Hip Hop : A Popular Genre Essay

2120 Words Dec 8th, 2016 9 Pages
I would argue that it’s the linguistics of hip-hop that make it such a popular genre. The beats, the rhythm and the undeniable vernacular all co-mingle in order to create its very distinct sound. The emergence of multiple hip-hop generations has birthed new editions and approaches to the English language because the linguistics of rap and hip-hop are deeply rooted in Black English (B.E). In turn, hip-hop has created a gateway for B.E. to become integrated and used throughout the mainstream world. Linguist John McWorther stated, “Black English, especially the cadence, is becoming America’s youth lingua franca, especially since the mainstreaming of hip-hop.” The use of B.E. in something as commercial as hip-hop gave way for its normalization in other music genres such as rock and pop and therefore, became available for anyone to use (Cutler, 524). This is where the problem lies since the mainstreaming of B.E. diminishes the cultural and identity-linked value of the language.When non-authentic B.E. speakers begin using B.E. in music, it leads to cultural erasure. It should be noted that authenticity does not pertain to someone’s skin color and that one does not have to be black in order to speak B.E. In addition, not all black people speak B.E. Authenticity is directly related to the upbringing of the speaker. If they grew up in a B.E. speaking community, then their legitimacy is validated.
With that knowledge, the question arises if borrowing from B.E., like many…

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