The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop--and Why It Matters

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Basic Books, Dec 2, 2008 - Social Science - 320 pages
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How hip hop shapes our conversations about race -- and how race influences our consideration of hip hop

Hip hop is a distinctive form of black art in America-from Tupac to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Kendrick Lamar, hip hop has long given voice to the African American experience. As scholar and cultural critic Tricia Rose argues, hip hop, in fact, has become one of the primary ways we talk about race in the United States.

But hip hop is in crisis. For years, the most commercially successful hip hop has become increasingly saturated with caricatures of black gangstas, thugs, pimps, and hos. This both represents and feeds a problem in black American culture. Or does it? In The Hip-Hop Wars, Rose explores the most crucial issues underlying the polarized claims on each side of the debate: Does hip hop cause violence, or merely reflect a violent ghetto culture? Is hip hop sexist, or are its detractors simply anti-sex? Does the portrayal of black culture in hip hop undermine black advancement?

A potent exploration of a divisive and important subject, The Hip Hop Wars concludes with a call for the regalvanization of the progressive and creative heart of hip hop. What Rose calls for is not a sanitized vision of the form, but one that more accurately reflects a much richer space of culture, politics, anger, and yes, sex, than the current ubiquitous images in sound and video currently provide.

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I do agree with you, that hip-hop tends to exploit the younger generation into its animal instinct: money, power, and sex. However, it is wrong to classify all rap into one scene. Some artists, use there influence and recognition to bring out the best in people, share there wisdom, and all in all bring them closer to God as a whole. It is wrong to judge a whole culture just by the stereotype of violence. 


Introduction 1
Hip Hops Critics
2 Hip Hop Reflects Black Dysfunctional Ghetto Culture 61
3 Hip Hop Hurts Black People 75
4 Hip Hop Is Destroying Americas Values 95
5 Hip Hop Demeans Women 113
Hip Hops Defenders
10 Nobody Talks About the Positive in Hip Hop 201
11 Mutual Denials in the Hip Hop Wars 217
12 Progressive Voices Energies and Visions 241
13 Six Guiding Principles for Progressive Creativity Consumption and Community in Hip Hop and Beyond 261
Radio Station Consolidation 274
Acknowledgments 277
Notes 279

7 Hip Hop Is Not Responsible for Sexism 149
8 There are Bitches and Hoes 167
9 Were Not Role Models 187

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About the author (2008)

Tricia Rose is a professor of Africana Studies at Brown University. She specializes in twentieth- and twenty-first-century African-American culture and politics, social thought, popular culture, and gender issues. The author of the seminal Black Noise, she lives in Providence, Rhode Island.