Hip Hop And Slavery

Hip Hop And Slavery

By Chance Kelsey, Chancellorfiles.com

 Chance: During the time period of slavery in America many black slaves would sing songs. Some of these songs were religious, other songs were about a variety of things like relationships or love, and other songs expressed how many blacks felt about being in bondage. In general most slave songs typically consisted of four-line stanzas that alternated with four-line choruses, and within that structure, solo verses alternated with refrains. The majority of stanzas most often took the aaab form (three repeated lines and a refrain) or aaba form (two repeated lines, one new line, then a repeat of the first line). Occurring less frequently was the abcd form (no repetition of text).
Music allows the soul to express how it feels on the inside, and music and sex are the only two things that come close to expressing the inexpressible.

Black people are what I call the music race, the way they express how they feel through a variety of musical styles has inspired even many other ethnic groups throughout the world. The blues is a form of black music that originated during slavery — and during the Jim Crow area of racial segregation the blues became more popular among black Americans. Blacks added more styles and instruments such as the guitar and harmonica to the blues during the era of racial segregation.

Just like music helped give blacks a form of emotional and mental expression during slavery, Hip hop culture gives many young blacks a voice to express how they feel about society today. Hip hop is a culture and rap music is a part of that culture. There are many forms of rap music both positive and negative. It all depends upon what social views and experiences in life the rapper has gone through. Gangster (gangsta) is just one form of rap music — there is religious rap, social conscious rap, political rap and many other forms. But gangsta (gangster) rap is the most popular form of rap currently because of the ruff urban life experiences that many young Hip Hop artists who are gangsta rappers have gone through in life. 

 Chance: So whether one agree or disagree rap music in its various forms express how many young people feel about various issues. Some young people just enjoy the music even though they have never experienced the life style the rapper is speaking about. Just like the black slaves sung songs based upon how they felt while in bondage. Gangsta rap is a form of the blues, white parents in the 1950s and 1960s would criticize the black music of their time. They did not want their children to listen to it. But many whites both young and old started to enjoy the same black music forms they once criticized. Then came Elvis Presley a white man singing black music and whites loved him and the rest is history.


Hip hop music is the music of choice that many blacks and members of other ethnic groups choose to express how they feel whether positive or negative. Will gangsta rap ever become unpopular yes, when life gets better for millions of young urban blacks who suffer from poverty, lack of education, police brutality, lack of love, violence, ghettoes, drug infested neighborhoods, high out of wed lock births, etc decrease to a very low percentage. Just like when slavery ended blacks stopped singing certain songs. Until then gangsta rap and hip hop culture will be an outlet of expression for millions of young black people.

By Chance (Chancellor)

Written during the 21st century by Chance




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