Hey family my name is Samuel “The Bridge” Jones. I am a hip hop artist from the Midwest and I absolutely have your best interest at heart with news from the hip hop world. Recently, there was a documentary on the evolution of the hip hop; “Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop” on VH1. I absolutely loved getting an intensive view on the history of pop culture’s most famous genre.
When watching the documentary, it felt like I was taking an introductory course, hip hop 101. It was hard to believe, that over a course of 40 plus years, hip hop would influence fashion, politics, the media, television, publications, and social norms. To hear that even the Jewish culture had so much to do with its evolution was amazing. Can you imagine that popular outputs like The Source and Def Jam had founders that were not African American? Well it’s true! Even fashion moguls such as Tommy Hilfiger caught on to the firestorm created by people like Snoop Dogg, wearing his clothing. It inspired a generation of rappers such as LL Cool J, Sean Puffy Combs, and Jay-Z to represent their lines.
Hip Hop encouraged the idea of cross-platform merchandising and the parental explicit label. It made jewelers like Jacob the Jeweler a commodity destination instead of a rarity to visit. It became the outsource for political messages and gave way to a cool view of an African American leader in the white house, who used urban language and quotations from popular rappers. This tanning of America led music’s upper echelon to become acceptable of hip hop at the Grammys when it was not included in its original broadcast as an award. It led to the creation of Yo! MTV raps and In Living Color as competitors against the likes of Saturday Night Live.
Hip Hop is more than just music that tells stories of drugs, women, money, and street horrors. It is the music that essentially changed a nation to gradually accept African American cultural and social norms as their own. So it was not just a music, genre, or trend, it became a lasting impact on Americans from all nationalities, religions, and creeds.
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