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How Urban Communities Can Help Fight the Negative Hip Hop Stigma

A lot of urban communities have an entwined relationship with Hip Hop. Today, we will be looking at how they can help fight the negative stigma that Hip Hop has. Through the years, there have been deaths, violence, and general negative connotations given to hip hop and those that are involved in the genre.

It does not really help that hip hop and controversies have been known to go hand in hand. This does not bode well for any of the newer generations who want to get involved with the genre and the lifestyle. Here are a few things that could be done to sweep away the negative stigma:

 

Boost Community Unity

Before any changes can be had, the community needs to be unified. It would be good for the community to support local organizations that help improve the quality of life for everyone. There are government programs that are dedicated to boosting the local community. People can support these programs in order to boost the speed in which a suburb can improve itself.

Hip hop stemmed from the African American community. That in itself was riddled with strife and hardships. It was not unexpected to find a lot of black communities to be fractured and be full of frustration and anger. This can only continue to affect everyone negatively.

 

Focus on Education

Hip Hop is music come to life. There are a lot of misconceptions about the genre and the lifestyle that really is not doing anyone any favors. As such, it would be best for communities to help fight the stigma and misconceptions through education.

Education is the key to help provide better futures for communities. When the youth are suitably educated, it ends up as a boon.

 

Promote the Positives of Hip Hop

Much like any form of music, hip hop is not inherently bad. It is grounded in rhythm and beats. Graffiti also has its links to hip hop. There are so many positives that the culture has that can be promoted instead of being a ‘thug’ or acting like a fool just to seem tough.

Art and dance are also tied with this musical genre. If communities focused on the positive and promoted them amongst the youth, there would be less negative stigma to go around. Everyone has a role to play. There are a great many things about hip hop that can change lives in a positive way. All the youth needs is to see that it can be positive and be exposed to it accordingly.

 

To Close

There is a lot that urban communities can do to help sweep away the stigma associated with Hip Hop. As many of the future artists that will eventually become involved with the genre are born out of these communities, it would be good sense to be involved in developing a more positive direction. if the movies representing the world of hip hop is anything to go by, urban communities need a lot of work.

In order to suitably attain the change that they need, everyone needs to become involved. What your local urban communities do to fight the negative stigma linked to hip hop?

Xmas Hacks: Easy to Make and Lovely to Gift Digital Mixtapes

With the Holidays only a month away, it is time to think about what to gift friends and loved ones. Today, we will be looking at how you can make digital mixtapes as gifts. A few months back, we discussed the concept of a mixtape. There were some questions that arose like what would the modern equivalent of a mixtape is.

An easy answer to that question is sharing playlists or actual files on a USB. The issue with this is the fact that unlawful reproduction of music files is theft. This was an issue that had plagued the original form of mixtapes. With the revolution of the digital age, music was made available online but only through specific channels like iTunes. They were also available for streaming services like Spotify.

We recommend that you study up on the copyright applications for iTunes as they may be different from when this article gets published. From what we remember, iTunes has this wiggle room wherein you can replicate a playlist to about seven times provided that you were only using it for personal use. Personal use refers to non-commercial. If you are planning on using the mixtape as a gift, that counts as non-commercial.

 

To Make a Mixtape:

Create a list of people that you want to gift the mixtape to

This helps to establish who the priorities are and can help you plan how much of the iTunes wiggle room will be consumed.

 

Create a playlist

Remember, a mixtape needs to have a message. One of the ways you can go about it is by choosing songs that form a complete sentence. A good example of this was the first time that Taylor Swift pulled her songs out from streaming services. Spotify responded by making a mixtape to win her back.

 

Save the playlist to a USB

There are a lot of affordable USBs available in the market today. There is a lot of novelty ones and you can even get one that looks like an actual cassette tape. Do not forget to label the USB so you remember who it will be going to. This is why novelty USB sticks come in handy as they can appear in different forms and easy to differentiate from each other.

 

Gift!

