Sample Research Paper On Hip-Hop Dance

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Hip, Dance, Rap, Music, Rap Music, People, Culture, Dancing

Pages: 8

Words: 2200

Published: 2020/11/16

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Hip Hop’s cultural movement has a significant role, since it serves many functions ranging from self-expression, aesthetic pleasure, entertainment, social and political change and many others. Not surprisingly, that the subject of Hip-hop culture has been taught in the higher educational establishments and other institutions for centuries. Obviously, Hip-hop is likely to reflect the peculiarities of life in a particular country; consequently, it is important to study the phenomenon of this movement having evolved in many different directions. Considering the issue of Hip-hop, one has to take into account the thing that it is tightly connected with social, political and cultural aspects of people. This essay is mainly targeted on analyzing the concept of Hip-hop movement and giving the evidence that it occurs as solely unique even though some distinct elements (rap music) are considered to have negative effects on people. All in all, as for this paper, it argues that unlike rap music, Hip-hop dance enables finding emotional release as well as turning to be absolutely positive human.

Hip-Hop Culture

Hip-hop cultural movement is known to be the original trend that appeared in 1970s, when black communities in the southern part of United Stated began dancing (Norfleet). The same is about rap music, which refers to “African-derived oral traditions of storytelling.” (Norfleet 353) Since that time hip-hop has turned into more than just cultural movement for the masses of people and was, respectively, segmented into separate sub-styles. Hip-hop movement emerged to be the one of the most popular trends in the United States in 20th century. The point is that the current movement reflected the ideology of the majority of that time. Many scholars regard it to be a universal idiom and also African-American artform (Neville., Tynes., Utsey). The characteristic element of American Hip-hop movement was the importance of freedom and justice. Their role in was quite essential.
In view of many experts on the influence of Hip-hop culture, this movement emerged as the mechanism of uniting people of similar cultural identities. It plays the role of a bridge linking the ideology, mentality and instrumental implementation. What is more, Hip-hop defines the particularities of the public and vice versa. The point is that, speaking about Hip-hop culture, it becomes apparent that it has a great importance due to its huge impact on the attitudes of people. It is necessary to understand that Hip-hop culture is aimed at disclosing the inner code of certain nationality (Nelson).
The history of this very distinct element of Hip-hop goes back to 1970s when the first signs of breaking and popping appeared in the United States (Norfleet). Speaking about Hip-hop dancing, one cannot but see its power and thoroughness; obviously, since the very beginning, Hip-hop dancing was mainly about feeling of being shaken to converse. Some of the critics claim that the current movement is aimed at analyzing the principles of racial violence. Nevertheless, there is also big number of people stating the movement to contain a call to empathy, which among all the virtues of the public appeared to be the most desirable one.
All in all, Hip-hop dancing is regarded as a cultural flashpoint. It is necessary to point out the thing that in 1970s, New York City was facing a renaissance within the sphere of artistry; hip-hop has overcome high level of cultural expansion, one that took our attention and emerged to be a focus of spreading paranoia from self-confirmed shield of morality; among the guardians that proclaimed themselves were the Parents Music Resource Centre. Hip-hop dancing is much more important movement than it might seem at first sight; the peculiar thing about Hip-hop dancing is that people manage to relax when dancing. As a result, they turn to be much more positive and eager to pass through various trials of life. Hip-hop dancing contains many methods used to describe the particularities of the mentality. Hip-hop dancing is moving, affecting, entertaining, instructing and thought-provoking at the same time. It is an absolute contrast to the modern widely spread shallow trends, which do not teach anything but simply entertain the audience. The powerful musical backgrounds as well as the rigid body motions underline the action, resulting in enhanced emotional perception by the spectator. The spectators often engulf into the world of rises and downfalls. Te absolute concentration on the action allows shifting the frame focus between the dancing technique of the dancers and the emotional significance of life.
While watching the hip-hoppers dancing, it is obvious that they possess human qualities making to be easily understood by the viewers. It is important to realize that it is about the presence of impartiality structuring the centre of the current movement; yet, this feature is almost imperceptible for many of the critics. Considering Hip-hop Dance, one should be aware that it has rather complex nature. The point is that the profound structure of its mechanism often combines fight, play, dance, mimicry, and music.
Concerning the first mentioned above element, it is necessary to understand that it mainly refers to deceiving the partner of yours. The ability to trick the opponent enables to overcome him and finally demonstrate you privilege. The next element is complementation. As for this element, it is firstly about being in tune of two players. The thing is that they coexist while having their battle. It is impossible to act separately from your opponent. The movements of one dancer are in deep correlation with the movements of another one. This is the main point of complementation. The third element is low movements. It basically means that Hip-hop dances are played close to the ground. All the kicks, different movements are done close to the floor and with both hands on the ground. Low movements element is a specific feature of this art. The fourth element is beautiful movements. First of all, it means keeping the aesthetics within movements. The movements of Hip-hop dancing are considered to be beautiful, on the one hand and, of course, must be functional on the other. The last fifth element of Hip-hop dancing is theatrical aspects. The payers are obliged to be good at tricking. The facial gestures, showing surprise and fear are of great importance. The distracting of attention in different ways is also significant.
Hip-hop Dance can serve as the powerful and effective remedy for curing even the most dangerous psychosocial disorders. Second, Hip-hop dancing is proved to be much more effective than, for example, going the restraint. Third, it is very helpful when treating alcohol addiction and depression. If to pay attention to the diversity of social diseases that are likely to be cured by means of Hip-hop dancing, it is necessary to admit that such dancing therapy is more than mandatory. No matter whether people watch Hip-hop dancing or actively participate as the dancers, it is helpful when treating various inner complexes (Taylor & Taylor 251).

