Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, April 24, 2017

Installment 1: Section 8

Installment 1: Section 8
Kianna Cooper
Hip Hop and Philosophy: Rhyme 2 Reason
Philosophy and Hip-hop allows us to reflect and argue about almost anything, and they are both highly controversial topics. Grandmaster Flash considered hip-hop the “only genre of music that allows us to talk about anything”. Philosophy is the same way, it allows people to express how they feel and reveal their beliefs without being judge among others. However, Philosophy and Hip-hop both went through a period where society questioned them because they had different views from the everyday citizens. In ancient Athens philosophy was extremely controversial; during this time Socrates caught a case for “corrupting the youth”.  He was sentenced death row for expressing his view of science to the youth, instead of telling them things the government wanted them to believe. Hip-hop also experienced a time when it was misunderstood. It was considered a genre of music that focusses on violence, sex, and mistreating women, but it is a way for rappers to express what they encounter throughout their daily lives; such as racism, violence within their neighborhood, love, and many more aspects.
                Philosophy is an ancient discipline devoted to the pursuit of wisdom. Notorious, B.I.G., Supernatural, Mos Def, and Socrates are philosophers because they let their knowledge flow to those with lesser minds and those with different views. Socrates is such an influential philosopher because he engineered the pursuit of wisdom by asking people about their knowledge and beliefs and then probing them with questions to test their opinions. Hip- hop used a similar method called call-and-response, by MC, which was a style used to answer life’s pressing questions by engaging in epic lyrical battles that sometimes turn into beefs. But, where did philosophy and hip-hop start? They both started in the “streets”. Hip-hop started from project recreations centers to outdoor street parties fully equipped with DJs, MCs, fat speakers, graffiti artist, and breakdances. Philosophy was not as exciting as hip hop, but it began with Socrates teaching the youth to search for their own opinions about life. Hip hop and philosophy are both examination of life and wisdom from those they encounter in the “streets”. They both show how powerful words are.
                Where did hip hop and philosophy go after they successfully influenced those who they met on the street? They went international. Philosophy is now considered one of mankind’s most esteemed disciplines. Hip hop has become synonymous with American popular culture. Philosophers and rappers believed philosophy and hip hop was so essential that they were fit to rule the world. Plato, Socrates’s greatest pupil, thought that philosophy was so essential that only philosopher kings were fit to rule the Republic. Kurtis Blow imagined what it would be like if a rapper ruled the world, and after they acquired the knowledge, hip-hop legends, Run D.M.C., proclaimed themselves King of Rock. Hip hop and philosophy impact towards its people allowed it to be such an influential topic.
                Hip hop and Philosophy demonstrate how powerful and essential words are. Words allow an individual to voice their opinion and influence others to view the world differently. Hip hop and philosophy help create a world filled with creativity because it taught others to think freely. Even though, hip hop and philosophy both went through periods where they were questioned about their views, they continued to voice their opinions and impact people lives. Hip hop and philosophy demonstrate that words matter. 


1 comment:

  1. "philosophers because they let their knowledge flow to those with lesser minds and those with different views" - you note some very interesting parallels, but this might be a point of difference. Many hip hop artists adopt a style of bravado and self-promotion that Socrates rejected in favor of "humility" as the better path to wisdom, knowing that he DIDN'T know it all or talk down to "lesser minds". Is this just a matter of style? Can hip hop be humble?