It is as easy as that. Just save, store, and gift! It’s a fairly easy process and the longest bit is deciding what song goes to which person.

 

To Close

Choosing to make mixtapes for loved ones and friends is a pretty good idea all around. You help to support the artists that create the music. You provide a really personal gift that puts your feelings to the forefront. You help to keep alive a lovely tradition that stemmed from a desire to share music and connect with other people.

You can make the Holidays extra special with a “digital” mixtape. As early as now, you can think of the people who you want to give mixtapes to. What songs would you like to share?

Looking Beyond the Bling: Why Does Hip Hop Remain so Controversial?

Hip Hop always carries a level of negative stigma with it. Today, we will be looking into the details as to why Hip Hop and the people in it remain shrouded in controversy. Hip Hop has long been associated with “thugs” and violent personalities. However, these are not the only reasons why hip hop has earned a controversial tag it has been unable to shake.

 

Here are some of the other reasons:

The Field is Predominantly Male

For the longest time, a majority of the artists in the genre of Hip Hop have been male. The most celebrated figures in the genre all belong to the same gender and it was not until the late 90s and early 2000s that females were recognized as legitimate artists on their on right and not simply as a feature on a track.

While females have been in the field of hip hop, they did not always garner the same level of deference and respect as their male counterparts. As the world was already racing towards equality, hip hop seemed to be steadfastly beholden to the fast. It has been increasingly difficult for women to break it into the industry.

 

Sexist Lyrics and Videos

A general complaint about Hip Hop was how they portrayed and referred to women. It was already bad enough that women artists were not getting the same opportunities, it was worse that the lyrics and music videos kept implying that women were merely objects.

It seemed that misogyny was deeply entrenched with the culture. Men were touted to be “playas” and “homies” that fought in the streets and brought home money while women were only either of two things: “shawty” or “mama”. Shawty were the women that you showed off while Mama was the one at home raising the children. It was even applauded if you had both in your life. The narrative of sexism certainly lent additional controversy.

 

Feuds

One of the most tragic controversies linked to Hip Hop are the bloody feuds that marred most of the 90s. The East Coast and West Coast personalities of Hip Hop, for one reason or another, ended up in disagreement. This led to threats and vicious lyrics. It eventually exploded into a wave of violence that claimed the lives of many artists including 2Pac and Notorious B.I.G.

 

To Close

As long as the industry exists with its colorful personalities, controversy will be sure to persist. While there has been what seems to be active pursuit of breaking away from all the bad blood and shady dealings, the songs that are released in the genre continue to be vitriolic and sexist.

Much like other genres, hip hop will have its share of bad apples. It would be wise to not lump the entire whole simply because the ones that gain the most media attention are the ones that are not exactly the most wholesome folk. We continue to hope that Hip Hop will eventually shake off the negative stigma and bring the focus back to the music and the artistry.

 

 

Love Hip Hop? Four Hip Hop Movies You Need to Watch!

Movies are a way to have crash course of sorts into any culture. The world of Hip Hop and its culture are clearly reflected in these four movies that you definitely need to watch. Mind you, the movies we are listing below are not ranked in any way. We chose them because of the ways that the Hip Hp culture are represented and shown to viewers.

 

Notorious (2009)


Everyone who has ever dabbled in the world of Hip Hop will know who Notorious B.I.G. is. Touted as one of the heroes and icons of the hip hop life and music, this film follows the meteoric rise of Biggie Smalls and how he changed the life of so many around him.

The deeper look into the feuds that were tied with the world of the hip hop industry will also be brought to the forefront. It is a good film to cut your teeth into. The acting is good and the tone that the film carries helps to bring the viewer into the world of one of the hip hop greats.

 

Juice (1992)

The world and culture of hip hop has always been intertwined in rife and struggle. That is showcased beautifully through this movie. The film follows the tale of four Harlem teens that lived pretty normal, if not wholly irresponsible, lives.

One of the main themes of this film surrounds the hip hop dream of one of the teens. Other than the daily struggles of the four, viewers are treated to an excellent acting performance by Tupac Shakur himself.

