Why Is It Relevant?
HOP, AND ITS PLACE IN THE GENERATIONAL SOUP
Hip Hop culture (rap culture) and Boomer culture generally aren't
considered to be closely related. I see them as intrinsically connected,
as a group as diverse and complex as Boomers are with many other
groups. The particular connection here is interesting to me in that
it is seldom, if ever, discussed. The Boomers are best known for
hippy culture, which was born in the 60's and flourished on into
the 70's, and some would say still thrives. In the 70's, punk, funk,
disco, reggae, and widespread environmentalism and feminism all
flourished. These are all important things which have had a lasting
impact on the world, but to me they are very tied in with hippy
culture, whereas rap is something all its own. And yet the fact
that rap is so independent makes it more akin to 60's counterculture
than any of the other aforementioned things, in a sense.
What Makes Hip Hop Different?
With punk, funk, reggae, feminism, disco, and environmental-
ism, you can see how they are connected to the culture of the 60's.
With the exception of punk, it could even be said that these things
were extensions of the hippy movement, to a large extent. Punk is
very similar to and has close ties to rap, it seems to me. They
are both not big on musical tunes and notes and are often angry
and are a sharp departure from previous musical styles. And yet
punk seems more akin to 60's counter-culture, with wild clothes
and hair and the hatred of authority. The clothing of post-1990
Hip Hoppers is incredibly baggy and not as eccentric as either hippy
styles or punk styles, and is unarguably a recognizable style all
its own. The styles of speech are very different from any other
styles, and the style of music is revolutionary, to say the least.
Some Things I Like About Hip Hop/Rap
The concept of talk-singing to a rhythm as a form of music
is something I've rarely heard of elsewhere. The links to poetry
are unmistakable, and yet it is still obviously music. The concept
that a voice, without benefit of complicated note changes, can be
powerful enough to affect people the way rap does, is interesting.
Of course, not all rap lyrics are ideal, and sometimes they go beyond
exploring the dark sides of life and instead dwell in them. The
styles of speech in rap and in Hip Hop culture are derived from
American black culture, and are rich and often fun to use. Words
are often shortened to be easier on the tongue, and there is an
emphasis on flow.
Are Hip Hop culture And Boomer Culture Really Related?
As I mentioned, Hip Hop lingo comes from American black culture,
as, to a large extent, did the "hippy jive" of the 60's. Hip Hop
culture is much more heavily rooted in American black culture than
hippy culture is, but there still is a strong similarity, and one
mustn't overlook the huge extent to which Hip Hop has crossed over
into white Ameria. Both are, at least in part, crossover products
of black America that have made huge impacts on the world at large.
The impact of the 60's counter-culture, with all of its various
facets, is much greater than the impact of Hip Hop it would seem,
but Hip Hop's had a large effect quickly, and the results aren't
in. What's the relation between the two cultures besides the obvious
name similarity (Hip Hop/hippy)? I would say, their uniqueness.
I once saw a video in which Jim Morrisson, one of the biggest stars
of the hippy era, predicted that the next big musical style would
involve one person talking while controlling lots of technical equipment.
He said that long before rap was created by rhyming disc jockeys
who rapped as they switched records around on various turntables
and manipulated the sounds in various ways. Rap itself was a common
word in hippy culture, though it has taken on a different form.
I value the knowledge I have of both cultures, and try to integrate
them both into much that I do.
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