American mainstream culture mythologizes rural life
HipHop as a youth (sub) culture in Germany?
2 Youth and Culture Explanatory Approaches
2.1 The concept of subculture
2.2 Youth sociological considerations
2.3 The subculture research of the "Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies"
2.4 The subculture discussion
2.5 The adoption of the concept of subculture: youth cultures and lifestyles
3 What is hip hop?
3.1 The socio-economic development conditions of hip-hop
3.2 The history of the development of hip hop
3.2.1 The early stages of hip-hop - the old school until 1983
3.2.2 The phase of the politicization of hip-hop - The New School from 1983 to 1985
22.214.171.124 Black nationalism and hip-hop
126.96.36.199 Gangster rap
3.3 Cultural techniques in hip-hop
4 The connection between hip-hop culture and youth gangs
4.1 Preliminary considerations: Parallels in the development history of crews and gangs
4.2 Definition of terms and specifics: youth gangs
4.3 An explanatory approach: the socio-ecological model of the "Chicago School"
4.4 Background of the development of gait formations in Germany
4.5 Ethnic gangs in Germany
4.6 Excursus: girls and gangs
4.7 A comparison: gait and youth culture
4.8 The group structure in hip hop
5 The subcultural style in hip hop using the example of clothing and language
5.1 Hip-hop clothing
5.1.1 The style formation process using the example of hip-hop clothing
5.1.2 On the internal meaning of style
5.2 Hidden Resistance- Signifying Rappers
5.2.1 The Signifyin (g) concept
5.2.2 Subversive messages in rap
6 Digression: Gender and HipHop
6.1 Women and youth culture
6.2 The problem: the gender relationship in the black communities
6.3 Rap as dialogue: women's rap - men's rap
6.4 The image of women in hip-hop
6.5 The image of men in hip-hop
6.5.1 The charge of sexism
6.5.2 Homophobia and HipHop
6.5.3 An example of staged masculinity in a boy's gang
188.8.131.52 Group constitution and masculinity
184.108.40.206 "Male" insulting rituals
7 Structural disadvantages of “foreign” young people in Germany
7.1 Life plans of young people in Germany
7.1.1 Research Trends: Identity Crisis and Cultural Conflict
7.1.2 Legal Status
7.1.3 School education and future career plans
7.1.4 Leisure activities
7.1.5 Domestic environment and parenting relationship
7.1.6 Private life planning - marriage and family formation
7.2 Formation of groups of “foreign” young people in Germany
7.2.1 HipHop as a forum
7.2.2 The importance of national symbolism
7.2.3 Your own speaking style: "Kanak Sprak"
8 HipHop youth in Germany
8.1 The first young hip-hop activists in Germany
8.2 Selling out a youth culture
8.3 The ethnic segmentation of hip-hop
8.4 Fascination “Ghetto” - The Danger of Aestheticization
9 Empirical Studies
9.1 Identity construction in hip hop
9.1.2 Theoretical preliminary considerations
9.1.3 The concept of culture in hip-hop
9.1.4 Individual identity construction - the concept "style"
9.1.5 Group identity
220.127.116.11 The concept of "realness"
18.104.22.168 Commercialization - HipHop and "Sell Out"
9.1.6 Representation strategies in hip-hop "represent"
9.2 German-Turkish hip-hop youth
9.2.2 Theoretical preliminary considerations
9.2.3 The parent generation, migrant and minority strategy
9.2.4 Living worlds of the German-Turkish hip-hop youth
9.2.5 Kreuzberg "diasporic space"
9.2.6 Cultural nationalism
9.2.7 Leisure culture - particular and universal constituents
9.2.8 German-Turkish young people of the middle class
9.2.9 Examples of German-Turkish rap formations
22.214.171.124 Cultural nationalism - rap
126.96.36.199 Universalist political rap
188.8.131.52 "Turkish" gangster rap
184.108.40.206 "Turkish" women's rap
9.3 Final consideration 206
10.2 Suggestions for youth work
On German streets and other youth-cultural scenes in urban conurbations of large cities like Berlin, one discovers an apparently prevalent youth-cultural style with a socio-phenomenological curiosity about everyday life. Wearing XXL trousers, open sneakers, baseball shirts and gold chains, it is mainly male youths who meet on street corners, whose sometimes threatening appearance arouses associations with media reports on American urban ghettos. Graffiti has also become part of the normal cityscape in Germany.
