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Hip Hop and Today’s Youth

“Hip Hop begun to play a special role in my life. It wasn’t just music and lyrics. It was a validator. In my struggle to reconcile my two worlds, it was an essential asset. By the late 1980s, hip –hop had graduated from being the underground art of the Bronx to a rising global culture… But even more than that, I found in hip-hop the sound of my generation talking to itself, working through the gears and anxieties and inchoate dreams – of wealth or power or revolution or success – we all shared. It broadcast an exaggerated version of our complicated interior lives to the world, made us feel less alone in the madness of the era, less marginal” (Moore, page 76).

Hip Hop has had a crossover success. It has been globally adopted by many cultures and ethnicities. Hip Hop’s current dominance over youth culture has not come without a price. How has its crossover success affected Hip Hop?

Hip Hop’s “Golden Years” were between the 1980s and 1990s (during Wes Moore’s generation.) What happened to Hip Hop after the 1990s? How has Hip Hop changed? Does Hip Hop still mean the same to this generation?

The Hip-Hop Wes Moore listed to was “not about the salary, but all about the reality,” according to Public Enemy. With the emergence of mainstream Hip-Hop, is our generation of young people still “talking” through a socially conscious Hip Hop Movement? Or is the social-political powered Hip Hop Nation no longer in existence?

~Ms. Quinones

Public Enemy Album Cover
Waka Flocka Album Cover

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