The Major Manifestation of the Culture: Rap Music

Speaking about Hip-hop movement itself, it is clear that such an artform incorporates much positive and useful content; all in all, recently, many scholars advance an argument that certain Hip Hop directions contain rather controversial shades of meaning, and, as a result, negatively influence people due to its immoral principles. One of the most questionable Hip Hop distinct elements is indisputably rap music; as for Hip-hop itself, it “refers to the larger culture.” (Goffman 9) By the way, a peculiar thing about rap music is that it “came out of a dance.” (Goffman 9) The thing is that despite its popularity among teenagers, rap music mainly encloses brutal features of its nature. In order to understand what it means, one should take into account the fact that in accordance with critical views of many research workers within the area of social affairs, it is about rap music, which often drives young people to crimes; what is more, rap music also escorts people willing to commit a crime.
While analyzing the issue of rap music, it became clear that determining zones of its high popularity can help to draw an analogy with the rapid rise of crime situation. For instance, concerning the United States of America, one cannot state that California and Los Angeles are regarded to be the most problematic zones that are in dire need of correction in terms of cradle to prison pipeline. The curious thing is that these locations are also characterized by high popularity of rap music among the teenagers.
When observing the educational background in America, it is possible exemplify that the black teenager has one-in-three chance to be incarcerated during his lifetime and Latino boy has one-to-six chance to go to prison, whereas white boys have only one-to-seventeen chance of going to prison (Kofsky 100). It sounds quite weird, but it is still necessary to see the connection between listening to rap music and percent chance of being prone to committing a crime or propagating some other negative slogans such as sexism and numerous inaccurate stereotypes. Since rap music wing the highest popularity among black teenagers and Latinos, This turns these two ethnic groups into the most vulnerable minority groups. Many scientists also prove this tendency by the discrimination and poverty cases. The majority of American schools are interracial and race becomes the subject of bullying for many students. Poverty in America has the direct connection with homelessness. Psychologically, homeless people are prone to reflecting self-destructive behavior. Additionally, self-destructive behavior is typical for disconnected youth, the one, which is never involved in education and training.
Apart from drastic influence of rap music on teenagers, everybody knows that aggression appears from the early childhood. Apart from poor parental care and control, aggression can also arise at school. The widespread cases of zero tolerance policy turn youth into unmotivated and violent. Thousands of American teenagers become juvenile criminals every year and because of ineffective juvenile justice system, such problematic people have very few chances to return to normal lives. The statistic reveals that almost ninety percent of American teenagers commit crimes repetitively, because the correctional facility programs tend to concentrate more upon punishment, rather than upon treatment and rehabilitation.
Rap music also incorporates some other unfavorable aspects of its secret camping (Perkins 2); one of them is indisputably sexism. Sexism, being deeply entrenched in the structure of society, is generally perceived as the natural order. Being closely linked to sex discrimination, sexism affects abilities of humans, discriminating certain genders and changing the gender roles within society. Due to the presence and dominating of masculinity in every aspect of life, the rights of women are often violated. In ancient times women were also considered to be unequal with men, because of patriarchal system. The issue of sexism in rap music is often easy to be disclosed. The point is that even those people who never used to be prone to degrading women turn to be women haters after they start listening to rap music. Speculating about the most striking examples of rap singers, possessing the bulk of all negative features that rap music contains, it is necessary to mention Tupac Shakur.
Tupac Amaru Shakur was born in June 16, 1971 on the East Harlem district in New York City. He was the extremely talented person, able to show himself as an actor, poet, back up dancer and, finally, rap singer. The pseudonym Tupac Amaru was given him in honour of the Peruvian revolutionary, Tupac Amaru II. The childhood of the best rap singer in the world was full of events as his family changed 18 places of living. At the Baltimore Art school, where he entered at the age of fourteen, he opened the world of value and beauty of art and decided that he would connect his life with it. After the decision to leave his family and school and start living in Marin City, he engaged himself in the Digital Underground and appeared in a role of singer and dancer. He was murdered in 1996 by the armed gangsters that fired their pistols at the car, where Tupac was sitting.
His first album was released in 1991 under the title “2Pacalypse Now” and the song “Brenda's Got a Baby” was the main single of it. His life has dramatically changed after he changed his place of living and moved to Los Angeles, where he began to be a gangster in local gangs. Listening to rap music influence Tupac Amaru in a way that he started to scornfully treat women. His life was extremely criminal as he was noticed to be dealt with crime. That is why he was sentenced to one year in prison. But even such occasion didn’t hurt him and he didn’t change his mind. His album “Me Against the World”, which got later the multi-platinum status, was written in prison and can serve as the vivid example of stable principles and mature beliefs. He was the first rapper to create an album, being deprived of freedom. Spending ten month in prison, Suge Knight posted the essential bail pending appeal to release Shakur from prison. At the same Shakur had to record three studio albums under Death Row Records. Here his greatest masterpiece was written. The double album “All Eyez on Me” brought him fame and universal acclaim, but it happened only after his death. Among his albums, we should mention the most interesting ones, such as “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory”, released in 1996 and “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.”, released in 1993.


