Masculinity In Hip-Hop Analysis

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Introduction Masculinity in the Hip-Hop culture has been redefined repetitively as the genre grows in popularity. Created in the late 70’s, Hip-Hop was started as an outlet for residents of urban communities to express them and have fun through the music. As Hip-Hop grew into the 80’s and 90’ the genre also evolved as the artist began to voice what was going on in their day to day lives and in their communities; Hip -hop became a form of storytelling. Being that a lot of Hip-Hop artist had street, and gang related backgrounds, their music would reflect their past lives that were violent and controversial. Despite their brave and unapologetic storytelling, the era of ‘gangster rap’ set the standard of what it meant to be masculine in the…show more content…
The controversial context that is often used in Hip-Hop sets the standard of what it means to be ‘masculine’ as an artist of the culture. Artist who does not display contentious lyrical content in their music may not receive as much notoriety in the industry. In today’s Hip-Hop culture, more ‘conscious’, ‘apathetically masculine’ artist like, J. Cole have become more in popular. Cole’s lyrics are a reflection of his adversities that he has endured during his lifetime. Cole’s inspirations behind his music does not stem from a place of violence or from his ability to accumulate wealth, but from his ability to overcome his hardships as a black man and fulfill his purpose in life. Cole’s ability to redefine what it means to be masculine in Hip-Hop still receives backlash from Hip-Hop critics claiming that his music is bland and lacks shock value. The conflicts that are mentioned in J. Cole’s music is centered around him coming from a small town and being limited with opportunity him struggling to define his destiny beyond his hometown. The album, “2014: Forest Hills Drive” is a soundtrack to Cole’s evolution into manhood, that doesn’t include any typical hip-hop themes of violence, wealth, and negative depictions of women. Composing this rhetorical analysis from a cult of masculinity theoretical lenses allows the complexity of Cole’s
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