Hip-Hop culture is one of the largest youth cultures in our society today. It can be divided into two main types, underground hip-hop and mainstream hip-hop. The two forms are quite different in the messages they portray but both can be said to be a form of resistance to the hegemonic ideas of the adult culture. That is why hip-hop appeals to youth so much because it gives them an identity of their own that is not placed upon them by their parents.
The first type of hip-hop I analyze was mainstream hip-hop, which means it is out there for everyone to access. Examples of this form can be seen on MTV, BET, etc as well as rap concerts and events. Signs of this form can be marked by extremely baggy clothing, for example sagging of the pants so that the underwear is showing. Sideways baseball caps, tattoos, and bling-bling jewelry are other signs in appearance that mark mainstream hip-hop. All of these styles are marked as cool among the youth in our society. Being cool is a way to get accepted by peers and rebel against adult culture because most of us would not consider our parents to be cool which to me is what youth feel being cool is all about. I noticed that being cool was much more a male thing than a female thing and it was not really particular to any race especially since Eminem came out. White males now have an image of cool that they can follow and be accepted among their black and Latino peers. While black males constitute a majority of mainstream hip-hop, race is not an issue as far as who can participate in this form. Females dress differently than their male counter-parts. Through pre-assigned discourses of sexy, females dress this way at hip-hop events. The idea is that they are supposed to attract attention from males and be sexual objects because that is the role assigned to them in hip-hop culture. Song lyrics in mainstream hip-hop encourage acts of violence, boasts of greed, sex, and drug use.