Hip-Hop Hurdles
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Hip-Hop Hurdles

A music genre though the eyes of a non-fan

Hip-Hop Hurdles
USC University of Southern California (Webpage)

I saw a link on Facebook for a congressional hearing on something that I definitely didn't expect: hip-hop.I wouldn't say that I'm surprised about this since I've heard more than one argument. These arguments are usually about if hip-hop is morally wrong and damaging society. I wasn't able to watch the whole thing, but I heard some good points.

It got me thinking about this argument again, one that I had put on the back burner. It's now a particularly interesting question to me for two reasons: it's something I heard plenty of and I was regularly surrounded by it while growing up. More importantly, my brother is actually involved in the hip-hop scene as an artist, actively seeking to create content. The first reason gave me a chance to get to know hip-hop— mainly through the people around me who enjoyed it since I myself didn't listen to it all that often (not to say that I didn't like it, I was and still am more of a rock/alternative guy). The second reason has actually brought hip-hop closer to me and offered me a chance to really look at it.

I was once leaning more towards the "hip-hop and rap are both bad for us" camp. What I saw and heard from both was underwhelming. The most popular songs felt almost identical to the last— with similar beats, lyrics, and themes. It was easier to be swayed towards the arguments opposing the now omnipresent styles since what I heard didn't impress me. As a kid, I was more in line with traditional morals. A combination of getting older, exploring more music, and being opened up to Long Island hip-hop by my brother, I've come to respect what hip-hop is at heart. Often it's people just talking about life as they see it, with rhythmic assistance to let their words free themselves.

It is still interesting to think about how it even came to this, with such perpetual controversy surrounding one of music's biggest genres now. When you think about what other music genres have gone through, it really shouldn't be too hard to swallow the fact that any of them would succeed in spite of the many reasons it shouldn't have. Country music often does a tight-rope dance with the masses because of its history of heavily racist entries. Rock and Roll was considered the mark of the beast to the religious community in America when it first appeared. Techno has fought for years to be recognized as well, evolving through the process into new genres such as house and electronic. Is there a gauntlet in the music industry that weeds out those who can't take the slack?

The main thing that I took from that congressional hearing is that the public has an awful habit of only ingesting the negative sides of something without properly acknowledging the positives. Music as a whole is an art and an outlet. One of the artists who appeared before the hearing, David Banner, explained that his relationship with hip-hop is what kept him from making mistakes that others in his community made. It's what helped him overcome his hurdles and rise up to a better life. Something with the potential to enrich lives and even create jobs is not something to dismiss over the parts of it that are not always politically correct, especially a form of artistic expression.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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