3 Areas Of Society Hip-Hop Culture Will Dominate By 2020

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Hip-hop has evolved since it rose to prominence in the 1970s, from being deemed as a negative influence that had to be met with the force of the FBI, to becoming the most popular genre in the world.

Nonetheless, hip-hop culture extended its own parameters by permeating the realms of sports, tech and venture capitalism. By the next election cycle, it will have dominated these three industries, too.

Politics

One of the first documented instances in which hip-hop positively infiltrated politics began in 2008, when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama stylishly paid homage to Jay Z by dusting off his shoulders in a Democratic primary speech. More recently, Meek Mill’s incarceration, and release, for a probation violation became a lengthy talking point on news sites such as CNN and NBC.

MSNBC’s The Beat host Ari Melber often references the aforementioned lyricists, as well as rappers such as Drake, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill and Rick Ross, when reporting on current political events.

“My job […] is to be clear, and to report facts and explain things,” he said in an interview with Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club. “So, of course you’re going to reach for anything that helps to that. It might be a movie, it might be a sports analogy or it might be lyrics.”

To some extent, it’s safe to say the code of ethics in politics and the streets are one and the same.

Education

What was once deemed a fad by industry professionals decades ago has now become a phenomenon to be appreciated and studied. Georgetown University provided a course on Jay Z hip-hop studies; Armstrong University, in Savannah, Georgia, offers an upper-level English class on Outkast and hip-hop; and McNally Smith College of Music, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, offers a class on hip-hop studies.

Producer 9th Wonder was once a professor at Duke University, and now leads a hip-hop history course at his alma mater, North Carolina Central University. Bun B taught a course at Rice University focusing on hip-hop and religion. According to the Houston Chronicle, Bun has turned down over six figures in performance offers to maintain his integrity.

‘”I won’t rap at the school,” Bun B said in an interview on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning. “They’ve asked me to do their spring fest every year since I started teaching. And I turn it down every year, because I don’t want to compromise the integrity of the course.”’

Corporate America

Despite hip-hop’s prominent presence in pop culture and status as a preferred genre to listen to, Billboard still posed this question in April: Why hasn’t the hip-hop boom pushed more black executives to the top?

In the next few years, corporate America’s music business—and other industries alike—should see an upswing in African-American executives climbing the corporate ladder. While music industry executives like Ethiopia Habtemariam, Tunji Balogun, Kevin Liles and Sylvia Rhone have peppered the corporate complexion, we still don’t see a significant number of African-Americans in executive positions at the corporate level.


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