How Hip-Hop Music Influence the Identity of Black Boys

Subject: Art
Type: Evaluation Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 470
Topics: Music, African American Culture, Identity, Race

   “A Beautiful Mind: Black Male Intellectual Identity and Hip-Hop culture” is an article in the Journal of Black Studies that outlines the development of the hip-hop culture and how it has impacted the black boys in the society (Jenkins, 2011). Due to the message communicated by hip-hop music and the identity the musicians assume, many stereotypes have that depict blacks as dumb, and gangsters have been developed. Despite the criticism from the public and mainstream media, hip-hop has remained popular among the black boys. Looking around you realize that black boys are talking, grooming, and behaving similarly to the hip-hop musicians. However, it is important to note that personal traits of hip-hop musicians are in most cases different from those depicted in their performance and their music is a way of narrating their ordeals in their day-to-day life (Ragsdell, 2010). However, the youths who are unable to differentiate the real from the fake end up imitating everything their favorite hip-hop musician do or say. In their endeavor to identify with these hip-hop musicians, black boys end up in changing their way of talking, changing their grooming, doing drugs, joining criminal gangs, and defying the societal order (McWhorter, 2016). Over time, the hip-hop music has gone beyond being a form of entertainment to a way of life, what is commonly known as the hip-hop culture. In this paper, I will specifically address those areas that are derived from hip-hop music and influence the identity of black boys in the society.

Concept map of how hip-hop music influence the identity of black boys in the United
Fig 1: Concept map of how hip-hop music influence the identity of black boys in the United States

Back in the 1970’s, hip-hop was a way used by the blacks to express themselves and tell the world the story of their lives. However, the emergence of rap which was mostly done by drug dealers changed the image of rap. This built the current stereotypes that have greatly affected the society as a whole.

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  1. Banjo, O. W. G. H.-B. S. F. I. N. a. L. J., 2016. As Seen on TV?: Hip Hop Images and Health Consequences in the Black Community. The Ashgate Research Companion to Black Sociology, p. 223.
  2. Cochran, S., 2015. Hip-Hop commercialism and the destructive exploitation of young Black males: In search of Joseph. Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men, 2(3), pp. 45-70.
  3. Ibrahim, A., 2009. Becoming black: Rap and hiphop, race, gender, identity, and the politics of ESL learning. TESOL quarterly, 3(33), pp. 349-369.
  4. Jenkins, T., 2011. A beautiful mind: Black male intellectual identity and hip-hop culture. Journal of Black Studies, 8(42), pp. 1231-1251.
  5. McWhorter, J. H., 2016. How Hip-Hop Holds Blacks Back.
  6. Ragsdell, L. A., 2010. Hip-hop’s influence on young black men.
  7. Spokesman, M., 2013. Does Hip-Hop Drive Negative Stereotypes of Black Men?. 
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