Review on the Rap Genre

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Review on the Rap Genre

Kylie Cortez, Staff Writer

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Hip-Hop was awakened in the 1970’s with a new kind of sound, developed by inner-city African Americans located in New York. At the time, the cultured elements that came out of it were DJ-ing with turntables, graffiti art and break dancing. The sound was not widely accepted, except within the ghetto neighborhoods from which it arose. From then to now, it has grown into something completely different, something more modern in relevance to our changing world. It is not limited to any one style or technique making the music so unique and diverse from where it started. The elements have changed and so have the people that make up the rap music environment. Now, you can find just about anyone enjoying the music. Today, the rap community has become a big part of society, whether it be played regularly on the radio or by choice on the aux, the genre has grown incredibly popular. This year hip-hop was able to beat all the other genres, most importantly rock, which is surprising since only the previous year rock came out on top. Evident with teenagers, rap, or music in general, is a slice of our everyday lives, filling the air to and from school, getting parties started and being there for us when we need to get away from reality. Rap seems to intrigue the typical teenager with its catchy lyrics and attracting sounds. In the past, the people that listen to rap are biased as possible gangsters, “hype beasts”, or even socially cool, but I can assure you, in high school, it’s more widespread than the typical people we would assume.

What effect does rap actually have on our generation? Is it changing the way we talk through the slang that it creates? Are its harsh lyrics changing our personalities? Is it shaping a new culture? There’s no specific way to know if the two correlate, but we can assume there is definitely influence that comes out of any song in general.

Every song has a meaning behind it, and by the end you can usually tell if the writer chose to describe a love story, time in their life, or even a feeling they had. When lyrics become personal, the audience can relate to them, thus us teenagers take it to heart and even fall in love with a particular artist. I think that rappers are at an advantage; they are able to express themselves more freely in their music for the way it is so typical in the genre, making it easy for them to portray something that someone can relate to. Rappers are also evidently more straight forward with their words in terms of harshness and truth, which I think is somewhat respectable. Not only that, but they make the words sound good in rhymes which is what I assume attracts everyone. Although the trend is changing, a lot of rappers come from harsh backgrounds which adds to their music as it is portrayed into the words they sing. As a teenager myself, I see the effect of music in our lives. I see the comforting words that can come from a song, set on replay for the night. I see the lyrics that get us pumped up before a big game or event. But what I also see is how the preference in music almost always seems to be rap nowadays. No doubt about it, rap is slowly shaping us as we grow.

As of 2018, some of the well-known artists in the rap community are Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone, Nas, Kanye West and J. Cole. Taking Lamar as an example, he grew up in Compton, California, where his father took part in a street gang. He was raised on welfare and lived in section 8 housing. He built his success off of nothing more than he worked for. Today, Kendrick has developed influential albums that explain his life story more into detail and give people a glimpse of who he is. This can lead many into thinking they aren’t much different than the artist himself. Although this is only one example, it can reflect the lives of many other rappers that have grown up on the cruel soil of their hometown which reflects in their music and becomes a popular sound on the radio.

In conclusion, I ask, out of those that listen to rap, how has it grown into the form that it is today? I would consider that there is something to take away for everyone, may it be the positive message or the cry for help put out in the lyrics. I also would consider the sound of it from beat drops to clever analogies. With all the factors that surround rap, it is clearly a small thing, making a big impact, continuously growing.

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About the Writer
Kylie Cortez, Staff Writer

Kylie Cortez (12) is a student at Santiago High School that intends to create captivating stories in her first year here at the Shark Attack. Her hobbies...

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Review on the Rap Genre