HipHop is referred to as the great “asphalt culture” of young people (Henkel, 1996), which had its commercial breakthrough in Germany in the last decade. Since then, there have been hip-hop programs on the major music channels (e.g. "Mixery Raw Deluxe", VIVA), which report on this culture and explain the rules of the game to interested parties, as a matter of course. The demand for and supply of rap or breakdance courses seems to be just as great in youth centers. If you listen carefully to some of the rappers' texts, it seems that there is a potential for renewing society and a moment of resistance. It is noticeable that especially young people who belong to the so-called second or third generation of migrants in Germany are interested in hip-hop. But despite its presence, which we encounter every day, there seems to be a great need for explanation with regard to this youth cultural phenomenon. HipHop is a culture that has numerous legends and the style of which is often parodied. Hip-hop is very difficult to understand for outsiders. I have set myself the task of unraveling the mystery of hip-hop youth culture and getting rid of its stigmatization, at least in the context of my work.
Hip hop is not to be used interchangeably with rap music. HipHop is the generic term for a more comprehensive cultural complex that consists of the constituents rap, graffiti and breakdance and encompasses the entire cultural environment such as specific fashion, style, attitudes and ideologies. However, rap in particular has enormous potential for self-reflection. Rap is often referred to as "message music" (Farin, 2001: 134), because "There has never been so much text per unit of time" (Jacob, 1993: 183). Jacob defines rap as "Enjoyment of communication, endless talking and arguing", which can be explained by the fact that there is obviously "there is a social must, a need for self-enlightenment. And the conviction that discourses can help " (ibid). The origins of hip-hop are in the US metropolitan ghettos of the 1970s, the "Experience of the Lower Class Blacks " and "socially grounded in the social milieu of the Black Community, which is held together by external racism " to be located (ibid). Hip-hop culture in Germany has come under pressure to justify itself in the face of the accusation of being “ready-made clichés” or “outflow of marketing strategies” (Jahnke, 1994: 189). Critics doubt the credibility of the existence of such a culture in Germany, since the social-structural background of the Federal Republic of Germany is different from that of the US metropolises.
The question is whether or to what extent hip-hop in Germany can be understood as a youthful fashion or consumer style, or whether hip-hop in Germany can be described more as a youthful subculture. The focus of my work is on young migrant children who invented these cultural techniques in the USA in the 1970s and who also pioneered these impulses in Germany and worked on them further. HipHop originally emerged relatively autonomously within a locally limited area. The breeding ground on which this culture developed was, as Rose (1994) describes it, the social tensions and contradictions resulting from fundamental processes of social upheaval. Changes in urban politics, which led to the ghettoization of urban districts, play a decisive role here. For the young people living in exile, hip-hop represented a kind of resistance culture within which they asserted their right to expression and processes of displacement and appropriation played a role. Because of this, it seems reasonable to assume that hip-hop culture represents a group-oriented strategy for young people who are in a socially marginal position in order to be able to deal with socio-economic restrictions. In order to be able to check this assumption, it must first be clarified to what extent a connection between the social background of a young person and his / her hip-hop activities in Germany can be assumed. Is hip hop a culture of the marginalized in Germany as well, as it was originally traded as the “black culture of the American urban ghettos”? Can such a culture even appear credible in Germany or are ready-made styles and cultural techniques adopted without reflection? Or can the rap texts rather show how young people, especially the second generation of migrants, live in Germany and what obstacles the German majority society poses to their life plans?
In the first chapter, controversial approaches to explaining youth groups are traced in order to be able to grasp more precisely what they are. First, there is a historical look back at the beginnings of the subculture concept, which began in the gang studies of the interactionist and socio-ecological “Chicago School” of the twenties, thirties and forties, which focused on the investigation of juvenile delinquency. The work of the Birmingham “Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies” (CCCS) had a decisive influence on subculture research in the Federal Republic of Germany, which is why this point is followed by an outline of the class-cultural and milieu-specific approach of the CCCS, which focuses on style formation and transformation processes of research interest grew. This contrasts with more recent approaches, which make the assumption that the subculture theorem should be replaced in favor of a new youth culture concept due to the increasing pluralization of forms of life and differentiation of youth cultural groups, as well as the individualization of networked relationships. Accordingly, youth cultural phenomena have largely detached themselves from their original territorial, historical and class-specific contexts (Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988, 1995). Vollbrecht (1995) advocates a lifestyle approach that emphasizes individual lifestyle choices against the background of the plurality of freely selectable design options.
The following chapter aims to determine what hip-hop means, which cultural techniques are practiced under this generic term and how these have developed. The origins of the cultural techniques of hip hop are traced back in literature to the West African cultural traditions of the griots. Even if hip-hop was decisively influenced by various cultural currents and forms, the cultural form of hip-hop only developed in the form of a youth movement in the Bronx, New York in the 1970s. Possible cultural roots of hip-hop should be mentioned in the present work, but the interest is primarily in the development history, as it was influenced and promoted by young people.
