22 thoughts on “Hip-Hop

    1. Orhan Gokkaya

      The piece was very informative especially when the writer stated, “Hip-hop was being formed slowly, from the earliest tribes of Africa, until their ancestors, the slaves” which displays where hip-hop originated. I felt like you put too many verses, if you can condense the verses and just get the main point across it would eliminate confusing the reader. I felt disconnected in the line, “Exaggeration is a tool to make the listener a protagonist.” What did you mean by this? Also hip-hop or rap don’t they both convey the truth either way? If rappers instill emotion to a foreign audience, and “Hip-hop is the blues, spoken word poetry, and rhythm” What type of audience does hip hop instill its blues, spoke word poetry, and rhythm?

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  1. Henry Bucket

    The line where you talk about hip-hop overwhelming existentialism didn’t sit right with me. It’s a weird phrase and I wasn’t exactly sure what you meant by it. A few of your sentences seemed incomplete and a little vague in the first paragraph. How does violence portray life? What image does it portray? I feel like to make your self a more reliable source we, as the reader, could use a little more detail here. There should be their when it’s possessive (sorry that’s a pet peeve of mine). I really like the line where you said that the slaves, with a new language, made an identity out of it. There’s something kind of poetic about how you put it.

    How is hip-hop different from rap? Would you say that other races can’t have “true” hip-hop, because they don’t have the same backgroung? Is hip-hop that isn’t about overcoming sadness not hip-hop? is it something else?

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  2. Suresh Ramdhanie

    I must say that the best thing you achieved with this piece is establishing credibility; your knowledge of the different artists, their places of origin, their albums, specific songs titles and lyrics instantly conveys to the reader that you are well informed on the topic and therefore what you have to say about it has greater weight and legitimacy.

    I liked the piece, but to improve it I’d say, either fully and meticulously elaborate on the African tribes or don’t include that part at all. I love history and loathe hearing generic terms like “African tribes” to describe people in history. Which tribes? What part of Africa? (Africa is HUGE) You mentioned the drums, but which type of drums? There are many. Generic terms hurt credibility. Your knowledge of modern hip hop artists and music is beyond refute, but this area is a weakness.
    Also, I feel like less is more for the quotes of the songs. My favorite quote you used is: “Masta Killa says on the song “ Triumph” “The dumb are mostly intrigued by the drum.” It is short and simple, plus you used it to make a point about Wu-Tang’s lyrical content going underappreciated in the face of their beats. Your marriage of quote and point worked well here, but the other huge quotes are too much of a distraction to prove useful and unless you explain the meaning of each line, line by line, the reader won’t fully get what you’re trying to show them. Less is more.

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  3. Kerel Cain

    This essay displays your opinion on hip hop but it’s not organized like a traditional essay. You make all your points in the beginning. You tell the history in the introduction and you state your thesis thereafter but you font give analysis to back up your evidence. You use quotes from rap songs for evidence, which is foils, but you don’t give commentary on what we just read. It seems that you want the quote to be enough, but it’s not. Readers need the author to argue and hammer home the point not with repetition but with analysis. Good work but there are things missing.

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  4. Sergio Narine

    I really appreciated how the piece was introduced by incorporating a passage from Atmosphere because this passage juxtaposes a beautiful first line, and then the second line exposes the reader to the world of a rapper by the words “speed queens” and “weed fiends.” I felt that the writer was more opinionated without any concrete evidence supporting why hip-hop music should be more appreciated, and so this caused me to quickly lose interest in the piece. I liked how the author included Kendrick Lamar as an example regarding hip-hop music because Lamar raps about social issues instead of fast cars, women, and jewelry.

    I would suggest that the writer voice their opinions much clearer because each paragraph begins with a motif, but the sentences do not use specific examples to support the main idea. For example, in the second paragraph, he talks about African slaves, and then he talks about preachers. Also I felt that the writer had a lot to say, but there are moments where the writer discredits himself by having incomplete sentences; for example, the line “Hip-Hop came from this. From sadness and the need to express emotion” could be combined into one sentence. I would like to see a parenthetical explanation of what an “MC” and “RZA” means because I don’t think that the general public who do not listen to hip-hop or rap music would understand the acronym. Furthermore, I would suggest that the writer cut out the lines, “I will now…” and “For my first example…” because the writer sounds like an amateur.

