How the imagery of hip-hop has visually articulated itself through contemporary popular culture and consumerism

Garnett, Oliver (2013) How the imagery of hip-hop has visually articulated itself through contemporary popular culture and consumerism. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The worldwide spectacle of hip-hop emerged in the 1970’s as a form of breaching oppression; through a small-scale, community orientated culture. It was primarily developed by African American youth in the dystopian ghetto of the South Bronx. In the global mainstream hip-hop’s key relations are embedded in notions of black culture and identity. Despite its synonymous connection to black culture, and mainstream America, it would be ignorant to reject the mass diaspora and appropriation of its aural and visual codes upon other subcultures sound and style. The implementation of hip-hop culture out of its original context lends to new conceptions of the genre and how it is perceived visually and mentally. In the modern age hip-hop seeps its way into the British mainstream through glamorization, idealized lifestyles and rampant materialism, this forces the question of how it has manifested itself in various ways. It is important to look at whether the appropriation of its original values remains prominent and understood by the masses or whether misappropriation has spawned a trajectory, revolving around reflections of self-worth and status. In a sense, hip-hop as a musical genre has always been attached with a unique underground composition, but many would consider it a language and aesthetic projected through youth and esoteric values. Benstock argues, “On the streets, style wars map the cracks and fissures of fragmented and beleaguered societies” (Benstock, & Ferris, 1994, p. 1). This is an argument that lends to conceptions that the fashion conscious element of hip-hop in many ways alleviates itself from the intrinsic values, and supports the idea that “to have is to be” (Dittmar, 2007, p. 27). Within this study I will attempt to investigate the powerful role of consumption within 21st century youth culture. As well as how and why age, race and diverse demographical positions, within society, have had an effect on shaping and reshaping the visual perceptions of hip-hop as a social identity.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Art and Design
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2013 12:19
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:26

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