Michelle Godinho Anthropology 3 MW May 21, 2012 Underground Hip-Hop Introduction: After participating in an event known as “Paid Dues” (a music festival where artists whose music genre which is underground hip-hop), I will study through an Anthropological perspective, the subculture of underground hip-hop in the USA. Underground Hip-hop is a broad term for rappers and artists who avoid the mainstream. Hip-Hop as a music arose in the late 1970’s, exclusively from black culture, which came from block parties in New York, specifically the Bronx, but underground hip-hop originated in the late 80s; in the midst of the golden age of hip-hop.
Through an anthropological view, by using a holistic approach, I will explain the major components of the underground hip-hop culture. The major components entail everything people in a society have, think, and do. Also I will talk about their ideology which can fall in the category of the way they think and the symbolism in their lyrics. Just some more facts about the underground hip-hop culture; Underground hip-hop encompasses several different styles of music, though it is often politically themed and socially conscious.
Numerous acts are described as being both underground and politically or socially aware, these include – A Tribe Called Quest, Brother Ali, Murs, Immortal Technique, Binary Star, and People under the Stairs. Definitions of terms that will be used in my paper: Mainstream – Music that’s usually on the radio, that is commercialized and is extremely popular among people. Culture – everything that people have, think and do as members of a society. Ideology – ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, group, class, or culture
Symbolism – The use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities. Have: One of the three major components of culture is “have”. Have refers to the material possessions and tangible objects within a society. In underground hip-hop we can call this part of their culture the “have not’s”. As underground artists they do not like the fortune and fame as the mainstream artists. To further explain this I will use social stratification between underground hip-hop and mainstream hip-hop rappers.
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