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Subcultures

For this post I have decided to focus on two subcultures. For me, they are totally separate but yet the inner workings & the reason the formed stem along the same lines. The two subcultures I would like to discuss are hip hop/early rap and punk.

Following our review of Teddie Boy subculture in class I was thrilled to see the comparisons between this culture and hip hop. On a general front both focused strongly on style, music, women, and a display of wealth – by those who lacked the funds and the opportunities to actually be wealthy.

Hip hop is the combination of two separate slang terms—”hip” meaning current or in the know, and “hop”, for the hopping movement. Hip hop generally consists of 4 mail elements. these include Djing, grafitti, break-dance and MC-ing.

Hip Hop started on the streets on the Bronx in 1974 by Jamaican born DJ Clive “Kool Herc” Campbell is credited as being highly influential in the pioneering stage of hip hop music,after moving to New York at the age of thirteen. Campbell created the blueprint for hip hop music and culture by building upon the Jamaican tradition of toasting impromptu, boastful poetry and speech over music which he witnessed as a youth in Jamaica. Early practitioners of hip hop included the sugar hill gang, Run DMC and The Bestie Boys

Although a very male orientated genre, hiphop did feature some women such as Lady B,  Sha Rock and even went as far to influence Blondie’s song Rapture – featuring a rapping vocal by lead singer Debbie Harry and mentions Fab 5 Freddy and Grandmaster Flash, furthering hip-hop’s push into the mainstream.

Hip hop has made a considerable social impact since its inception in the 1970s. Patterson (a sociology professor at Harvard University) argues that mass communication is controlled by the wealthy, government, and businesses in Third World nations and countries around the world.

He also credits mass communication with creating a global cultural hip hop scene. As a result, the youth absorb and are influenced by the American hip hop scene and start their own form of hip hop. Patterson believes that revitalization of hip hop music will occur around the world as traditional values are mixed with American hip hop musical forms, and ultimately a global exchange process will develop that brings youth around the world to listen to a common musical form known as hip hop.

It has also been argued that rap music formed as a “cultural response to historic oppression and racism, a system for communication among black communities throughout the United States”.QUOTE This is due to the fact that the culture reflected the social, economic and political realities of the disenfranchised youth

On the other side of the world, around the same time the UK was bracing its self doe a sub culture called punk. Punk is a counter culture it cannot be pinpointed exactly when the movement began. However, most would agree that it was sometime in 1975. Britain was suffering from a recession at the time, and in times of extreme hardship, people look for an outlet for their anger (Cahill 1998: 1).

This is exactly what happened in Great Britain. Adolescents became angry and showed their frustration and dissatisfaction of situations or conditions. In 1975, the poor working class youths of Britain began to use the style of the New York punk scene. Adolescents were angry because they seemed domed to living out an existence on the dole. This, coupled with normal adolescent feelings of isolation and estrangement gave rise to the punk movement. Punk music became a strong way in which pinks could give vent to their feelings and identify themselves as a counter culture. Their dress also became a means of identification. “Punk as a subculture was beginning to take shape, conformity was what punk stood against” (Cahill 1998: 1).

Although punks are frequently categorised as having left-wing or progressive views, punk politics cover the entire political spectrum. Punk-related ideologies are mostly concerned with individual freedom and anti-establishment views. Common punk viewpoints include anti-authoritarianism, a DIY ethic, non-conformity, direct action and not selling out. Other notable trends in punk politics include nihilism, anarchism, socialism, anti-militarism, anti-capitalism, anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-nationalism, anti-homophobia, environmentalism, vegetarianism, veganism and animal rights …..

So, why did I choose to blog about these intertests…

Well, Punk, as we know was derived from societies struggles and upheavals against Britan. Tatcher was in power, unemployment was hitting 9%, people needed a way out of the slums.. So out of this anger and frustration punk was born!

Thousands of miles away, the streets of the Bronx faced the same termoil, starvation, debt, crime and no way to escape.. The black community decided to entertain their selfs, on the street, by using music to pass the time…

So, although they were over the same period, for the same reasons, but thousands of mines apart – 2 music genres were born out of fustrtation, greed and poverty… which changed the world…..


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