2015 - 18th Annual Steven Galovich Memorial Student Symposium

Presentation Title

Hip-Hop Culture: Examining the Shift from Activism to Hyper-Commercialism

Student Presenter(s) and Advisor

Imani Watson, Lake Forest CollegeFollow

Location

Library 1st floor

Abstract

Since its inception in the 1970s, hip-hop has undergone a transformation, from focusing on themes of social activism and liberation, to dominant themes of materialism, conspicuous consumption, and hyper-commercialization today. This study examines several factors that have influenced this transition, including the role of record executives, advertisers, and hip-hop artists. Through participant-observations of hip-hop consumerism, semiotic analyses of music videos and advertisements, and analyses of song lyrics, I conclude that hip-hop culture has used hyper-materialism as a form of cultural legitimization, with artists willingly committing themselves to uphold the hegemonic values of the mainstream commercially-driven music industry.

Presentation Type

Individual Presentation

Start Date

4-7-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

4-7-2015 11:45 AM

Panel

The Shifting Cultures of Media Industries

Panel Moderator

Camille Johnson-Yale

Field of Study for Presentation

Communication

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Apr 7th, 10:30 AM Apr 7th, 11:45 AM

Hip-Hop Culture: Examining the Shift from Activism to Hyper-Commercialism

Library 1st floor

Since its inception in the 1970s, hip-hop has undergone a transformation, from focusing on themes of social activism and liberation, to dominant themes of materialism, conspicuous consumption, and hyper-commercialization today. This study examines several factors that have influenced this transition, including the role of record executives, advertisers, and hip-hop artists. Through participant-observations of hip-hop consumerism, semiotic analyses of music videos and advertisements, and analyses of song lyrics, I conclude that hip-hop culture has used hyper-materialism as a form of cultural legitimization, with artists willingly committing themselves to uphold the hegemonic values of the mainstream commercially-driven music industry.