kids needed it, and the nature of the Gospel and the Church
  • Analyze affect on audiences/worshippers
  • Understand need for lament, self-expression and emotional praise
  • Balance with other forms of music/worship, and older generations
  • Teach WORSHIP as much larger than music