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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Othas Who Feel Me 

I have managed to get the puta working again, thank goodness!
If you are into the commercialised rap groups such as I have been analysing, check out Doug's page. However, Chris has provided us with a more localised and if not alternative perspective to the lesser known hip hop artists, check him out.

As I said yesterday, I have been checking out a few books to further enlighten myself (mmmm...) and I think you should check out a book called "Rappin' and Stylin' Out" it is an edited collection by Thomas Kochman and it covers pretty luch every angle of hip hop culture possible! From Non-verbal communication to The hustling ethic! Definately worth a look.


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Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Trouble follows me everywhere 

Especially when it comes to trying to find stuff to answer the qustion I have decided to answer for my next essay - hmmm.
I have been discovering a few other people who are into hip hop culture, YaY!! But unfortunately, I was going to attach them to my webpage now, but the uni puta has put its foot down and decided I can't connect to anyone else's blog right now, so I will have to wait until I get home to show you all what others have been doing on the same subject.

As far as new information goes, I am currently reading a few books on rap music and its connections with mainstream America, hopeully these will uncover some hidden secrets for me which I can reveal to you later on (and if you're lucky, I may even include the references!!)
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Thursday, May 27, 2004

Ice-T Gives the media a rap on the wrists. 

Gangsta rap has been blamed by the media for exploiting women, promoting violence and the use of drugs, the Mediascope Issue Brief into the treatment of women, stated:
"In particular, gangsta rap, a popular West Coast music style distinguished by lyrics that graphically describe scenes of gunplay, sex, drug use and violence, often depicts women negatively; their roles rarely extend beyond being kidnapped, held hostage, brutally gang raped at gunpoint, or murdered. 24 Studies have found that exposure to rap music does, in fact, "tend to lead to a higher degree of acceptance of the use of violence (including violence against women)." 25

In his article, Ice-T acknowledges this, by stating that gansgta rap is about "Shit-talking", it is all about the lie and the story to make you look something bigger in order to illustrate your message. After all, who's going to sit down and listen to someone rap about the logisticall politics of the War on Terror? Noone!! Unless there is a story, a bit of eggagertation here and there and a bit of fantasy and BAM you have an interested audience.

However, Ice-T but also points out that the media themselves embelish in sex stories in order to sell papers, to advertise, and to promote. So really, how different are the media to the rappers they constantly criticise?

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Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Finally, a direction! 

It's been a while since my last post! Would just like to say a big Thank You!! To all those who have been posting comments, you have been so helpful in pointing me in directions I never thought of - and even (heaven forbid) encouraging me to think deeper into what I write on my Blog!!
My time away from this blog has not been totally wasted, for I have discovered the direction to take for the next essay. I have devised the research question (along with some helpful assistance from a certain tutor) "How has the mass media shaped gangsta rap and shifted it beyond the original meaning/ideology."
The remainder of my blogging time will be spent pumping out ideas related to this question.
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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Some Random Thoughts 

The more I delve into the depths of rap music and its fundamental concepts, the more I discover the severe impact the mass media, especially newspapers, are having on the freedom of expression of rap artists. Many of their references to rap artists and their lyrics are worded to create moral panics. 2 Live Crew were condemned in the media, and their album "Nasty as they Wanna Be" was subsequently banned by the court of law in Miami. Similarly, Eminem was treated in the same way, and although his albums weren't banned, there was heated disucussion around the themes of his songs, and also debate over whether a white boy from America should be having the same, if not more, of an effect on white kids around the world!
The presence of the media has meant that artists have to be more selective in the songs they release into the public, as while all publicity is good publicity in the music industry, excessive negative exposure can affect the way a record company views its signed artists. For example, to use Eminem again, one of his greatest Top 40 hits in 2000 was the song titled "Purple Hills," the publiclcy release version seemed to be a trippy daydreamish song about "blue and yellow purple hills." However, this was merely a ploy to gain air time on national and interntaional radio as the album version, undoubtedly the original version, was actually titled "Purple Pills," and is a song about excessive durgtaking and the consequent trips.
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Monday, May 17, 2004

Expansion on the concept of the Organic Intellectual 

The Organic Intellectual, as outlined in Bolwing and Washington's article is oncovered through the use of language to "provide the basis for a the continued revolution and evolution of the African Diasporic aesthetic." The African American oral tradition has been a useful force since the days of black slavery. It was utilised as a means of expression on a wider scale in the late 1980s and early 1970s, through rap music. But the more current style of rap music, which boasts extensive lyrical composure has boosted the tradition's rep.

The term 'organic intellectuals' conveys the fluid nature of rap music. The term 'organic' was derived from the fact that rap music is based around the lifestyles of the rappers themselves, the content and topics vary greatly between rappers, and even between the songs of the same rappers. "Intellectuals" was used as the rappers have to undertake some deep thought while in the composing stages, and therefore their lyrics are the result of an analysis of the situations that young african americans experience.

Hope this clarifys the meaning of the terms a bit more.

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Friday, May 14, 2004

From Original Gangstas to Organic Intellectuals 

Last Tuesday's tute got the old brain juices flowing around the concept of Rap as a form of communication. I always thought it was all in the lyrics, but then non-verbal messages can also speak volumes. So, technically, when you combine the two into, say, a music video - wouldn't the messages be amplified?

An article found here contains a detailed analysis of many aspects of how rap was formed, and therefore how the messages conveyed in music videos contain powerful messages that are both a relfection of the musical past and an affirmation of the current situations of the culture.

This is demonstrated by the historic transofmration of the outlaws to original gangstas to organic intellectuals. This transformation has created such a tight-knit subcultural community that the images portrayed on present music videos still conflict with the multiculturalism that is accepted throughout most of the world, a few of these include:

mixing of color video with black and white images;
narrating stories that combine main and subtext stories;
directing messages to the viewer in "debate";
detailing message format in background signs, letters on hats and shirts; interrupting noises (e.g., sirens, crashes, etc.); and
stage performing; re-enacting flashbacks, and so forth.

Check out the article, it'll absolutely open your eyes with its in-dept analysis of a seemingly new musical genre.
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