Accept or Keep : Globalization of culture

Reading Response : Black cultural Traffic

Danbi Kim

Accept or Keep : Globalization of culture

Many people consider Hip hop as music of Black people even if there are Hip hoppers from other ethnics. The reason people think like the way is that those kinds of music-Hip hop, rap, DJ, and B-Boy-came into the world with Black history. There are various theories about how hip-hop has been started, but it is clear that Black people have developed the music.

Music represents culture and the ethnicity of the people. Therefore, you can imagine how those people have lived when you listen to certain music. Historically, African Americans were brought to America as slaves. They had no way to express their feeling, so they created songs with their own style that was spontaneous and bold. After Emancipation, there were still racial discriminations to African Americans. It led to the advance of Black music that describes Black people’s emotion such as resistance to racism and frustration against society. Black music reflects history of Blacks, culture of Blacks, and feelings of Blacks. Hip-hop is the one of the kind of music. The lyrics of it usually illustrate criticism about society, self-respect, and resistance.

Now, globalization has been in progress and cultures have also globalized. Hip-hop was exported to other foreign countries and loved by people from all over the world. It is popular even in countries in Asia. Then, Hip-hop has become international culture and is influential in the world. In the reading, the writer says, “The result is that U.S. black American culture continues to be mired in social narratives of “blackness” that proliferate multidimensionally in the international arena, commingling with other countries’ issues of social marginality.” I agree with the opinion because new Hip-hop songs have been made in various countries and people from other countries express their own feelings and their unique social marginality in their songs.

The examples of the youth in Brazil and the Caribbean in the reading were very interesting. These show how cultural connections between black American youth and hip-hop youth of other ethnicities are made. Brazilian and Caribbean accept Hip-hop culture as their own culture and make new types of hip hop. I thought these were perfect examples of Global Hip-hop.

However, I want to point out the problem of Global Hip-hop. Hip-hop is getting mingled and modified. I am worried how many people would remember what original Hip-hop was. The writer says “Hip-hop has benefited from systemic changes over time in various societies absorbing the African diaspora.” However, I do not think Hip-hop has benefited from the changes, but damaged by them. Accepting cultural diversity is important, but it is much more important to keep one’s identity. Recent Hip-hop that is transformed will give confusion to our next generation.


Question 1) What do you think the future of Hip-hop will be?

Question 2) How does Hip-hop look like in your country? Is any particular characteristic of your own culture reflected in Hip-hop in your country? Also, please share your opinion about it.

This entry was posted in Reading Responses. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Accept or Keep : Globalization of culture

  1. qfeng2013 says:

    Hip-hop is a kind of black culture, it reflects the history of the black. As it becomes more and more popular in recent decades, more and more people around world begin to accept black culture. The author called the phenomenon “world glocal”, some people think it is good phenomenon while the others dislike that. Danbi Kim pointd out the problem of Global Hip-hop that Hip-hop was getting mingled and modified. However, in my point of view, I prefer hip-hop “world glocal”. For one thing, hip-hop is a way for us to understand the black culture though it changes over time in various societies. As we all known, backward ideas will be eliminated by history, hip-hop changes in various societies, but it still retained the essence, that is the most important thing. For example, ”Jianlibao” is a famous brand in my patents’ generation, but it gradually withdrew from the public eye because it remained the same while competitors were in innovation and the demand of customs changed. So the best way to popularize hip-hop is to combine hip-hop with local culture. Danbi Kim said,” Recent Hip-hop that is transformed will give confusion to our next generation.” But I think any culture should be understood by studying its history, not only what it looks like in this period of time.

