Blog post 10/30

As we move into discussions of 1980s hip hop, reflect back on the notion of the “protest song” that we have discussed thus far. What are some of the differences between a 1960s and 1970s protest song and a song that does not overtly advertise itself as “protest”? What can hip hop do for the protest song that punk cannot? Answer any of the above questions by comparing and contrasting 1980 hip hop to 1970s/1960s protest music.

15 comments on “Blog post 10/30

  1. Z says:

    Some social changes actually are influenced by 1960s and 1970s punk music, like Sunday Bloody Sunday. Due to this type of song, people are able to identified themselves politically. Though both punk music and Hip Hop deal with political ideas, the punk music are more violent in nature. Different from punk music, hip hop allows people acquire the power to say what they want to say. Hip Hop music always associate with dance, which provides more vision attraction than punk music. Furthermore, in the many diverse community, the verbal art of hip hop is valued. Due to this distinctive feature, the social power of hip hop is addressed from the lyrics instead of echo or ambience.

  2. Monica Poleway says:

    There are many difference between music in the 1960 and the 1970s. Paritally due to social and political changes. The traditional family house was changing and the lifestyles of these families were also changing. Through punk music people, generally the younger generations were able to voice there opinion politically. This punk music at the time was looked at as protest music and rebellion music from normalility. Much of the younger generation used this type of music to protest.

  3. Rafe Mosetick says:

    Hip Hop and Punk are two very distinct forms of music. Hip Hop is all about individuals trying to find an identity and unity through the music. This type of music unitizes lots of rhythm and flow. This is very important to the unity in this music because it causes the crowd to move as one. Where as punk focuses on causes and rebelling against them. They scream and yell in efforts to express their disdain. Punk music to seems to make me angry, where hip hop causes me to be inspired and agree with the artist. In the end, each type hits people differently so it hard to say one is able to do something the other can’t. 

  4. Naeem says:

    There are many differences between a protest song from the 1960s or 1970s—with a clear and direct protest—and a song that does not overtly characterize itself as “protest music.” A song that is not overly protest music usually focuses more on the formal aspects of music—such as the texture, ambience, and echo—while songs that are direct protest music tend to be more centered around the substance or lyrics of the song. Hip-hop music generally tends to be an example of indirect protest music. Generally conveying personal stories of an artist, hip-hop music is very different from a Bob Dylan song, for example, that directly criticizes one specific issue and protests against it. Hip-hop music requires a deeper search for protest, one buried under layers of personal anecdotes. Punk music, similar to direct protest music, usually consists of a band expressing its protest through loud screaming music. This genre also differs from the protest of hip-hop.

  5. Dalila Vazquez says:

    Although hip hop music and punk music protest against different social injustices, each type of music does it differently. The punk music in the 1960s/1970s was characterized for being crude and often political. The instruments’ sound was raw and commonly the lyrics were screamed in the song. Sometimes punk concerts turned out violent giving the impression of a fierce type of protest music. In the 1980s hip hop became prominent in music and it was characterized mainly by the rhyming lyrics. This type of music was also protest music but focused less on the loud sound of instruments like punk music did, and instead focused more on the lyrics. Also hip hop gained a more diverse group of followers than did punk music.

  6. Melody Carter says:

    Protest music from the 1960s-1970s focuses on a certain opinion or argument from the artist, and the song itself expresses its idea mostly from the lyrics being sang. A song that does not overtly advertise itself as “protest” differs because the artist does not solely care about the message being conveyed. Rather, the artist cares about whether or not the song is appealing to its audience. When transitioning into the more modern hip hop music, the artist focuses more on the sound and the appearance of the song. Dancing started to be incorporated into hip hop music, and this is one aspect of hip hop music that allows not only a mental image, but a visual image of the artist’s ideas. Music videos also started to come into play during the rise of hip hop music. These kinds of visual images allowed for more impact in which older protest songs could not create.

  7. Haoyue Ma says:

    Although punk music and Hip Hop both are forms of expression in which people address their protesting viewpoints towards politics themes, there are still distinct differences between them. Expressing by chants, verses and rhymes, Hip Hop is quite effective in demonstrating viewpoints towards protest themes to raise public consciousness and unity. But, compared with Hip Hop, punk music tends to express in more violent way. This is accomplished with use of the bass drum and electric guitar. Also, punk music singers always prefer bizarre style in expression; they like wearing garments different with what the society approves.

  8. Will Adams says:

    As a protest song, hip hop has the ability to move its audience according to the beat of the song. Despite pop’s craziness, I feel as if pop lacks rhythm. I feel confused and out of place when I listen to pop because it lacks structure and familiarity. On the other hand, hip hop has a defined form that the audience can easily dance to. With this flow, artists are able to influence audiences by the thousands. Even though pop has the ability to protest a particular subject, hip hop targets multiple matters while bringing its audience together with the energy and feeling of the song.

