Cultural Studies: Hip Hop Beyond Essay.
Cultural Studies: Hip Hop Beyond
In a short introductory paragraph, offer a definition of cultural assimilation, appropriation and of acculturation. Briefly, explain why one is seen as negative. Provide your definition sources in a works Cited at the end of your paper.
After offering the definitions, compare Feel the Noise to either 8 Mile or Step Up. How do the films offer insight into an analysis of assimilation or appropriation? Begin with a thesis and explain your reasoning by comparing characters, situations, mise en scene, etc. as appropriate. Pick your own focus in this assignment but you can address how racism fits in or does not fit in. You can consider the elements of power and who gets to control the public discussions and why.
In this assignment, you obviously are using new resources but you must also reference the article on Hop Hop and the White Performer, which is in the content section under module readings. Your essay should also reflect at least one other course writing.
Remember these films are NOT reality. They are the materializations/expressions of ideologies or refutation of those beliefs that exist in society, sometimes from Hollywood, sometimes from a black perspective. Your job is to use academic writings and your own interpretations to produce and essay that analyze words, themes, mise en scene as they project beliefs.
Cultural Studies: Hip Hop Beyond
Cultural assimilation is a situation whereby the language or the culture of a person or a group is similar to that of the other group. Cultural appropriation entails the use and the adoption of the elements that are in one culture by people who are from another culture. In addition, cultural acculturation is a situation whereby there are both psychological and cultural changes, which come about after cultures meet between some points (Matteoli 145). The results from this fact are evident at different levels in these interacting cultures. However, cultural appropriation can be seen as a negative occurrence among most people more so those whose cultures have being affected. The phenomenon of cultural appropriation is often considered detrimental, and in most cases, it is always represented as a violation of cognitive property rights of the other original culture. Cultural appropriation has been a topic of debate revolving around how most cultures today, more so the African ones, are borrowed, used, as well as imitated by individuals from other cultures. This is most common in music, art, and fashion. Critics argue that a particular culture is important only when people from that culture are the ones involved in it. However, there are films made to give people insight and reason to appreciate cultural appropriation and diversity because the world of art itself is changing.
Feel the noise is a 2007 movie, which seems to offer an insight into a cultural appropriation as well as cultural acculturation. The film talks about a young man, Rob, who aspires to become a rapper but gets a run-in with local gangsters. This boy is from a descent of mixed race. His mother is African American while the father is a Puerto Rican. This disagreement with the thugs forced Rob to flee to Puerto Rico where he was supposed to meet his proclaimed father for the first time. While in this new life, Rob starts to gain interest in the type of song genre that is common in Puerto Rico. This style is called Reggaeton, it is a mixture of hip-hop, reggae, and Latin beats. It is there that the film gives us an insight on how cultural appropriation can be something useful and relevant despite someone’s background. Afterward, we get to see Rob and his new friends being real musicians of Reggaeton that they win major shows across America.
Rob managed to be part of the Reggaeton movement despite being someone who had lived the better part of his life in the United States; therefore, to come into a new country and adapt their entire lives, it is a regular cultural appropriation. On a brighter look, in art and music, cultural appropriation is viewed as a positive thing because the artist will manage to get into a new culture, adopt their ways and come up with something out of his or her creativity. Therefore, as much as there are ethical arguments concerning appropriation, there is an aesthetic value in it. Putting into consideration, this film was trying to bring up the best out of cultural appropriation because most people criticize it, but one has to consider that we live in a multicultural world that is becoming interactive. Consequently, people are bound to adopt new ways in their activities, more so when it comes to art, such adoptions is what brings about creativity.
is a film focused on hip-hop and story of a young, white rapper called B-Rabbit
who tries to grow his rap career. The problem is that the African Americans
mostly dominate this genre of music. This film also tries to give viewers
insight into cultural appropriation because B-Rabbit is a white American and
since hip-hop has its representation tied to the African Americans; it would be
difficult to launch his career. This is because the majority audience that
listens to these rap music are still the Africans Americans, so it would also
be hard for him to sell records. In this context, the film also depicts the
theme of racism since these Africans Americans cannot give someone else the
chance to express himself through rap because they are not blacks.
Surprisingly, in the film, B-Rabbit managed to establish a hip-hop legitimacy
that counteracted the notion of rap representation on how the whites are
socially privileged. Hip-hop’s credibility is often portrayed that the artist must
have been through some social struggle so that they can be legit and authentic.
However, the white rappers such as B-Rabbit in the 8 miles, they managed to get
an audience with a strategy that involved imitation, and cultural immersion
(Hess 372). This cultural immersion is what is termed as cultural appropriation
because the starring had to enter into the culture of the African Americans,
learn their way and have an interesting yet unique style of presentation such
that he could make his audience forget about the colour of his skin.
Hess, Mickey. “Hip-hop realness and the white performer.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 22.5 (2005): 372-389. DOI: 10.1080/07393180500342878
Matteoli, Richard L. The Munchausen Complex: Socialization of Violence and Abuse. Dog Ear Publishing, 2011.