Black Student Commission

March 1, 2017

Hip Hop in America

On August 11th , 1973 at 1520 Sedgewick Avenue Hip-Hop was created, although it

started as just something to dance to no one could have imagined the cultural impact it

would have on the world. From basements in the Bronx to Billboard Hot 100, rap has

become one of the biggest, if not the biggest, genres of music. Hip-Hop started to

express the experiences faced by black communities and to unify as a people. Since its

creation, it has had an impact on not only black culture but pop culture too.


Some of the most visible influences we see by Hip-Hop are in fashion and the slang we

use. Whether it be rapping about it in their music as many do, modeling for designer

companies like A$AP Rocky, or making your own clothing line yourself such as P. Diddy,

many artist have contributed to what people find fashionable. One of the biggest

fashion icons currently, Kanye West, has had a large influence on fashion. Since his first

shoe collaboration with Nike almost anything he has designed has been a hot

commodity among many young people in all social groups and he isn’t the only one. Hip-

Hop artists can use their platform to influence what people wear and purchase, each

year more people wanting to wear the same things as their favorite rappers.


Hip-Hop has also evolved with technology too, especially with the invention of social

media. Last year we saw Rae Sremmurd and Migos rise to the top of charts with their

songs, “Black Beatles” and “Bad and Boujee”. Much of the credit for the songs’

popularity can be given to the #MannequinChallenge and memes that were shared

across these different platforms. At the Grammy’s this year we saw Chance the Rapper

make history by winning 3 Grammy awards without having ever sold an album. With the

use of Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and other social media platforms fans

spread his music and grew his popularity without the need of a record label to distribute

it. Chance has been able to pave his own path in music, something that has only recently

became possible.


Whether it be bling-bling or YOLO you have probably said one of these words or have

heard a friend say it. Without artists such as Lil’ Wayne and Drake these terms may have

never existed. Although not all slang used in songs were created by the artist, the music

does extend the reach of this slang to other parts of the countries and planet. Hip-Hop

has went from Bronx in America to cities across the world and it continues to grow its

influence as each year goes by.


Hip-Hop is everywhere, no matter where you go you’re guaranteed to see or hear

something that is influenced by Hip-Hop. Whether you hate it or love it, to see this

growth from something relatively unknown to the guiding force of many movements in

pop culture today, you must appreciate it. Hip-Hop is just another form of showing how

important black people are to everyday life and continuous evolvement of black people.