  2. hollywen says:

    I think the use of hip-hop culture will be more universe and popular. In the past, it is mainly used by some certain ethnicities to reflect economic inequality, ethnic discrimination. In the future, I think it can be used widely by different people from different ethnics and regions to reflect their opinions toward social-historical problems. And some global issues can also be reflected in hip-hop.
    Hip-hop in China is quite different from others. I think the development of hip-hop music in China is not complete. It only uses the form of hip-hop but does not contain social-historical issues in its lyrics. It just became another form of fun and relaxation as other pop music does in China. I think this phenomenon is a result of Chinese political situation. Ordinary people are not very active in talking about political issues in their life and in public. So maybe it is unusual for singers to express political criticism in their song. But things are changing now. An increasing number of people are getting more interested in politics. The development of new media also offers good method for this kind of music to spread. I think the future of hip-hop in China will get better developed and reflect social problems in its lyrics.

  3. Chen says:

    I think the Hip-Pop culture will continue to develop in the future. As the author says in the article, Hip-Pop is not only a kind of music or entertainment but also a method which people use to express their unsatisfactory of the injustice in society. Hip-Pop is more like a weapon to fight against the racial discrimination and gap between the wealthy and poor peacefully. Because those depressive phenomena still exist in the world and seem hard to disappear in a short period of time, I think Hip-Pop as a useful and peaceful weapon will still be used by many people.
    Hip-Pop in China is very unique, which is so different from other countries. The man who first successfully introduced Hip-Pop into China is Jay Zhou. He combines the normal Hip-Pop music with traditional Chinese culture, creating a totally new form of music which has never seen before. And now he is still one of the most famous pop stars in China. Just as Holly says, Hip-Pop in China is more like a way of entertainment with little political meanings inside. But I think it partly depends on the political circumstance of China but also has a deep relation with Chinese tradition. Chinese people are much reserved than the western. Maybe Hip-Pop, a music style with very powerful emotion, can’t be accepted by Chinese people totally without modification.

  4. whlam2013 says:

    I agree with this idea that music represents culture and the ethnicity of the people. It is clear from a survey of music that this statement is absolutely correct. From different melodies and structure of music we can see the historical purpose they serve among different cultures.
    Historically, songs are used as a tool to record history and to teach the younger generation wisdom and moral. I believe hip hop in the present time is still serving the same purpose, which is to teach the younger generation the altitude they should have in live. Thus I don’t believe that the global changes made to the original hip hop are causing damage. It is true that the original message is diluted by these changes, but if the people think that it is important to continue passing these ideas and messages down the generations, they will produce more songs that serve these purpose.
    The increase of hip hop from different countries and ethnicity will only help people get connected to the original by exposing and engaging more people to this genre of music. To say that these”other” hip hop groups are damaging the original is unfair as music is universal and we should embrace all that want to make music, especially when it is used to declare resistance and promote freedom.

  5. Grace Gu says:

    I am not really a fan of hip pop music but it’s interesting to know the hip pop music serves a bigger role than just a music genre. Artists use the hip pop music to address the political issue and social concerns. Also, I agree that hip pop music shows the cultural and ethical influence. However, hip pop music is not necessarily related to political issues. As Holly and Chen commented above, the hip pop music in China doesn’t usually have political meanings inside. However, I doubt whether this is unique or quite different from others. For example, Justin Bieber uses hip-pop in his song Baby(I assume that everyone had listen to this song before), but it is only a story about ending the first love. I don’t see any political ideas in this song. Thus I think hip pop music doesn’t have to address the social or historical issues. However, the hip pop part in Baby and most hip pop songs in the China may just the “mingled and modified” hip pop music as Danbi said in the reading response. They may not be considered as the real traditional hip pop music. But the world is changing, so is the music style. I welcome the innovation of the music genre because it may be more appealing to the tastes of modern audiences. While it is important to keep the essence of hip pop, creativity should be highly encouraged.