A historical review of the American beginnings of hip-hop is necessary in order to determine, taking into account the historical social background, how the motivation of young people is justified to invent the cultural techniques of hip-hop and which functions they fulfill. The writing of history seems difficult insofar as the one to be described developed unnoticed by the outside world in the local reference area of the ghetto. Three DJ veterans of HipHop, Kool DJ Herc, Africa Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash, claim to be able to tell the story of HipHop alone, because "the only way you gonna hear the real historical views on it is by the people who were actually there- who actually took it from nothing and build into whatever it became to be. ” The development of the essential DJ techniques and the ideological embedding goes back to these DJ legends, which is why the writing of history runs essentially along the representation of their achievements.
Without an understanding of American hip-hop culture, the one that has been establishing itself in Germany since the 1980s would not be understandable. At this point it should be outlined how the originally local youth subculture found its beginnings in Germany. The aim here is to trace the development of hip-hop techniques both in the former GDR and in the old FRG.
The hip-hop culture in the USA as well as in Germany seems to have its roots in youthful gait movements. Therefore I would like to try in Chapter 4 to trace the connections between hip-hop culture and gangs, with special consideration of the differences between Germany and the USA. This chapter is strongly influenced by a socio-ecological approach.
As the work of the CCCS is intended to demonstrate, adolescent subcultures can be described using a certain cultural style as an essential reference system. By decoding the characters used, conclusions can be drawn about the attitudes and values of individual subcultures. The importance of style will be illustrated in Chapter 5 using clothing as an essential stylistic device of youth groups. Language represents another main component of subcultural styles. Based on analyzes of some rap texts (Zips, 1996) and the specific speaking style presented here, the question of resistance in hip-hop is investigated, as the conscious opposition to the dominant culture is a main characteristic according to sociological views through which members of a subculture identify.
Not only rapping but the entire hip-hop culture is geared towards competition and seems to meet the needs of men. Gangsta rap in particular, with its emphatically male habitus, provokes feminist criticism of the supposedly sexist texts. The question inevitably arises as to which position women occupy in hip-hop, the role of which will be explained in the following chapter. With the help of the authors Glowania and Heil (1996), the specifically female cultural processing of experiences of social exclusion can be traced on the basis of the description of the social position of women and the relationship between the sexes in the "black communities" and the roles hip-hop for women can be worked out provides. The position of girls in youth cultures has so far received little attention in connection with youth culture currents in the relevant literature. The problem of the gender relationship requires more extensive investigations and attention than is done in the present work. However, we should not dispense with a sketch of this topic in order to draw attention to the necessity and self-evident fact that it should be taken into account.
Afterwards, the image of men in hip-hop, which is attached to the problem of sexism and allegations of homophobia, is examined more closely. Based on the study “Turkish Power Boys” by Tertilt (1996), the staging of “masculinity” in a youthful gang is to be shown, as it plays a similar role in hip-hop. This is illustrated by the “male” insulting rituals carried out within the group, which show parallels to “rapping”.
In the following chapter 7, a special focus on the formation of groups of young people from abroad is formed, which has proven to be necessary due to the explanations given up to then about the history of hip hop both in the USA and in Germany. Against the background of a brief sketch of the living situation of young people in Germany in a nationality-specific comparison, the following presentation of motivational reasons for young activists to join this culture can be interpreted in terms of a possible connection between social conditions and preferences for street culture. By tracing the spread of specific cultural hip-hop techniques in Germany, the dilemma between maintaining authenticity and commercializing a youth culture is to be illustrated in particular.
The second part of this thesis includes the more extensive occupation with two studies. The study by Menrath (2001) focuses on the problem of identity construction in hip-hop.Menrath sees young people as cultural actors, identity in hip-hop as the product of a performance practice. The central question is how young people take control of the construction of social and cultural identity and to what extent they use it in an affirmative or progressive manner. In this context Menrath tries to find out how resistance potentials in hip-hop are assessed by hip-hoppers themselves. What is interesting is the breakdown of specific concepts such as “realness”, “style” and “represent”, which are used as instructions for action with corresponding complementary control bodies in hip-hop to construct social and cultural identity. Menrath examines the construction of identity on three levels, which correspond to the three concepts mentioned, i.e. it considers both the individual self-staging, the collective identity construction, and the identity-political appearance to the outside world. Menrath's remarks are particularly helpful with regard to the question of the extent to which an impending loss of authenticity plays a role internally in hip-hop and which strategies young hip-hop activists develop in order to preserve their cultural identity.
Kaya examines the Turkish hip-hop youth in their living space Berlin-Kreuzberg, which he calls diasporic urban space portrayed. The presentation of the field study by Kaya corresponds to the claim of the present work to focus on "foreign" young people living in Germany in the hip-hop context. As part of his study “Safe in Kreuzberg. Constructing Diasporas. Turkish HipHop youth in Berlin “(2001) to examine processes of cultural articulation and construction of identity of a German-Turkish group of working-class male youth living in the diaspora. Kaya's hypothesis is that with hip-hop, these young people have developed a strategy that enables them to deal with the discrimination and exclusion that they are confronted with as migrants of the so-called second or third generation in Germany. The author distances himself from research that is guided by an idea of assimilation and that certifies that foreign young people have identity problems due to cultural conflicts. Rather, he looks at the creative and constructive parts that characterize young people as cultural bricolors.