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  5. Alicia Camano

    I like the start of your piece. “Hip-hop is always plagued with many misconceptions.“ The statement the writer makes proves that they are going to try to convince the reader of something otherwise. You did a good job proving you reliability by giving historic background. Such as from “Africans shackled into a new language made speech into a metaphor for identity.” To “he modern MC tried to overcome his despair by exploiting it, by showing that he is better than sadness.” I would also have to add that I enjoy that you explain the some songs. “he modern MC tried to overcome his despair by exploiting it, by showing that he is better than sadness.” I would have to say that reliability of hip-hop has been established with all the information you give. You should try to add your own opinion to create a connection with the reader.

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  6. Josie

    I do not think the writer should start out his paper with a quote. I would like to know why the writer likes hip-hop so much. I would like more relatable examples of hip-hop. I would like to know what there is to like about hip-hop. I think the writer should find a more relatable topic.

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  7. Amilka Lopez

    I personally not listen to hip hop, I just do not like it. I felt that this piece was very informative however I wanted to know more about why you like hip hop? why should the reader listen to it if so and what does it mean to you?
    The use of the lyrics didn’t really work for me because I just skipped them maybe shortening it down just to the part where it shows what you want to proof is works better .

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  8. Joan Infante

    Author discusses about the misconceptions of hip hop about artists yelling into the mic but also that there is a flip side to it about the true meaning of the power of its words.
    The verses that were used for examples should definitely be trimmed. Upon seeing that text, i would rapidly skim through it.
    Most of the examples CAN be credible, but these are mostly artists that i have either heard of or not at all. I can understand not using mainstream artists as examples because they probably go against your case. But there are some rappers that everyone has knowledge of and yet still has strong evidence of real hip hop.

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  9. Deviniti Donnabella

    I love this piece because of the way you defended your claims with your knowledge of Hip-Hip as a period in music industry. The beginning was very strong and informative about what Hip-Hop focuses on as far as expression and positivity and persona. I would have liked to see more connections with African ancestry, slavery, and modern Hip-Hop.

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  10. Diali Montalvo

    I really liked your piece and appreciated your knowledge of hip-hop. Your piece can do without all the lyrics you included, perhaps only make references to the songs themselves. This piece reminded me of Krystal’s first prose which I enjoyed very much but you took the topic to another level with all your resources and background information you provided for the reader. Although there was an overload of lyrics I like the choice of lyrics you included by Danny Brown and Kendrick lamar. I think you can work on the flow of this piece but overall nicely written.

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  11. Nadya Antoine

    As discussed in class, your piece included harsh, valuable claims.

    It opened up a world into music I did not even know existed. It’s quite a difficult thing to make claims and have bold opinions to back them up (with minimal use of outside resources). For that I applaud you.

    But as mentioned before, the block quotes serve as a distraction from your main point. Although you, your-self as a musical individual may know the exact purpose it is meant to have, it can be easily be overlooked when it comes to topics like these. Your opinions, the way they were stated that is, made me believe you already due to the passion and consistency. Thus your block quotes served quite trivial.

    Overall, great piece in that your credibility can never really be questioned.

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  12. Daniel Song

    Just skimming the piece first as I often do, seeing the lyrics from different songs to back up your arguements establishes excellent credibility in my opinion. You know what you are talking about. You’ve listened to the music.

    You not only translate or explain the lyrics, but you talk about the story that the albums are telling, further establishing credit. I have a little bit of familiarity with the music, so I can tell if someone were to listen to these songs after reading your piece, the might actually see it your way.

    Something about the way you speak in this piece is also well done. You’re not “in my face” with the knowledge, but you didn’t really dumb your vocabulary and grammar down. I was just commenting on Ruket’s “Cool” where I feel she speaks in such a balanced way.

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  13. Li Huang

    This piece delivered some information when it comes to a style of music. It reflects on its origins and misconceptions. DID hip hop really stem from African slavery? IS it really not just people roaring their guts out onto a mic? The author holds his footing on what hip hop really is and isn’t.