  9. Tony Huang says:

    Although punk music in the 1960s and hip hop in the 1980s can both be charcterized as protest music, there are a lot of distinct differences between them. Punk music in the 1960s are generally related to politics and were often related to the hot topics at that time. While hip hop is more like an indirect form of protest song. They usually do not have specific things to protest about and are just an expression of the emotions of the young people.

  10. Lyons Li says:

    Comparing to the punk protest music in the 1960s and 1970s, the hip hop songs are less offensive. Protest songs in the 1960s and 1970s usually have themes that are against specific tasks like racism and the Vietnam War. However, the hip hop songs in 1980s focus more on the status of the whole society. For example, they sing about the empty people feel, and gradually growing difference between rich and poor. Beside the lyrics, the forms of music of 1980s’ hip hop songs and 1960s protest songs are quite different too. The protest songs in the 1960s and 1970s they have fluent melodies, such as Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” in 1967. When it comes to the 1980s, hip hop music, especially rap, give away the melody; Instead, rhythms becomes more important. Rap writers write lyrics that jingle and fit well with the rhythm.

  11. Abby says:

    Both 1980s hip hop and 1970s/1960s punk music had elements of counterculture in them. Punk music and hip hop went against mainstream ideals, but both did so in different ways. Punk songs created an atmosphere that went against the traditional values of the 1950s. There was loud background music and suggestive lyrics. More artists began to protest social norms and more people began to go to concerts that dealt with this sort of protest. Through sonic form and substance, the songs were directly opposing the activities that were occurring at the time such as the Vietnam War and John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Hip hop is different from punk songs, because the genre focuses more on the lyrics. While the punk songs used a variety of instruments, hip hop was centered more an creating a lyrical style. Hip hop in the 1980s was about experimenting and creating an original hip hop identity. Hip hop artists did not want to be like the next hip hop artist, which supports the notion that hip hop developed to go against the mainstream.

  12. Aamina Ahmad says:

    The difference between a 1960/70’s protest song and a 1980s gangster rap song is what they protested. Songs in the 1960s and 70s were mostly protesting political matters or major events in the country but in the 1980s, music seemed to protest gender stereotypes. In the 1980’s the emergence of gangster rap brought about a whole different genre of music. This new spin on rap, as Haugen shows this through his examination of female gangster rappers, differed from prior protest music in how it protested what it did. The female rappers discussed by Haugen, although not overtly protesting anything in the lyrics of their songs, were protesting the notion of being “ladylike” just by rapping. By using more profane language and speaking in a harsher tone, these women protested conventionality without outwardly advertising their music as protest music like musicians in the 1960s and 1970s did.

  13. Jen Chung says:

    In the beginning of the semester, we had started out with the discussion of Jerome L. Rodnitzky’s distinction of “protest of form” and “protest of substance.” From the 1960s to the 1970s many protest music had started to shift from being “protest of substance” to “protest of form.” With the introduction to punk music and heavy metal rock, people began to enjoy the loud and rambunctious atmosphere presented by this new generation of protest music rather than deep analysis of meaningful lyrics of slower and quieter tunes.
    In the 1980s, hip hop was first introduced as the new wave of protest music. It differed from the previous generations in that the music itself required little singing, mainly keeping to a specific beat and background music. Unlike punk music, hip hop was not underground music; in fact, it has become so prominent in our country today that it has reformed and redeveloped our culture. The artists of hip hop music now have developed dominance over many social aspects of culture: they are trend-setters in which thousands and thousands of citizens submit to conformity led by hip hop artists. Whereas punk music had the power to merely influence its audience, hip hop has reformed and reshaped the newer generations’ attitude and culture.

  14. Robbie Katz says:

    I feel that the main difference between hip hop protest songs and 1960s/1970s protest songs is the way that they convey their dissent. Many of these early punk songs were directly conveying their problems and not trying to hide what they were protesting. Their ideas were loud and clear through their lyrics. Hip hop however seemed to be more indirect. It relied on beat and rhythm in order to draw their audience and entice them to listen. Once they had their attention hip hop artists were then able to illustrate their protests. Also since there was not much going on in Hip Hop music besides the lyrics and the beats, it forced people to very intricately pay attention to the lyrics of these songs. This allowed the Hip Hop artists to be slightly more indirect in their protest because once the audience broke down the beat, the spotlight was on their lyrics. Lastly, Hip Hop was usually more laid back whereas Punk music was very much more “in your face” type music. These two very different genres speak toward various audiences and get their message of protest across in their own distinct ways.

  15. danmann7 says:

    Songs that don’t overtly label themselves as protest probably do not have a specific event they are protesting, but the lyrics may hint at a more broad protest or rebellion against society, ideas, a government etc. The difference between protest songs in the 60’s and 70’s are shown through folk and punk music. Punk is a lot harsher and direct, not caring about political correctness whatsoever, while folk music a lot gentler and sends a smoother message. Hip-hop can protest without being angry, while anger is just a natural part of punk that it cannot separate itself from.

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