Hip Hop – Fad Or Culture?

What is hip hop? This question has been posed to many a person and the answer varies as much as the people in our society vary. When most people think of the term hip hop they tend to focus on the musical aspect of it. Much like with rock and roll in the 60s parents figured that this music was simply a form of rebellion for their children and that it wouldn’t even last past its infancy. Thirty plus years later and not only is hip hop still alive but it is quite the power house in terms of the economy. If there is something that needs to be sold and your target demographic is under the age of 35, there is not a more powerful tool then hip hop.

You would not have to look any further then your own children to see the effects of hip hop on our present society. Every era had its form of expression! I don’t care if it’s the fifty’s, sixties or seventies but it’s always been that teenagers have a different way of dressing, dancing and talking then their adult counterparts. This new era is no different. How many times have you seen or heard your child talking to their friend’s right in front of you and felt as thought they were speaking a foreign language? Turn on your television and you’ll see these same youth doing dance moves that seem as though if an adult were to attempt these same moves that an ambulance would have to be placed on standby. You can go to any mall and see the youth wearing the baggiest clothes that are barely hanging on them for dear life. All these things come from hip hop.

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Don’t get me wrong. Hip hop is not only about the rebellious nature of young people. There are many accomplished clean cut adults who should be considered every bit as much hip hop as their young counter parts. The message that any person in their 30s grew up listening to is a much different one then what is being circulated today. The rap music of the seventy’s and eighties was about self empowerment and making something of your lives. Many kids in the eighties would have had no where to turn if it wasn’t for after school programs consisting of break dancing and other aspects of hip hop. We have doctors, lawyers and other successful individual who grew up not only listening to hip hop but living it.

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When I hear the word fad, I quickly think of the way a person might dress or the music they may listen to. Hip hop is partially about those two things but it’s also about the way you speak, the way you move and most importantly the way in which you live your life. If hip hop is a fad someone forgot to tell entire nations that they need to find a new one! Hip hop is 30 years strong and still growing!

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by Michael Russell