Modern artforms are likely to be an unknown language for the majority of society. Everything should be learned and respected in order to become famous and well-known. It is obvious that one needs to be well-educated and competent in order to understand the specific features of art. However, each person has the identical comprehension and interpretation of it. The thing is that all people differ from each other, and, that is why they cannot have the same understanding of certain things; people’s thoughts and decisions are often dissimilar; consequently, there are many viewpoints on the matter of the same thing.
All in all, regardless of this fact, Hip-hop cultural movement is worthy of notice, since its influence, and, mainly positive influence, can be seen in different parts of the world. Hip-hop movement is very instructive and entertaining at the same time, it touches almost every important sphere of people`s lives; moreover, it is also motivating, since people engaged in either observing this art or following one of the four distinct elements become aware that it is high time to take some measure in order to rearrange the ordinary flow of things.

Works Cited

Goffman, Ethan. From the Blues to Hip Hop: How African American Music Changed U.S.
Cul-ture and Moved the World. ProQuest Discovery Guides, p. 3. 2010.
Kofsky, Frank. Black Nationalism and the Revolution in Music (New York: Pathfinder), p.
100. 1988.
Nelson, George. Hip Hop America. New York: Viking Penguin. 2005.
Neville, Helen., Tynes, Brendesha., Utsey, Shawn.. Handbook of African American
Psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2009. Print.
Norfleet, Dawn. “Hip-Hop and Rap.” African American Music: An Introduction. Eds.
Mellonee Burnim & Portia Maultsby. New York Routledge, 2006.
Perkins, Eric. “The Rap Attack: an Introduction,” in William Eric Perkins, Editor, Droppin
Science (Philadelphia; Temple Unoversity Press), p. 2. 1996.
Taylor, Carl., Taylor , Virgil. Hip-Hop and Youth Culture: Contemplations of an Emerging
Cultural Phenomenon. Reclaiming Children & Youth; Vol. 12 Issue 4, p. 251. 2004.

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