 

8 Mile (2002)


We certainly hope that you did not think that this film would not make this list. 8 Mile is a semi-autobiographical film that follows Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith Jr. that is played by one extremely talented Eminem.

We say semi-autobiographical due to the fact that it is heavily inspired by the personal life of Eminem without actually following his personal experiences. This film really goes to show what someone goes through if they do want to break it into the industry. This is a film that goes to show that hip hop is not only for the African Americans and is tied with the urban communities.

 

Wild Style (1983)


If you were ever going to watch a film that was just oozing with Hip Hop styling, it would have to be this one. It showcases the very early days of the music genre and the subsequent culture that followed its wake.

This film features the likes of Fab 5 Freddy and the other early icons of the genre. If you ever needed a beginner’s guide to the music and the culture, this is the film that you watch. It is a wholly refreshing take on the genre before the drastic changes the followed.

 

To Close

The movies we have listed above all showcases a glimpse into the different faces that you may encounter in the world of Hip Hop. Like all things, there is no “one size fits all” approach to movies. Each film above tackles a different aspect of the culture and should be reviewed carefully.

The 3 Elements of Hip Hop Culture: Attitude, Art, and Rhyme

If there was anything that served to be a reminder of how powerful music is, it would be the cultural phenomena that surrounded different genres. Today, we will be looking at the three elements of hip hop culture.

 

Hip Hop Music

This music genre has its roots solely tied to the African American community. It sprung around 1970 and was the start of a new cultural phenomenon. Hip Hop music was identified through its stylized beats and often jumping rhythm.

Rap as a form of singing was also introduced because of hip hop.

 

Elements


The powerful think about music is that it can give birth to an entire movement or culture. Hip Hop is one such example. In fact, Hip Hop culture is still pretty much alive today. Here are three elements of Hip Hop that you may recognize:

 

Attitude


Hip Hop as a music form did stem from the African Americans. The time when it was born also played a big part on how it affected the attitude of the people that established it. The times were tough and it required tough men to survive it.

Hip Hop was all about being as tough as nails and reflecting it in the way you acted, spoke, and carried yourself. Their posture was low key meant to intimidate and to convey the message that they should not be messed with. The black community was sick and tired of being disenfranchised and taken advantage of—this bled through in the attitude that Hip Hop carried.

 

Art


Hip Hop was not just about the attitudes or the music. It was also a celebration of a new kind of art. Graffiti, while was once thought to be a nuisance, is now a fully recognized form of art.

 

Rhythm


Breaking away from the more popular tunes of disco and swing, Hip Hop brought about that felt meatier and had more punch. The beats were something completely new and very indicative of the frustration and the underlying anger that the black communities carried. The beats and the rhythm was not just in the music, it was in the style of dance that came along with Hip Hop. Break dancing introduced a new kind of rhythm to the world.

You only need to take a look and you will easily see any of the three elements of Hip Hop no matter where you go.

 

To Close

Hip Hop is more than just music. It is a lifestyle that has been embraced by millions all over the world. The culture transcends more than just the beat and the tempo or the bombs of truth that the lyrics spring unto people. Hip Hop empowered those in urban areas to carve out their sense of identity and sense of self.

This was extremely important during the 80s when the vestiges of racism were being swept away by positive movements. What’s wonderful about this culture is that it even transcends race. You no longer need to be part of a particular race in order to embrace the lifestyle. Which elements of hip hop did you connect with?

 

Infographic by: www.i.pinimg.com.com

 

2 Ways Video Steaming Changed the Way We Enjoy Music

Music has always been ingrained in human culture. We have found different ways to suitably enjoy it through the years. Today, we take a look at the two ways that video streaming has changed it. When data sharing became a lot easier through the advancement of technology, it invariably changed the way things were done. It not only affected the work place, it also affected the way we all went about other things in our life. This is especially true when it came to the enjoyment of music.