Dealing with German hip-hop culture initially turned out to be problematic in view of the sparse literature on this topic. Little attention has been paid to German hip-hop youth in the academic world so far. The history, ideologies and techniques of hip-hop culture have so far been explained and processed mainly by committed supporters. Since then, numerous popular magazines have also established themselves in Germany that offer rap artists a forum.
The most extensive and meticulous documentation in hip-hop history is David Toop's “Rap Attack” (1992), first published in 1984. Toop tells the history of HipHop by repeatedly establishing connections between the street techniques of HipHop and African cultures. Tricia Rose, lecturer in African studies at the University of New York, has presented an extensive analysis of cultural practices with “Black Noise” (1994). Ulf Poschardt (1995) and David Dufresne (1997) have added numerous details. HipHop has its roots in the USA, which is why most of the works are devoted to developments in the USA. The sparse inventory of scientific publications dealing with hip-hop culture in Germany is mainly based on treatises by Jacob (1993 and others), Fuchs (1996) and Farin (2001 and others). Henkel and Wolff (1996) described and analyzed the rituals of the Berlin hip-hop scene from an ethnographic point of view.
My work takes into account both academic and popular contributions that deal with this youth cultural phenomenon. The hip-hop culture was created and further developed by young people who were self-taught, which is why the hip-hop culture is intended to "have a say" in this work. Verlan and Loh have published a collection of personal stories by HipHops about their attitudes and experiences under the title “20 Years of HipHop in Germany” (2000). Krekow and Steiner (2000) similarly represent interviews, conversations and texts by activists from the scene that convey self-image and a high degree of self-reflection. Both collections have been found to be helpful for this work.
2 Youth and Culture Explanatory Approaches
Today's youth cultures seem to be more and more difficult to grasp, because the mixings, variations and diverse differentiations of the last 25 years no longer result in a uniform overall picture of young people's everyday life. Members of older generations seem to be resigned to the “youth culture labyrinth”, although this is precisely the key to dialogue with young people. Because with the help of the cultural means of expression and style as a core segment of cultural youthful practice, one can decipher which central attitudes youthful cultures have. The youth research endeavors to offer an orientation for the youth cultural biodiversity by means of scenic individual portraits. The difficulty of dealing with adolescent forms of culture initially necessitates a definition of this object area, whereby the term subculture is first considered more closely.
2.1 The concept of subculture
The sociological understanding of culture as the "totality of material and ideal productions, internalized values and meanings as well as institutionalized ways of life of people" (Klein, 1986; quoted from: Hellmann et al., 1995: 2)2 replaces an understanding of culture in the sense of “high culture” that was still widespread in the Weimar period and which was still widespread among the educated bourgeoisie with an approach that takes into account the plurality of social parts and subcultures and the heterogeneity of culture. Against this background, the examination of everyday culture, folk culture and popular culture is upgraded. The term subculture is often used synonymously with the terms alternative or counterculture, which have militant connotations. Accordingly, the term subculture is understood as a complementary term to the dominant culture. With the use of the term subculture, the term culture is politically charged and refers to a reference to social movements. Thus, on the level of culture, the power relationship between subversive forces and hegemony is called into question (cf. ibid.).
In the social science debate, it has so far not been possible to agree on a generally binding definition of the theoretical construct of subculture. (Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988: 292f). Attempts to specify and operationalize the concept quickly reach their limits due to the heterogeneous usage (Sack, 1971: 261). The term is therefore not a closed term, "depending on how this conception is expanded or narrowed, the spectrum of recorded phenomena and appearances changes" (Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988: 294).
The wide-ranging subculture discussion due to the open scope for definition attributes divergent social functions to youth subcultures. The sociological and pedagogical debate, however, is united by the common explanatory approach of explaining youth subcultures from external structural references, i.e. from the overall social structure. Youth (sub) cultures are understood as resistance movements or withdrawal movements, as a special form of deviant behavior, as a catalyst or seismograph of overall social problems, as "spearheads of social change" (Clarke, 1979: 229), i.e. as a society-changing potential (Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988: 292).
