Golden Age Hip Hop Analysis

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“Golden age hip hop” refers to a period around the mid 1980s to roughly the early 1990s where hip hop was characterized for being musically and lyrically diverse, innovative, and hugely influential on mainstream culture. According to Maulana Karenga, who was a major figure in the Black Power movement, Black nationalism is defined as the belief and practice of Black Americans “as a distinct people with a distinct historical personality” who should do their best to “develop structures to define, defend, and develop the interests” of Black people as a whole (Henderson). Black nationalism primarily focused on the ideas of self-determination, self-reliance, solidarity, and Black pride (Hill-Collins; Bonnette). Within the expression of Black nationalist …show more content…
It tried to provide Black Americans with a sense of belonging by creating this idea of “solidarity of Africans in the motherland and throughout the diaspora” (Decker) and emphasized a “love ethic” (Hill-Collins), which called for wholehearted love for all Black people. By prescribing African-influenced principles to the values of the African diaspora, it created “social cohesion” based on those values (Hill-Collins). The belief that Africa is the center of all civilization served as empowerment for Afrocentric hip hop artists in the way they express the struggle against white supremacy. On the other hand, the Black Power-era nationalism tended to be slightly more political than cultural and was expressed through rappers drawing inspiration from the African-American leaders of the 1960s, such as Malcolm X, and the Black Power movements and organizations of the past, such as the Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam, and applying them to the struggles of their time. In particular, this type of nationalism tended to emphasize Black militancy, economic self-sufficiency, the idea of “nation time”