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White Participation in Hip-Hop

            Oppression and marginalization of youth minorities over thirty years ago had led to the creation of the music and culture that is known as Hip-hop. Experiences of discrimination and hardship translated into rhythm and poetry became the widely renowned music genre that the world has come to know. Hip-hop stands today as a global icon and a redefining phenomenon that garner a huge audience with high levels of interest. With Hip-hop's increasing popularity, the reception of this culture has been widely interpreted by diverse audiences of different races and is highly relevant in terms of its cross-cultural appeal. Specifically, white people involved in Hip-hop sparks debates and controversy about their appropriation and interpretation of Hip-hop music, which is typically assumed to be part of the black culture and black social identity (Kitwana, 2005). Some examples of white involvement in Hip-hop include those who support the music, those who are critical of the culture, and those who participate in the further development of Hip-hop. The continuous increase of white involvement in Hip-hop resulted in the emergence of popular white Hip-hop icons. Famous artists including Vanilla Ice, Eminem, Justin Bieber, and Iggy Azalea are few of the white hip hop artists that have contributed to the surge of white participation in hip hop into the mainstream society. However, these white artists, despite how authentic their back stories are, are simply stereotyped personas based around the existing black Hip-hop culture, profiting off of the ideas that were invented by the originality of black music. Based on the lecture material, scholarly articles, and the films, "The Tanning of America" and "Blacking Up: Hip-hop's remix of race and identity", the participation of white people in hip hop can be seen as cultural theft as we see the repetition of racist past, the mockery of black culture through stereotypes, and how whites use Hip-hop as a commodity to obtain financial advantage.

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