Viewed historically, the idea and concept of "subculture" was brought into the scientific discussion by Anglo-American sociology and cultural anthropology of the 1940s and referred "explicitly to ethnic groups in the USA, to Italian immigrants, for example, as well as to the black population in general" (Lindner, 1997: 5; quoted from Farin, 2001: 58)3. As a result of the waves of immigration in the USA, Canada and also in German metropolitan areas, new everyday cultures emerged4that differ from the majority society through a specific family and socio-structural infrastructure. A historical review of subculture research shows that this has its origins in studies of the milieus that arose in the course of workers' immigration. Subculture research thus began with the participatory observation-based milieu and gang studies of delinquent youthful behavior of the interactionist and socio-ecological “Chicago School of Sociology” of the 1920s and 1930s. The Gang study by Trasher (1927) achieved particular popularity.5 about the formation of gangs in Chicago in the twenties and, on the other hand, Whyte's “Street Corner Society” (1955). The “Chicago School” drew attention to the fact that the behavior of young gangs directed against the dominance of the hegemonic culture, whose way of life and life in the slums should not be confused with “random anarchy”, but “that it is his follows its own laws, which sometimes require a more rigorous and relentless discipline from its members than the laws of the dominant culture ”(Sack, 1971: 271). The claim to universally valid norms and values beyond social differences was relativized by considering gang life detached from the middle class-specific system of rules. Behaviors that differed from those of the middle class became “delinquency”. Deviating behavior was thus conceived as conforming to the cultural traditions of the lower classes (cf. Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988: 294). The focus of the “Chicago School” on juvenile delinquency and deviant behavior among young people set the trend for subsequent work in subculture research. The criminal-sociological application of the subculture concept to delinquent youth gangs was expanded in youth research and found its transfer to youth groups of various orientations.
Parsons brought in 19426 for the first time the concept of a “youth culture” distinct from “adult culture” with specific “patterns and behaviors” that are oppositional to adult culture (cf. Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988: 296). In doing so, Parsons developed a dichotomized approach to adult and youth culture, which implies the generational conflict theorem, which is central to youth sociology.
2.2 Youth sociological considerations
Following the structural-functionalist theory of Parsons (1942), Eisenstadt sees the development of relatively open, age-homogeneous youth groups, mostly withdrawn from adult control, as being based on the differentiation of functions in universalist industrial societies. Eisenstadt shows in “From Generation to Generation” (1956) that the influence of social institutions on people in modern societies has changed its meaning. Groups of heterogeneous ages, such as the family, are increasingly losing authority with regard to the initiation of adolescents into the adult world. Although the family remains a fundamental socialization instance, it represents an incomplete “curriculum” because central areas of life are structurally separated from the family. According to Parsons, the youth phase of life is “located at the highest point of tension between the two central value systems of family and work” (Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1995: 38). According to Parsons, the increased length of stay in the education system in modern industrial societies leads to "structural irresponsibility" or a moratorium between youth and adult status, in which age-homogeneous groups are formed, to which Eisenstadt (1966)7 Among other things, spontaneous group formation counts. As a result of the structural dilemma existing in complex, universally organized societies between primary and secondary areas of socialization, the development of a youth culture that is decoupled from the adult world is assumed. From a sociological point of view, the “youth culture” has complementary or integration-related social sub-functions. According to Parsons and Eisenstadt, the young groups have in the connecting area or in the "interlinking sphere"8 young people have the latent task of mediating between traditional and modern value systems. On the one hand, groups of the same age make it easier for their members to break away from their family of origin; on the other hand, they convey future professional dimensions of action. Baacke describes peer groups that “open up new fields of action and enable the acquisition of universalistic standards, but without being based on deep ties, as is typical for the family” (Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988: 15), from a structurally functionalist perspective due to their preparatory character for professional life and the intimate relationships that are maintained at the same time within the peer group, as “buffer zones” (Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1995: 38f). Peer groups can be described as socially functional, as they are necessary for a successful socialization process in modern societies. However, as Baacke and Ferchhoff (ibid., 39) criticize, Parsons and Eisenstadt's concept of youth (sub) cultures is not differentiated enough, as it is essentially tailored to the male white youth of the American middle class after the Second World War.
Tenbruck (1962)9 brought with his work "Youth and Society" the thesis of a youthful subculture of Bell (1961)11 (synonymous with “youth culture”, counterculture, peer groups) in the youth sociological debate in the Federal Republic. Bell (1967) defines age-homogeneous groups following Sutherland et al. (1952)10 as follows:
“By subcultures we understand ´relatively coherent cultural systems that represent a world of their own within the overall system of our national culture´. Such subcultures develop structural and functional peculiarities that distinguish their members to a certain extent from the rest of society " (Bell, 1961: 83; quoted from: Baacke, 1987: 87).