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  14. Krystal Temple

    I love the comparison you make between blues and hip-hop in the beginning of your piece. You say that although blues emphasizes sadness, hip-hop laughs in the face of it. This, along with the opening quote immediately establish your credibility. I wanted to know why you choose to say that hip-hop formed in Africa. Because you mentioned the blues as hip-hop’s predecessor, I didn’t understand the sequencing of that line, and I wanted to know where that information came from. This could have been better portrayed if you explained Africa first – then the movement to the blues and then the movement to hip-hop. I felt as if here you could have mentioned the origin of hip-hop as being the Bronx, because that is where the movement of “hip-hop” itself actually began.
    I like the examples you chose to highlight- but the vast amount of long quotations take away from your narrative voice. I would have loved for you to incorporate lines, and explain them, throughout the piece. As we all know, when people are bombarded with long quotations in a paper – we usually skip them. When discussing a topic like hip-hop, if you are talking to an audience who is unfamiliar with the topic, this will definitely be the case.
    You also do a good job illustrating both sides of the spectrum. Hip-hop does illustrate a struggle – but it also illustrates a culture that emerges out of the struggle. A culture that can at times be boastful – not necessarily highlighting the struggle – but highlighting success. Although your choice of examples show this – it is not well developed in the piece and I would love to have seen that thought developed.
    You do a great job with your variety of artists. You have your old school such as Wu-Tang and the emerging class – Kendrick Lamar, and then you even have Joey Badass/ FLATBUSH Zombiez to represent the underground. Love it! This definitely further establishes your credibility. (BTW- I love Joey Badass and he definitely embodies an old soul – like an old school rapper in a new body) 5 stars to your recommended playlist.
    Overal, I obviously loved the piece, but would have loved the narrative voice to be stronger by removing some of the big chunks of songs. I want you to convince the reader as to why they should listen to hip-hop, so if you do that and add more of your own voice – I think you make your case. BTW- I’m not sure if Danny Brown is the strongest ending you could have chosen. Besides my own opinion of him (and his annoying voice lol) I’m not sure that would convince someone who doesn’t listen to hip-hop to listen to it… It may have been a sarcastic ending to intrigue the reader – but maybe you could have thrown that in there and ended stronger? lol
    Overal, great piece!!

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  15. Ruket Negasi

    I think this piece is very informative however I think the authors way of including a bunch of lyrics to this piece made it less appealing to enjoy it. The author brings up some background history about hip hop; “Hip-hop was being formed slowly, from the earliest tribes of Africa, until their ancestors, the slaves. They were limited to the arts they could enjoy, but still embodied the rhythm of there old culture. Preachers were their first taste of art. Although, these secular preachers were limited to there speech, what they said with there words is what made them ancestors of modern hip-hop” , I suggest the author backs up their information with some creditable sources. I agree with Sergio about excluding the parts “I will now..” and “For my first example..” I felt like it was some kind of a cooking demonstration.
    I also want to point out, like Suresh mentioned earlier, Africa is a continent with over 50 countries and not a country. I am sorry but being an African it is a pet peeve of mine when I read and hear people discuss Africa as a country and not a continent that contains many different cultures, languages and people.

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  16. Vanessa

    I don’t really know anything about the blues or hip-hop, so I personally have not heard about the blues previously or widely linked to existentialism. If this is not common, it takes away too much from the subject of the sentence, which is actually hip-hop: “Unlike its predecessor, the blues, Hip-Hop doesn’t touch up upon existential views as much, it overwhelms it.” If it is however a fairly common understanding in the blues community, then I’d say you would have to think about what audience you’re writing for since such a line would appeal more to a person more knowledgeable about music. However, keep in mind that a person more well-versed about music history would probably know about everything in this piece already. I’m not sure by how existential views can be overwhelmed–I would suggest reevaluating the word choice of “overwhelm” here. I’m sure your next few sentences beginning with “It laughs in the face of sadness” was supposed to support what you meant, but I don’t think it does it enough because existentialism doesn’t directly birth sadness. I think you would want to focus more on the melanchony of the blues to better serve your piece.
    The lyrics were pretty lengthy; I’m not sure which lines were supposed to hold more emphases in the writer’s eyes as to why they were quoted in the first place.
    Lines you wrote like “for my X example, I will use the song…” need not be written in such a way. If you must, you can simply say, “My first example is ___” and continue “off the album E and A, where the late MC…” Although, if parenthetical information such as “died of a heroin overdose” is supposed to be significant, then bring it out into its own sentence and give us your thought on why it is significant.
    Good argument with this piece, but I’m sure it’s meant to be more informational. If that is the case, as I reader, I would like to get a sense that more research was done. Maybe quote an expert or two. Right now, the formal and informal writing draws a confusing tone to the piece; it needs to be balanced out. Nice start; keep going.

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  17. Julianne Reynoso

    Reading your piece I was reminded of the the quote, “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example” -MT. I thought that I the examples were long, but not out of place. While they could be shortened/focused, I do think they made the piece better as it gave you credibility. I do think that using the examples were a great opportunity to break down the lyrics, which i thought was the point of using them, and i wish you would have done more of that type of analysis.

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