The Clothes, the Speech, the Lifestyle: Why It Is Not Hip-hop
By Invent
On 05/22/2005 06:19:46
Rising Above the Mentality: Hip-hop culture vs. Urban Ghetto Culture

A fresh, clean pair of Air Jordans. Your favorite Sean John jeans. A white tee shirt covered by a throwback jersey. All topped of with a fitted hat and a silver chain.

The same person wearing these clothes, is suddenly heard yelling:
"Ay dawg! Whaz duh science on hittin' up da club tonight? Ya know I be lookin' fo' a lil-sum-sum so a ni**a kin be gettin' whud he be needin'!!"

Just a regular guy, on a regular day, in a regular hood. This everyday image has been mis-interpreted as the stereotype of what hip-hop is. And what is even sadder than this guy's poor speech, is the fact that his way of dressing, his way of talking, walking, his mannerisms, are being packaged and sold to today's youth as being "hip-hop."

I write on these topics not because I think I am a know it all, but because I have seen these things first hand, and I want to share what I have seen.

What a lot of people don't realize (especially young people today), is that there is something called an Urban Ghetto Culture. The word culture can be explained as a collection of habits shared (practiced) by a group of people. Hip-hop, in its own right, is a culture. What happens in the "'hoods" and in the projects, is in its own right, a culture. But becuase hip-hop comes from the projects and the 'hoods, the two cultures are often confused and intertwined (generally under the name of hip-hop).

First, you have to take a look at what goes on in the projects. Sex at a young age, selling drugs on the corners, waiting on welfare checks on the 1st and 15th of the month, all someone needs to know can be learned right there on the street, speaking with proper grammar is not needed, babies are aborted and abandoned, the only clothes someone needs are the over-sized and over-priced threads you can find in any Chinatown sweatshop. The only thing that matters is your personal survival. Forget everyone else. Watch your own back, take care of yourself. If you get a girl pregnant by fooling around, it's her fault and her baby. Drinking 40's, smoking blunts, partying with ho's, pimps and pimping (I HAVE met REAL pimps might I mind you... and their prostitutes).

That's truly a short list of what goes on in the 'hood. You just need to witness it to learn everything that is going on.

Those things that go on in the 'hood, THOSE are the things hip-hop is trying to get rid of! Hip-hop is meant to educate on these negative aspects of ghetto life. Hip-hop is trying to RISE ABOVE it all!! I don't know how else to put it, it is so simple (therefore I must go back to urban ghetto culture).

"But hip-hop has evolved, it's different now, this is what it is now..." People do tend to write about what they know about (especially when it comes to poets). Rappers are really nothing much more than street poets. So they write about the streets. But there are two paths that can be taken. The first and the easiest, is to write in a way that GLORIFIES what they see everyday in the streets. The second and much harder path is the one that speaks of getting an education to raise your status (socially and economically) and denounces the ways of the ghetto.

At this point I really don't know how to put it. Maybe during my trip to New York this summer, I can sum it up better. But to be to the point on this subject:
What you see in mainstream "hip-hop" music, the clothing, the attitudes, the lifestyles, the speach, is part of the urban ghetto culture. It is what the hip-hop culture (conscious hip-hop) speaks against. It truly is ignorance being sold to today's youth.

Only a fool follows a fool.
Assad "Invent" Conley
re: The Clothes, the Speech, the Lifestyle: Why It Is Not Hip-hop
By Jahz
On 05/22/2005 21:17:20
Just something I want to ask... How does someone find the money to buy a big blinging silver chain to put around their necks when they live in the ghettos when they usually don't even have enough money to pay for bills or rent? Just a thought I wanted to input about the difference between Urban Ghetto Culture and Hip Hop.
re: The Clothes, the Speech, the Lifestyle: Why It Is Not Hip-hop
By Invent
On 05/22/2005 21:47:06
Haha... I'm glad you ask that Jahz.
It is a mystery to many, but let me go ahead and give you an insight into ghetto life.

AGAIN, I do not mean to offend anyone here, but I am speaking out of pure observations and honesty.

The short answer to where do they get the money to spend on expensive things when living in such a poor environment:

Drugs, welfare, the single "moms" that works two jobs so her kid/kids don't have to live the life she lived, hustling, stealing, and working just a plain old job (like footlocker).

Seriously, if you know much about the projects and Section 8 (government assisted housing), then you'd know, many in the projects are paying $300 a month for rent, and even less.

Some SELL their food stamps (which has become more difficult with the inception of the EBT card, which is like a monthly issued credit card with food stamp money on it). Some are just jacking (stealing) stuff and reselling it...

But like I said, there are also some who just work for everything they buy.

As 50 cent said in "rap's MVP" with the game...
"I pushed packs for a 4-finger ring". He sold drugs to get the jewels he wanted... (just an example)

re: The Clothes, the Speech, the Lifestyle: Why It Is Not Hip-hop
By Keitsu
On 05/31/2005 22:30:12
So, I was wondering... Is there really any clothes/stlyes that go along with the hip hop culture then? Or is it pretty much being who you are, and wearing what you like to wear like I do? ^_^

I know you say all the clothes that people wear are the urban ghetto thing, but it can't even be named ghetto simply because most of them don't live in the ghetto and the fact that you would be wearing only clothes that you need there. So I'm asking if there is anything deep rooted in clothe styles for hip hop at all.

Sorry that my thoughts are sort of jumbled, but I just feel there is a lot more then just the music,dancing,and history of hip hop. What is the true culture? It's hard to experience it around where I live which is in Iowa (A place where there are endless cornfields with cities and towns in between.) All there seems to be is people who wear the urban ghetto stuff and calling it hip hop style and all. Not to mention there are like no minorities at my school (I shouldn't say that hip hop belongs to one indvidual variation of a race but its primarily not White colored).

I've read some articles on the history and all, but I really haven't seen to many things about the real hip hop culture in depth.
re: The Clothes, the Speech, the Lifestyle: Why It Is Not Hip-hop
By Invent
On 06/01/2005 11:48:34
Keitsu... the reason I call it urban ghetto clothing is because of one simple fact:


Sure it has spread, but that doesn't take away from where it is from.

Also... wear what you feel like... express yourself through your clothing. It used to be the bboy with the flyest outfit was the one who set the trend in neighborhoods.

As for what the culture is about... I have many posts containing things about the culture. When I have time, I will make one devoted entirely to explain what the culture is and what it is about. Right now I just started a 6 week course with 6months of material... so I may not have the chance...

(Please remember that it is an ART culture. And that the dance, music, etc... is a main element of it... not a side-product).


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