Baacke tries to define Bell's relatively abstract definition more precisely: Relatively coherent In Bell's sense, subcultures are, as Baacke explains, "because they are not closed in terms of space and time, but rather break-ins of societal institutions with their demands repeatedly take place" (Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988: 300) . A subculture is only to be understood as a sub-area of "age-homogeneous certain leisure activities" that are limited to the afternoon or evening or to the holidays and are not independent of external influences. Since there are emotional ties to people and dependencies outside of the “age-homogeneous certain leisure activities” sub-area, autonomy or World of its own in relation to a youthful subculture. Youth cultures are usually related to leisure time and thus remain limited to the cultural level, since the young people remain integrated into society as a whole economically but also in terms of school and training, which is why they are considered by Bell as cultural systems are designated. For example, “only certain behaviors that are usually viewed as temporary in their own areas of experience and experience” are subculturally formed and not the basis of the existence of young people (Baacke, 1987: 88).12 The “structural and functional peculiarities” of youthful subcultures are often perceived as a result of the youth's difficulties in adapting. The subculture is understood as a kind of self-help reaction of the youth, which encompasses an extended period of time in which own values and thus social identity for the role of the adult are acquired: "One should understand that the youthful subculture corresponds to a development phase through which the youth goes through and out of which he outgrows" (Bell, 1967: 83-86; quoted in Baacke, 1987: 88).
The generational paradigm for the interpretation of youth-specific phenomena was abandoned in the 1970s in favor of a class or stratum-specific paradigm. In the course of this, the term subculture acquired the meaning of a socially innovative movement. Youth phenomena were no longer generation-specific subcultures, but were interpreted in the sense of a subculture that renewed society and thus came into a political perspective.Part of this new way of looking at things in the German debate was the youth subcultural insights of the Birmingham School, which used a class-theoretical concept of youth culture to draw attention to the young people of the working class and with a focus on everyday cultural life practices developed a differentiated analysis tool for the interpretation of youthful life patterns.
2.3 The subculture research of the "Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies"
The Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS), founded in 1964 at the University of Birmingham, has decisively shaped subculture theory for the next few decades. The Birmingham School focused its work on the English proletarian youth of the post-war period. The CCCS analyzed the relationship between youth and class more strongly in Marxist categories, drawing on the concept of ideology and cultural hegemony13 by Gramsci (1967)14 back, which stands in the tradition of culturalist Marxism (Brake, 1981: 77). The Birmingham School therefore worked with a class theoretical concept of culture, which is defined as “the level at which social groups develop independent forms of life and give expression to their social and material life experiences” (Clarke, 1979: 40). Culture contains the “map of meaning”, which makes things in one's own environment understandable and is objectified in relationships, interpretations, customs and valuation categories through which the individual finds access to society (Clarke, 1979: 41). Raymond Williams (1976)15, one of the “spiritual mentors of the CCCS”, introduced this new understanding of the concept of culture into the humanities debate, according to which culture “is not restricted to ideal-imaginative, artistic-aesthetic phenomena, but rather in the sense of the cultural and social anthropological conception as ´the entire way of life of a group is understood (Williams, 1976: 50; quoted from: Lindner, 1979: 8).
Lindner sees the first novel theoretical progress that the CCCS has achieved within subculture research in the dissolution of the "false dichotomy" of generation and class with the introduction of a youth term that describes the class cultural anchoring of youth cultures as "generation-specific Subsystems class specific "Parent cultures" "implies (ibid., 10). Lindner recognizes a second advance in the embedding of youthful subcultures in the social network of relationships between hierarchical “class cultures” (cf. ibid.).
The primary goal of the CCCS was to relate the youthful subculture to three cultural structures, the “parent culture”, “mass culture” and “dominant culture”. Subcultures are defined as “subsystems - smaller, more localized and differentiated structures within one of the two larger cultural networks” (bourgeois and proletarian) (Clarke, 1979: 45). Youth cultures are therefore to be understood as sub-units of a class culture base culture. They arise from this and remain interwoven with it. Youth subcultures must also have their own structure and form in order to be considered subculture to be able to recognize their core culture. At the same time, the youthful subculture must have something essential in common with the parent culture in order to be identifiable as a part of it (cf. Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988: 309; Clarke, 1979: 45f). Subcultures acquire a coherent identity and shape that is distinct from the parent culture, centering around “certain activities and values, around certain forms of use of material artefacts, territorial spaces, etc.”, so-called “crystallization points” (Clarke, 1979: 46). The decisive factor is the relationship between the dominant culture and the specific class culture. This in turn is differentiated into parent culture, i.e. the parent culture of the parents and the associated youth culture as a generation-specific processing of the cultural heritage (cf. Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988: 309). Youth subcultures articulate themselves twice within the framework of the network of relationships, in relation to their parent culture and via this - "as if broken by a prism" - to the dominant culture (cf. Lindner, 1979: 11). They can therefore neither be interpreted as a reaction to the dominant culture nor as an independent cultural structure (cf. ibid.).
