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Blog 7: Another Annotated Bibliography

Alex Crooke & Raphael Travis Jr. The healing power of hip hop, 2017. Crooke and Travise shine a light through the negatively connotaded culture that is hip hop. Crook and Raphael even mention how many people in the US labell rap lyrics as a criminal threat and how it’s harmful to those that cross path with it at a young age. Even though it can be true Crooke and Travis explain that the meaning behind the lyrics and the videos are what define this genre of music how those who can relate with it use it as a “therapeutic tool.” After studying it through out his career, Dr.Crooke find that hip hop to be a positive way for young teens of a diverse background to engage with a wider community. Crooke and Travis also exclaim that Hip hop is made to be a way to express oneself and although this community cannot cure all hardships and oppression the culture is important to reflect critically on our perception of sociatal norms and racial issues. This article serves the purpose to inform in a maner like none other. Focusing directly on how hip hop can be a sort of therapist for its audience speaks out and is well exsecuted. Dr.Cooke and Mr.Travis seem to have outdone themselves in this co-writen piece adding on a proffesional view and an experienced one add to the credibility.

There’s No Need to Bullsh*t a School Paper

Writing your first research paper may seem scary like the monster under the bed when you were a child, but as all stories go, the monster is always just in our imagination. The same goes to papers, if you give it too much power over your, it will be scary, and it will be a tough assignment to tackle. However, with all great research paper comes one key element, preparation. One good habit to pick up whilst writing a paper is organization; Your paper’s main points and sub points should fit and synergize with each other. While many think they have a strong essay, more than often, their papers fall flat due to points not making sense and the information backing them up aren’t as strong as they should be, simply because they weren’t organized well enough. Creating an outline helps with this deterrent as you can visualize how your essay will look and sound before even starting on the draft/finished product. Furthermore, to help create with a strong essay one must know what they are talking about in order to further make sense of their topic essay. Many failed essays may have acceptable grammar and be extraordinarily organized but at times they fail to stay focused on the argument. Once an essay falls on a tangent it is rare to see them go back to their original point thus losing all its credibility as a successful essay. The failure of keeping on the topic makes the writer and the paper look unprofessional and unable to complete the task, which is why not only should a paper be well organized but the content should all fit together in order to make an exceptional essay.

The Power of Chicano Influence in Rap

As the rap industry gained popularity in the early seventies, originating in the Bronx of Ney York city, it began to spread all over communities influencing its populations. However, what many people overlook about hip hop is that it didn’t originate just by the African American communities; Those of Latino and Caribbean descent played a hand as well in the origin of hip hop (Chang 2005). Even though these people were pivotal in the success of the early days of rap and hip hop, many credit the black community for its popularity, which is not far from the truth due to rap being dominated for generations by young black males. It wasn’t until rap saw new light in the west coast, primarily in Los Angeles, when the industry saw new faces take their chance at this form of poetry. More specifically those of the Chicano and Latin community. A.L.T. states that, “rap became mainstream in 1988,” with the first widely recognized Chicano rap artist, Kid Frost. His hit single “La Raza,” had put Latino artists back on the map. Although Frost later went into electronic music, he paved the way for many non-black, primarily Chicano, artists in the realm of hip hop. Latinos and Chicanos began to integrate many familiar themes of oppression and struggles into their music which followed a familiarity to those of black artists, however they were able to form a deeper connection with those of another culture. Rap was no longer a one culture outlet but a community that welcomed anyone trying to express themselves. Take for example the critically acclaimed group, Cypress Hill, this band of rappers are considered to be among the main progenitors and one of the most successful West Coast rap groups, their music was all too familiar in this community; influenced by “the hood,” gang relations, violence, and drugs, Cypress Hill gained the respect, not just of their listeners, but as well as the other artists in this industry. The multicultural influence of hip hop shows that any one with the right tools and the “sick rhymes,” can be just as successful and influential as those who dominate the industry.

Cypress Hill’s “How I Could Just Kill a Man,” influenced other mexican-american music group Rage Against the Machine’s song by the same name.

Cypress Hill’s “How I Could Just Kill a Man,” influenced other mexican american music group Rage Against the Machine’s song by the same name.

Rap Survey: an Analysis

The survey we created questioned the respondents on their view of rap and its place in race relations. An equal amount of male and female contributors participated in our survey. As a result, we were able to review both gender’s viewpoints. We purposely created a schism of answer choices based on what we believed were antiquated beliefs and new popular thoughts about rap and hip hop. The projected results were expected to vary and provide a broad view in the beginning. However, participants chose the most progressive answers choices we listed for most questions. Furthermore, about 50% of participants believe that rap promotes negative stereotypes about both men and women. About 90% of all participants say they enjoy the music and don’t specifically listen to artist who most resemble their ethnicity or gender. This makes me wonder why people will still listen to rap even though it brings a negative connotation with it, maybe it’s the history, maybe it’s the messages within, it might even be that people feel connected to this form of art. Also, another answer took me by surprise, as I did not think about the double standards they spoke about while I was writing this survey. In question three “Do you think rap has entertained negative stereotypes in the black community?” they were able to point out the differences in how some media perceives people from the industry based on their appearances. They explained that even though artists of black and white decent can portray the same message, most people in the black community are painted as “thugs” and “gangsters” while most white artists are seen as people who come from a broken community and have seen dark sides. But I digress, this survey serves only as a simplification of people’s thoughts and ideas about this occurring theme of rap and its racial connections. And even though my expected results did not go as planned, I am still content that the results were able to make me question my own views on this topic.

