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A Study into the appeal of Hip Hop culture, focusing on Ali G

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Introduction

A Study into the appeal of Hip Hop culture, focusing on Ali G From the time of Elvis Presley and his pelvic thrusts being found offensive and un-Christian, to today's icons of hip hop culture, the most outrageous part of youth culture is what young people enjoy or find most appealing, which is normally material that is very rebellious or subversive. For today's youth, icons such British comedian Ali G are seen as appealing as well as offensive mainly by the older generation for their portrayal of hip-hop culture, which is defined as: 'A popular culture movement originating in the USA in the 1980's, incorporating rap music, break dancing, and graffiti, and the wearing of characteristically baggy clothes' Chambers Dictionary In its main rap music and graffiti art are seen as offensive due to their unsociable aspects; graffiti art is mainly done in places where it is not welcome, and rap music has always been portrayed in a negative light. From the time of Public Enemy and NWA (Niggaz with attitude), who were the forefront and pioneers of gangster rap music, to recent rappers Xzibit, and Snoop Dogg. Gangster rap music (which is the main sub-genre of rap) represents violence as being an integral part of gangster life. The following song lyrics reflect hip hop culture: 'The only reason you alive cos I aint said the word'- Represents the power rappers have, killing is represented as part of the gangster life. (Snoop Dogg-Lay Low)-LYRICS(year 2001 Misogyny is also represented as a feature of the gangster life. 'I never go to clubs, I never chase a bitch'- Bitch a term used casually for females, with negative animal connotations. ...read more.

Middle

and Wu-wear which is another brand name clothing of the group Wu-Tang Clan who are a gangster rap group. Ali G also has a goatee which has socially become more "hip" and popular with youth culture, and the big oversized gold chain he wears around his neck. His accent is full of colloquialisms and references to urban street culture ie "skunk" "aiiggh" "innit". There are numerous variations to the idea of his origin and who he is trying to represent, and as Sacha never gives interviews we are left guessing as to where the humour lies. He first started his comedic career, after having graduated from Cambridge, by starting a comedy club with his brother. They played two bitter Jews doing a song called 'Shitzving' ( Yiddish for sweating) where they complained about being hot whilst stripping to their underwear. Here he is taking humour out of his own culture, which could be seen as racist, yet as it is his own culture it is not. When he does the same out of a section of British people, it is seen as racist. His big break came when he created the character Ali G reporting on "Yoof issues" for the '11 o clock show'. This was a humorous topical programme which was a hybrid of genres from interviews to "news reporting" (the word should be taken lightly) and Trigger Happy TV type spoofs on the street with the public. The show involved Ali G interviewing famous people such as The Bishop Of Corsham, and General Alexander Haig, former United States Secretary Of State. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is also represented as a 'wigger' who takes it too far, and tells shaggy in the video 'aren't we all' in reference to being from Jamaica where the video was shot. He also uses hand gestures which black people are predominately using. Though with this ever increasing popularity, and public awareness it would be interesting to see if he will not die out like Dennis Pennis who was caste out by the celebrities. But as far as rap music goes as well as Ali G if the music and comedy stays rebellious, and makes the young feel important it will always be popular by the youth audience, but contrary to this you have pop/rap artists such as Will Smith who created a popular album in 'Willenium'. This was not rebellious at all but did well but this appealed to a different target audience much younger kids as it was not gangster rap music. You can now see how widespread and popular gangster rap music is getting by the fact that white people are finding fame in a predominately black art form, and the success they are receiving, such as Eminem who has stretched the genre of gangster rap music as he also talks about his problems in his own life which are not gangster related, he was the first rap artist who had a #1 album 'The Marshell Mathers LP' at the same time as a #1 single 'The real Slim Shady.' Appendix(As of yet) 1. www.theage.com.au/entertainment/2001/07/24/ffxq15u4hpc.html 2. www.theage.com.au/entertainment/2001/07/26/ffx8czpzjpc.html 3. www.christianity.com/pa/0,,ptid2228%7cchid101391%7cciid1612181,00.htm 4. http://reason.com/0012/cr.bd.bum.shtml 5. www.geocities.com/sunsetstrip/theater/2712/who_is_ali.html 6. www.africana.com/articles/tt_239.htm 7. www.dailyprincetonian.com/content/1999/02/25/arts.hiphop.html 8. www.africana.com/dailyarticles/index_20010613.htm 9. http://library.thinkquest.org/CO114424/artists/... * nwa.htm * 2pac.htm * dre.htm * snoop.htm * notorious.htm * eminem.htm * jayz.htm * pdaddy.htm 10. http://scenario_mag.tripod.com/eminem.html 11. ...read more.

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