Social structural changes in the post-war development caused a fragmentation and polarization of the working-class culture. Adolescent subcultures were assigned the latent function of "expressing the inherent contradictions of the parent culture openly" (Brake, 1981: 79), and of offering "magically solutions" to class contradictions (Hebdige, 1979: 71) . Clarke explains that this hides a sham solution, because the attempts to find solutions to these contradictions are not located on the same level at which “the contradictions themselves really arise, so that the solution developed does not represent a real alternative that potentially opposes itself the hegemony would judge “ (Clarke, 1979: 155).
The subcultures offer especially the male youth of the working class "a strategy to cope with their collective existence" (Clarke, 1979: 95). The attempt at the “subcultural solution”, as it was located on the symbolic level, “was doomed to failure”. Using the imaginary solution to their class problem, “the gaps and discrepancies between real negotiations and symbolically shifted solutions are reproduced” (ibid.).16 The subcultural solution is partial, limited to the area of leisure. Accordingly, the questioning of hegemony remains immanent. Clarke postulates an "escape to leisure" which is viewed as an important area of "relative class freedom". This restriction to one area of leisure rather means the suppression in the form of a “purely magical transcendence” of the other areas of work and family, in which the contradictions arise (Clarke, 1979: 154). Increases in the importance of leisure time, activities and consumption by young people form a “generation consciousness” that is pronounced in those young people who show “upward and outward mobility out of the class”, as a result of which the young people change their own core culture in favor of the dominant culture as it were reveals (Clarke, 1979: 100f). Here is a difference between the Subcultures the working class and the Countercultures the middle class worked out. The countercultures of the middle class, such as the hippie movement, characterize the attempt to test alternatives to the institutions of the dominant culture in new forms of work, family life and the way of life. In contrast, subcultures fail to bring about structural changes or provide young people with career prospects (cf. ibid.). The differentiation of the different youth cultures is made on the basis of style interpretation patterns.
At this point, the process of style creation becomes central, which Clarke and Levi-Strauss' (1969)17 The term bricolage (tinkering) is more precisely defined as “rearrangement and recontextualization of objects in order to communicate new meanings within an overall system of meanings that already contains primarily sedimented meanings attached to used objects” (Clarke, 1979: 136). Hebdige (1979)18 analyzes subcultural styles with regard to their potential to express resistance, i.e. their cultural "challenge to hegemony" (Hebdige, 1983: 22). The central form of discourse through which the subcultural bricolor communicates his message is fashion. Objects are selected from an already existing raw material and placed in a new overall context so that a new meaning is conveyed. It is crucial that the objects not only exist, but also already "contain meanings that are organized in such a coherent system that the way in which they are rearranged and transformed can also be understood as a transformation" (Clarke, 1979 : 137). A transformation or a shift in meaning can take place because goods are already given meanings. The creation of style takes place via the selection of objects from a “matrix of the existing” and the “translation of the given into a new context and its adaptation” (ibid., 138). The objects are for sale goods that are financially accessible to the subcultural bricoleur.
In order to make the attractiveness of a certain subculture style understandable for a specific youth group, i.e. to be able to answer the question why certain objects are selected by a group and others not, the CCCS crosses the concept of homology with that of bricolage. The term “homology” denotes a structural correspondence between the values and interests of a group and the symbolic objects it prefers (cf. Hebdige, 1983: 105). The selected objects are not simply used somehow in a collector's manner, but a style draws its specific symbolic quality from the arrangement of all elements in an ensemble, which objectifies the self-image of the group (cf. ibid, 141). Style exists as an overall symbolic system (cf. ibid, 140). Young people arrange things in “their” place of subcultural life, they transform the prescribed uses of things and make them symbols of their expression of life. The stylistic core of the subcultural bricolage is located in the expression on the values of the dominant culture (cf. ibid, 138).
The culture industry absorbs the style elements of the countercultures or subcultures, which thus become mass culture. The researchers of the Birmingham School describe the process of devaluation to consumption style with the steps of outbreak, spread, extinction and reintegration, through which the cultural outbreak attempts are neutralized (Clarke, 1981: 147). Clarke already pointed to the role of the media in spreading subcultural styles. The news media exploit a group's style to create their own "symbolic communication" through it. Such media reports can expand the “cultural space” by offering “geographically dispersed groups” the opportunity to read potential connections between their own activities and the style of a group from the already “double-layered symbolic representation” of the media-mediated, originally subcultural style. Through selective restructuring and re-appropriation, the style varied in this way is declared to be one's own lifestyle (Clarke, 1979: 148f). A style is dissolved, according to Clarke, in that its “symbolic element (s) lose their initially integral relationship to a specific life context” of a group (ibid, 149). In particular, those elements are emphasized that allow marketing on a broad basis, others are neglected (cf. ibid, 152). The "commercial defusing" of a subcultural style requires the definition of a generation-specific youth market, which no longer reveals the connection to a class. This idea of a specifically young market corresponds to the assumption of a “gap between the generations” and the growing purchasing power of young people. In this way, classless, open, generalized variations of originally subcultural styles emerge, the objects of which are defined as "youthful" (cf. ibid. 152f).
