This is My Mic: Hip Hop and the Media, 1970s-1990s

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jennifer Lynn Scism (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Charles Bolton

Abstract: This study explores how the media, in particular the print media of New York City, portrayed hip hop culture and hip hoppers from the 1970s through the early 1990s. Through examining various newspaper sources it is apparent that the media, since hip hop began to culminate as a culture, has created a misunderstood, simple, and stereotypical image of hip hop. Before graffiti art, emceeing, DJing, and break dancing were fully linked as the pillars of hip hop, the print media of New York City ignored the rise of the culture. When hip hop's pillars finally merged and became one meshed counter culture, the newspaper editors of New York City still chose to ignore ploys by journalists to include hip hop in their headlines. The editors, like many Americans who found themselves outside the cultural boundaries of hip hop thought they understood hip hop and believed the young culture would die out and be replaced by another fad. Little did they know that hip hop culture, in particular the music, would become a major pop culture genre. When hip hop was covered by New York City journalists the image portrayed was rarely, if ever, a wholly positive one despite efforts on the part of hip hoppers to create a socially conscious movement. In the late twentieth century journalists in New York City did not always intentionally create a biased and negative image of hip hop. Rather, their interpretations of the culture often were ill-informed, and at times their articles were coded in language that coincided with racial and class-based stereotypes concerning working-class African Americans. By the twenty-first century, hip hop became the scapegoat for various social problems in American society, including racism and sexism.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
print media, New York City, hip hop, culture, newspaper , misunderstood, stereotype
Popular culture $z United States $x History $y 20th century.
Hip-hop $z United States $x History $y 20th century.
Stereotype (Psychology).
Hip-hop $x Political aspects, Rap (Music) $x Social aspects.
New York (N.Y.) $v Newspapers $y 20th century.

Email this document to