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The Absence of Hip Hop in the Curriculum

Hip Hop culture has gone through many evolutions causing it to increase in popularity not only nationally but globally, yet even though many claim its lyrics to be a stylized form of poetry with beats, rhymes, and melodies it hasn’t gained much ground in the academic word. Hip hop gained a reputation with the gang-banging lifestyle as well as being associated with explicit content, so because of this academics in the educational system tend to refrain from integrating hip hop into their curriculum. Since its origin hip hop has been greatly influenced by “the streets” which is often associated with drugs, violence, and alcohol. One can find this most commonly in the early life of hip hop with the likes of N.W.A., Ice-T, Tupac Shakur, and The Wu-Tang Clan. These groups defined the gangster lifestyle with their music which in turn became one of the reasons why most schools do not see rap lyrics as a form of poetry or art. Furthermore, even if schools were to look past the old views of hip hop and its association with gang banging, they still will not teach hip hop because of the content within the music. Many artists use rap to express their views on society, racism, and stereotypes however many others use it to “flex” their lavish lifestyle, money, and sometimes women. Yet one common ground found in both styles is its explicit way of voicing itself; It can be loud, it can be aggressive, it can even be exaggerated with its imagery, this mixture of questionable morals can easily scare away from its valuable messages deep within. So, it is to no surprise that school boards ban this genre from their schools without giving a second thought to it. It is no surprise that students aren’t taught how a generation can connect to this genre of music just because of its history with gangs and its non-sugar coated themes.

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Does Music Matter?

Over the years, music has evolved to become an integral part in our lives, from artists using their songs as a canvas to spread a message to its connections in different cultures, it is important to study its affects and power over society. Upon studying music, we begin to understand as to why it makes people act a certain way, do certain things, feel certain ways. For example , Sam Cooke’s “Times are a Changin’” could have just been brushed off as yet another sad song, however, as we look past its mellow rhythm and soft-spoken lyrics, and look deeper as to when it was created and for who it was created we as people gain a much different understanding upon a second hearing. This song became vital in the 60s as it spread a positive message of rising through hardship and work during the civil rights movement. It connected to its audience on a different level as it traveled through everyone’s homes, cars, and shops. Nevertheless, not all music serves the same purpose as Cooke’s song of revolution; some music connects to its audience, not through message, but culturally. When we study the unique styles of music in different cultures, we can further understand what it says about said culture. For example, take Jamaica, although the size of an island, its people take pride in the power of their reggae style of music. Their percussive style forms a vital part of the life their people; Even their religious beliefs influence their musical culture, both locally and globally. Because of these connections it becomes clear as to why we should study why music is important to those who listen and how it effects everyone around it.

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Rodney “The Mutt” Mullen

      Born on August 17, 1996 Mullen had dreams of becoming a skater since his early childhood, as early as 10 years of age. He lived in a strict household with a dentist as a father, skateboarding was no exception to the limits his father placed on him. However, he was persistent to skate and even promised his father that if he were to get seriously injured, he would quit. “My dad wouldn’t let me have a skateboard. He thought I’d get hurt and never get good, and the culture was bums, and I’d turn into one. He was a dentist, but before that he was military, and there were times you’d call him, ‘Sir.’ New Year’s Day he had a drink and felt better, and the skate shop was open.” Furthermore, he even set up safety pads in the garage as he practiced his skating. Not even his sever pigeon-toe condition could stop this soon to be pro. Mullen, even though owning a skateboard for a little more than a year, won many events thus showing his true potential. Going on to only have lost one contest in eleven years.

              I believe Mullen could be, if not, is the most influential Skater along with Tony Hawk, James“Jake” Phelps, and Paul Rodriguez. He’s been credited to have created the very own kickflip, although it was originally named the “Magic Flip.” He went on to create countless tricks such as; the Darkslide, Heelflip, impossible, and the 360-flip. This resulted in him being deemed as the “Godfather of Street Skateboarding.” Without a doubt it is well deserved as even in his elder years he is still out there grinding and giving speeches as the number one freestyler in the world of skateboarding. Mullen Has also started up, not one, but three skate companies. His most recent being “Almost” (2005), which includes the likes of skaters Ryan Shekler and Daewon Song. Mullen will, without a doubt, go down as a legend in pop culture history.

Here’s some Gnarly Tricks and Stunts for your eyes to gouge on. Keep on the Grind, peace.