  6. Eunsol Shim says:

    I think hip-hop will continue in the future. Its presence is great in today’s music genre. Also, if the discrimination between the races is getting weaker, hip-hop could get more power. However, I am not sure their original sprit could survive in popular hip-hop music. Since the one of the hip-hop’s sprits is ‘resistance’, hip-hop will survive until human’s society alive.
    Korean hip-hop is seemed like classified to two parts, the underground hip-hop music and the popular hip-hop music. Then, there are a lot of genres in hip-hop. Some songs are love songs with soft melody, and some are tuff songs with criticisms. Even I do not know well about this genre, most of the popular hip-hop is looked like following only the surface of original one. Lyrics reflect the Korean society a lot. Some lyrics criticize how the Korean society is unfair. I know one song, which fuse the Korean traditional melody and hip-hop format. It is 1TYM ‘Kwae-ji-na ching ching (쾌지나 칭칭)’, and ‘쾌지나 칭칭’ is a lyric of Korean traditional song. The fusion was interesting and they made the song harmoniously. The lyrics said ‘let’s play together’ and the dance really matches well. That would be the great example of ‘fusion’.

  7. soojinsim says:

    I agree with the idea that hip hop music will gain more fame than before and become more famous around the world. Also, the meaning of the hip hop music would be mingled and modified. However, I think it has two sides. By gaining more fame than before, hip hop music became more familiar with people around the world. Hip hop music was one of the genre that seems hard to get close to and listen to because there were many slang words and the music covers something that I ‘m not related with. But, after becoming more close to public interest and modified more within people’s taste, more and more people get interested the issues that hip hop rappers try to convey. Not only that, more and more people can express criticism toward the existing rules by singing a hip hop song not only a race issue from African Americans.
    Hip hop in Korea is somewhat different from the notion that the author of the reading tries to convey. In the reading, it explains mostly about the race marginalities. However, Korean hip hop rappers are dealing with more various issues such as love, complaints about their lives, and so on. And importantly, there are many hip hop music that deals with politics. Many of Korean hip hop singers criticizes the current policies and existing laws by claiming Korea is running just by the rich and there are no mercy for the poor. I think it is pretty similar to the original hip hop in that they want to criticize the existing unreasonable powers.

  8. soolim says:

    To me, the genre of hip hop is considered as sometimes minor and sometimes major genre. There are many friends around me who like hip hop music. At the same time, there are those who do not know much about hip hop music like me. I know some famous hip hop music but honestly I am not used to listen hip hop. However, I think this characteristic of hip hop in which it is sometimes the minor genre or major genre is very attractive and unique feature. These features makes people feel better when they listen hip hop especially which criticizes the corrupt society and express oppressed feeling. In this sense, I think the hip hop music maintains this characteristic as long as possible. I am glad that I can understand the history of hip hop whom I did not know after this reading and Danbi’s reading response.

  9. kekoh2013 says:

    After reading Danbi’s reading response, I’d like to introduce the history and the characteristics of hip hop in South Korea. In South Korea, hip hop expanded into a cultural phenomenon in Seoul, Busan and Daegu. The movement has been growing since the mid-90s, and has been gaining attention internationally, as Koreans have won various championships around the world since the early 2000s. Aside from mainstream K-pop infused hip hop, there is also an underground scene that has developed throughout South Korea. Early artists included Seo Taiji and Boys, Deux, and DJ DOC. The Korean language was used almost exclusively. Seo Taiji, coming from a heavy metal music background, often featured heavy metal guitars in his mixes, and other artists also incorporated techno influences. For example, Seo Taiji also incorporated influences from traditional Korean music such as pansori or nongak. One that was distinctive was Seo Taiji’s “Come Back Home”, with its vocal/production style resembling Cypress Hill.
    As elsewhere, there has always been a conflict between mainstream and underground listeners. As many K-pop groups use hip hop in their songs, people became used to associating hip hop with these sugar-coated lyrics. Underground rappers and their fans have heavily criticized this, which fuelled many skilled underground rappers to stick with working as an independent artist rather than under a major mainstream label.
    As the underground hip-hop scene became increasingly popular throughout the 2000s, people started taking interests in various subcultures within hip-hop. With cyphers in Hongdae playground and annual freestyle competition and events such as Freestyle Day and Freestyle One, freestyle rapping really caught on to the underground listeners.

Comments are closed.