The way we all shared music with each other shifted from one way to the next. We used to give away cassette tapes then it turned into lending each other CDs. As the music became available in digital form, sharing became a whole lot easier. Suddenly, it was no longer necessary to have physical hosts to carry the music. While that was already great, video streaming once again changed how things were done.

 

What is Video Streaming?

With data now available in the digital front, people often downloaded music from various sources. This eventually meant that space on the end of the downloader would require an upgrade in order to access more files of varying size.

Steaming negates the need for all that. Instead of having files to download, video streaming or a continuous stream of the data is played for the user in real-time. This means that users no longer need to make space for files.

Video Streaming changed the enjoyment of music in two particular ways:

 

More music made available

Back then, the only ways you would be able to hear a specific song was to have a copy of the song itself. Video streaming meant that artists and record labels could simply upload the song online for the consumption of listeners. YouTube is a very solid example of video streaming.

It was no longer important whether or not if you had a physical copy of the song. No matter what music or band is, video streaming has made it available.

 

Updated releases

As musicians and artists realized the boon of having video streaming profiles, it only followed the more of them flocked to establishing their official accounts. This meant that whenever they had new songs, singles or albums, they could drop new releases immediately. The likes of Taylor Swift made the most out of this option with the new singles from her more recent albums. She uses it as a gauge to how well a song is perceived.

 

To Close

Video streaming has made the enjoyment of music a lot easier and accessible for all. If a fan simply wanted to listen to a song, they merely needed to go on YouTube and search for the song. Almost instantaneously, users will be greeted by a plethora of video choices for the same song. The accessibility and options are now unparalleled.

The great thing about is the fact that video streaming will continue to evolve and streamline its services for all. What ways has video streaming changed the way you enjoy music?

A Look at Yesteryear: Just what is a “Mixtape”?

If you were born in the early or late 80s, you will be very familiar with the idea of a mixtape. However, with the latter generations, they do not know what it is. Today, we will be taking a much needed look into the culture of a mixtape.

 

What is a Mixtape?


Back in the day—before the advent of USBs and CDs—there were cassette tapes. These were compact recordings that required magnetic tape to store and playback music. Before the CDs took over, cassette tapes were the primary method of distributing music.

A mixtape is a recording of songs (usually by different artists) that altogether form a unique message or theme. A mixtape is normally given away toward someone that is a potential romantic interest. The songs are often chosen to convey the feelings of the giver. A special touch to this is the fact that songs are usually recorded in a particular order.

The title of songs can often be led into one another in order to provide a complete message for the recipient. This was one of the reasons why it was so popular to give a mixtape to a potential romantic interest.

On the neutral side of things, it was also common to have a personal mixtape. It started with a blank cassette tape which is eventually filled in by songs that the owner recorded unto it. The recordings can be taken from other cassettes or even directly from the radio.

 

Mixtape Controversy


What made mixtapes rather controversial was the fact that they were made by recording copyrighted songs. Usually, songs would be taken from other tapes or recorded right off of the radio. This raised some concern regarding the unlawful replication and distribution of music.

While these were created for personal use, there was still the issue of unlawful recordings and reproduction of copyrighted material. As you can imagine, the record labels and the artists may have felt that their trademarks were being violated. The issue was the fact that the reproduction of songs on cassette tapes was so widespread that is was practically impossible to track all the violators. Thankfully technology leapt forward and cassette tapes (and mixtapes) were left behind by consumers.

 

To Close

The whole concept of a mixtape is something that our culture came up with. It was something that was used to express emotions and ideas in a wholly creative and completely personal way. Many of us in the team remember pouring hours into making just the right mixtape that sent the right message to the person that was receiving it. Yes, we made our own mixtapes without really considering the copyright violations. Yikes.

Far more personal than any digital playlist of today can provide, this does not mean to say that digital playlists cannot be personal. However, the extra effort and slight technical difficulty that it takes to build a mixtape is one of the reasons why it is remembered quite fondly. How many mixtapes did you make in your youth?

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