Disccusing Discourse Communities

I would have never noticed the major differences between the way talk and the lingo I use when I change who I’m round. The two communities I can mainly associate myself include; the competitive overwatch scene and people who take part in watching movies.

            When overwatch came out no one knew it was going to be this big, when I first began to play it I was only playing for fun, but after finding a few friends and starting to play competitively I began to notice the unique things I said and the way I communicated with people. As our games started to get heated, I would catch myself using phrases such as “hop off me” and “Scrub.” Both these phrases are used as minor derogatory words against the enemy team meaning simply that they’re bad at the game. Many times, these terms are misused by players who get mad because they aren’t contributing as much as they think they are and then get called out for it. Another example includes “Get C9’ned.” This term is more complicated than it seems even if it started out as a meme in the community. A C9 is basically when a team fails to capture an objective from the enemy team due to needlessly over-extending, over-aggressiveness or any other unnecessary reason when they had a good chance of capturing the objective, should they have stayed on it instead of going after the enemy. This is one of, if not the most popular term used to demean for the simplest mistake.

            This is nowhere near what I would say during a talk with someone else who loves going to the movies as much as I do. When I go to the theater with friends, we use labels on specific types of people we see. These terms aren’t used as a negative connotation but just as a way to poke fun at friends and strangers. For example, “The Moocher,” this is a person you would see mainly in a group of two or more, The Moocher takes advantage of their friend’s hospitality as they pretend to have forgotten their wallet thus making their friends pay for his/her visit to the theater, when in reality he/she is just greedy. On the other end of the spectrum there is “The Smuggler,” but no not that kind. I have more than once been deemed as the smuggler in my group, one can always catch a smuggler by size of their clothes and or bag. What a smuggler does is prepares snacks before the movies because they know the obliteration that concession prices can cause to their wallet. Family Dollar prices their chocolate and skittle boxes for one dollar meanwhile you’d have to be a mad man paying six more at the stand.

As one can see although I take part in both communities, the way I speak in either is nothing but different. This doesn’t mean I have to be a different person; it just means I change the things I say to fit the environment.

Communication between two people.

How to End a Friendship the Wrong Way

In the article; “Escape Plans,” from Men’s Health Magazine, we are given an advice on how to end our relations with a friend, however their way is both irrational and immature. One may have many reasons to end a friend ship, “Escape Plans” explains that the best ways to leave a friendship without any heat is to ease your friend out of your “recent calls,” scale back e-mails or texts, and to wait long intervals before returning calls. However, in reality leaving someone who thought of them as their good friend like this can leave a negative impact on said person, thus creating bad blood. So when that person who thought of the other as their friend starts to realize these patterns their thoughts could easily take a turn for the worst. They may feel as if they weren’t good enough to keep fire burning, so when they feel like garbage it doesn’t create a good mentality towards themselves nor to the aggressor. It’s also not just hurtful, it’s immature. This advice is supposed to be for grown people, but this seems more like an entry inside of an “angsty” teenager’s journal. A grown person is supposed to be able to confront situations like this head on, there is no need for “ghosting” a person because it doesn’t feel as if their friend is as fun as they used to be or because they’re toxic. Contrarily, it’s more toxic to back out of a friendship with no reasoning or explanation. The better approach to a situation like this is to quite literally approach the other person on the problems at hand. If a the person isn’t who you thought they’d be or you just can’t get along with one and other without constant arguments it’s better to state the problems and explain why you’re cutting ties . So if ending a relationship looks to be the best decision there is, there’s no reason to behave like a child nor should one “ghost” another. Although it may suck to have one less friend, it leaves a less bitter taste in each other’s mouths about one and other to make sure there are no problems when parting ways.

Top Tier English Courses

Out of the many English courses students can take in their academic years, I hold the opinion that both; Composition and Technical writing courses are the best a student can take. Not only is composition writing the basis of writing, it is also a stepping stone that helps any and all writers branch out to other forms of writing. In composition classes students are taught how to become a better writer all around, the writing assignments that students will tackle revolve around much more than summarizing and interpreting text. The fundamentals of this writing course include; forming a topic and developing arguments, these inturn stimulate the way students think and try to drive them away from making basic decisions and mistakes he or she  may have made prior to this course. Thus effectively transforming the student’s way of writing into something more thought provoking and enlightening. These newly found skills may also help transfer into different classes and work such as; History Reports, Biology labs, Sociology essays, and much more. Moreover, Technical writing may sound similar to Composition writing only because both try to teach students ways to become better writers, but technical writing couldn’t be more different. Many students may be studying for a field of work on the professional side, but not always do they know how to attain a job in that field after college. This is where technical writing comes to play here is where students learn how to write resumes, memos, powerpoints, and more. And yes not all jobs require you to present powerpoints, but at some point in time you may need to write up a report for your boss, or email your employees/co-workers on a team project. This may seem only important to businesses, however, technical writing expands to the four corners of the working world. So subjectively, I  believe that composition and technical writing classes not only help students write better but also help illuminate a student’s mind to think outside the norm of writing.