Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The phenomenon of Hip hop culture is what most clearly comes to mind when i think of 80's America. The birth of the numerous styles of artistic expression that are used within this culture may have been derived from the 70's however the adoption of it throughout American cities, especially within urban areas is predominantly an early 80's movement. The four aspects to Hip hop are all art based, Graffiti which is a personal expression in the form of paintwork, usually applied on a public space such as a subway car or wall, the colours used within the artwork where vibrant and bold, a feature that coincided with the art world, with pop art, geometric design and video techniques as popular statements.

Rap is the vocal delivery of rhythmic phrases, which often comment on the person’s lifestyle and actions, these were taken from artists such as James Brown and Gil Scott Heron who spoke of cultural dilemmas often to do with race and social problems.

Djing is the blending of selected parts of songs that have a uniquely strong funk or drum sections, it was used to bring together many communities with a style that was meant to break from the stereotypical pop music of the time, and finally Breaking is the dance that compliments this musical style, full of acrobatic moves and clever body moves that emphasize flexibility and complete body control.

These aspects are not necessarily what most represent America of the 80’s, it is the ethos behind the culture that most captures the essence of the time, ‘Battling’. The way that individuals progress in each art form is through comparing one to another, and so the attitude of ‘beat the next man’ to become the dominant force. This is not dissimilar from Capitalist business in the 80’s, a Reaganite ideal both in Business and in American subculture. This attitude has lead both America to become the greatest economic power in the last 30 years, but it has also lead Hip hop music to become the fastest growing musical movement in the same time, as well as becoming a major influential movement within popular culture, sales, marketing and sport.

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