Workshop on Hip Hop and Language- Reflection
Rap does not get the respect it deserves, many people are quick to judge before putting an effort to understand it. I really enjoyed learning about hip hop influencing us in different ways, we don’t have to embrace it to make a better sense of it. The class was divided in half have with different thoughts of the new era of hip hop. Many classmates believe most of the new songs have no meaning, after listening to the Nipsey Hussle clip I realized a lot of these songs are very empowering and captivating. We learned that Hip Hop is an art form full of emotions. Other artists in different genres speak about similar cases like addiction, sex, etc but get no backlash from society. Like Shakespeare Rap is tough to understand so many people won’t try to read or listen again. Rap is relevant to its culture. There are differences people have when speaking, many have insecurities to speak their truth but we should always remember that there is nothing wrong with our language and should always express ourselves. Learning to adjust to things we are not related to can be difficult but we have to start now.
The hip hop workshop was very interesting. there was a man that goes by the name steve who is in his 30’s and lives in the Bronx NY. He spoke about many things including how he dosn’t like being in closed spaces. He also went through the lyrics of a Nispey Hustle song and explained how he felt about snitches, “I wont but I understand why people do”. The class was also able to watch a video that explained how in 1492 Europe became the most powerful place and they are the people who write their own versions of the black history. Steve ended with saying intent, interpretation, impact, is the 3 I’s we should live our days by.
Next to speak was from origon and also taught in LA. She expressed her feeling on taking themes for what they are and changing them in your own way.she brought up a great question, ” can you really understand something if you cant connect”. She answered this by saying unwillingness is what stops the understanding and the connection.she spoke about the huge range of hip hop and its not just black and white like many feel.
Although i felt like there was a bit of defensiveness I enjoyed this workshop. It opened my eyes to research new things and find my meaning of certain music.
In class, we had the special honors of having two guest speakers to come to in and give a short seminar on how Hip-Hop relates to the language we use today. Throughout the duration of the class, we discussed how modern Hip-Hop has changed over the years and how it compares to the “Golden Era” of Hip-Hop to which people refer to as the mid to late ’90s of music. Collectively as a class majority agreed upon that the lyrics and messages of modern day Hip-Hop have become extremely demeaning and degrading to women, as well as promoting the use of drugs in all of their videos. Students in the class have mentioned that the lyrics in the “Golden Era” were more conscious and brought real-life issues to the table. As to modern day, rappers are barely understood in their music and mainly use sound effects within their music which we call ad-libs. We eventually see everyone’s view on Hip-Hop and how it has the power to affect the children of today. In the class discussion, one of the speakers made a valid point on how trying to understand the language rappers use in their music today can be compared to Shakespearian language while in middle school. I thought that was an interesting comparison to make only because both are technically considered a language, but what makes one more important than the other to teach in school curriculums? I just simply found her point of view in music very fascinating and it definitely gave me a new outlook on how language is used across various platforms.
In the Pod cast Code Switching they speak about “black voice and white voice” in which case black voice seems to be how a person speaks when they are not trying to sound sophisticated while white voice is when you are sounding smart. When I heard about this I felt like it could be misinterpreted for something else, like if a person does not sound smart they can use the black voice and someone who is smart uses white voice. To me, saying something like this seems wrong and to some people they may believe that it is racist insisting that black voice sounds like foul, inappropriate language while white voice is pure, smart appropriate language. It seems wrong to base the way you speak on black and white and it seems unnecessary. Although it is necessary to speak properly when talking to a person who may be your boss,parent, professor etc. What I mean is there are points in time when a person should speak without using foul language like in a job interview, while you are outside however, you can speak the way you want to even in your workplace, if you have adjusted there and people know who you are then you may speak in your own voice. Point being, there is no such thing as black or white voice there is just you your language and the way you speak in different situations.
In the reading “Black children are verbally deprived” it talks about a certain misconceptions about African kids learning the English language in a incorrect way because of slang terms and different types of ascents of speech. In my opinion this is wrong there is no way of speaking the English language incorrectly. Every language has its ascents and most people understand each other. In the podcast they talked about how people get offended when people speak slang and people think that these people are not capable of certain jobs. One example of this would be a man that is with out ascent gets a job rather that some one with, which in my opinion is not fair.