Hip-hop Recently, I took a walk around the floor on which I live and asked anyone who I found for their definition of "hip-hop." I wasn't able to ask everyone on the floor, but I really didn't need to either. From the 15 or so people I asked, I got a similar answer, and each was that which I expected to hear. Some of my floormates thought that hip-hop was rap music, others said it was both rap and R&B, and only one person had a good idea of what it actually is. Hip-hop is a culture, and there is a common misconception that hip-hop refers solely to a genre of music. The dictionary definition of hip-hop is "a subculture especially of inner-city youths whose amusements include rap music, graffiti, and break-dancing" (Mish 549). This is a pretty accurate definition of hip-hop. There is a lot more to hip-hop but the dictionary does a good job of giving it a brief definition. The definition explains why I know what hip-hop really is and also why I'm bothered when someone thinks hip-hop is the same as rap. I grew up and have lived my entire life in New York City, perhaps the most urban and diverse place to live in on Earth. It's not possible for a teenager to be more exposed to hip-hop than he is in New York City. I'm also a youth, and people in my age group are more exposed to the culture than those of any other age group. Hip-hop is simply more appealing to young people, but this is not to say that adults can't like hip-hop as well. My roommate said that he wishes he could know more about hip-hop, but where he's from it's simply not possible. He has been exposed to hip-hop more in the past two months than in the eighteen years of his life before that, simply because he has me for a roommate. This came as somewhat of a surprise to me, because I never knew that hip-hop was so non-existent in suburbs such as Mansfield, PA, where my roommate is from. My roommate is definitely not the only person at Penn State from a suburb, so there are many other students here who know even less about the culture than him. My goal, therefore, is to inform these people about hip-hop enough so that they realize there's a lot more to it than just rap music.
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