SOC395 - Sociology of Hip Hop
Lecture 2 – Rise of Hip Hop
September 17, 2012
• Kool Herc is a pioneer of hip hop. Regarded as a pioneer and dj who throws block parties in
the South Bronx.
• Brooklyn has become the centerpoint for New-York based hip hop.
• New York has a long rich history of hip hop.
• During the 70s and 80s, the South Bronx become one of the cities that underwent major
changes. Many parts of the neighborhood were heavily bombed out. They represented some of
the last vestige for the working poor.
• Place identity is very important to people in hip hop. They identify deeply from the places they
• KRS-One - hip hop is something that is lived.
• Hip hop is something that emerged from a particular place and time, the South Bronx.
• The South Bronx like many of the most violent and poorest areas in the US is defined by how
amounts of racial and ethnic segregation. These are areas that are not populated by different
groups who have different cultures and come from different social backgrounds. These are areas
that are populated by one culture, mostly.
• Deindustrialization - corporations believed that they could cut costs by moving their business
overseas to developing countries. They could get rid of health benefits, etc. There is a hollowing
out of many big cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, etc. Deindustrialization has a
significant impact on cities, removing job availability for families who are living there.
• Hip hop emerges from certain kinds of neighborhoods with concentrated poverty. Hip hop in
many ways was a response. There is a lack of structural opportunities for young people. Hip hop
is a creative response to concentrated poverty in some areas.
• Criminalization of youth plays a big role in hip hop. Young people and families do not have
the opportunity the would normally have. Young people become criminalized in the 80s and 90s.
This era is also known as the crack cocaine boom.
• Hip hop is a party, is a fun thing. There are particular things that hip hop flourished in, like
block parties and social gatherings.
A Sociological Road Map to Hip Hop
• Sociological imagination - linking everyday experiences with a bigger picture.
• We have to think about biography and history as intertwined things. Experiences and outcomes
and actions and behaviors of individu