In the ethnological orientation of the CCCS, culture is understood as something comprehensive and encompassing all everyday forms of self-expression. In this respect, in the youth subcultures, the function of everyday cultural creativity as a self- and meaning-finding practice of young people is revealed, just as the aspect of survival support and the expression of resistance are recognized as central (cf. Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988: 312).
2.4 The subculture discussion
With his “Theory of a Subculture” (first edition 1973), Schwendter presented an independent contribution to the subculture discussion. In connection with the countercultural currents of the student movements in the Federal Republic of the 1960s, he created a subculture typology in the form of a stratification model19 shows the diversity of subcultures and offers a certain conceptual categorization of subcultures despite their complexity. According to Schwendter, subcultures are not to be understood as a subdivision of capitalist societies, as is customary in colloquial usage, but as subcultures that refer to the majority culture in deviation from it and its dominant values and norms. Schwendter defines subculture as
"A part of a concrete society that differs in its institutions, customs, tools, norms, value systems, preferences, needs etc. to a significant extent from the ruling institutions etc. of the respective society as a whole" (Schwendter, 1993: 10).
In contrast to the CCCS, Schwendter refers in his “Theory of Subculture” to “experiences of a disparate alliance of metropolitan subcultures, which have long been based on a Milky Way of class currents, but not on a parent culture” (Schwendter, 1993: 421f). However, Schwendter essentially retains the differentiation between a ruling class and a ruled class based on the model of the CCCS. In doing so, he moves away from a concept of the homogeneity of the subcultural context, but sticks to the political charge and hegemony-theoretical embedding of the concept. Schwendter confirmed his concept again in 1993, despite the criticism that the premises made here are now out of date. Schwendter's model can be seen as a complementary contribution to cultural theories that place subcultures solely in the context of social control and deviation.
The research results in Great Britain cannot simply be transferred to the situation in Germany. In the Federal Republic of the 1990s, clear class-specific differentiations, which would make a “structural polarization” of hegemonic culture and workers' subculture verifiable as in Great Britain, are not possible. Ferchhoff and Baacke postulate that subcultures and youth cultures in universally organized societies cannot be described as the result of class-specific socializations (cf. Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988: 315ff; Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1995: 40ff). Accordingly, a clear correspondence between class, stratum or milieu cultures and youth subcultural styles cannot be established. In addition, the youth cultural styles observed here did not emerge authentically. In the German area, according to Baacke, one cannot speak of authentic or “real” youth subcultures like in Great Britain and the USA, which could hardly be detached from their milieu-specific and historical context. Baacke names the hippies, mods and youngsters as examples. The observation that historical youth subcultures have survived in the form of imitations and revivals to this day, suggests that these are "dissolved", fake fashion styles "," from the context of which only a few elements and accessories (clothing, Dance, music, hairstyles, forms of language, body gestures, finger signs etc.) remain ”(Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988: 313). Commercialization, imitations and intermingling make a class-specific assignment of the as "Exported, secondary, incorporated" writable styles not possible (ibid).
Baacke and Ferchhoff question the analytical value of the subculture concept for social structures in differentiated industrial and service societies, in which one can hardly assume a uniform dominant culture. The authors therefore advocate speaking of youth cultures without an emphatic “sub”. Overall, the designation as “subculture” has a stigmatizing effect and suggests that this is an illegitimate part of society, the value of which represents a “lower” segment of the supposedly “high culture” (cf. Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988: 315).
Baacke further argues that the term subculture suggests that these are subsegments of society that must be precisely differentiated. However, since there is an abundance of transitions to the overall culture and, in addition, the demand for equal legitimacy, it makes sense to replace the term “subculture”. On the basis of the tendency to depoliticize the concept of subculture, the clear difference between an authentic or primary youthful subculture “from below” and the fashion subcultures conveyed by the cultural industry and the mass media “from above” seems to be blurring (cf. ibid; Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1995: 41). It is assumed that an authentic life practice of a youthful subculture is no longer given due to the erosion of traditional living environments and the influence of the culture industry (cf. ibid, 42).The boundaries between mainstream and subculture have become fluid and the dividing lines between youth cultures and overall culture have become blurred. The overall culture assimilates elements of youth culture, as Tenbruck already described in the 1960s with the expression “puerilism of the overall cultures”, as a result of which the youthful subculture in a certain sense becomes the “dominant subculture” (cf. Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988: 301 ).
In addition, subcultures cannot be precisely localized, e.g. in a basic political attitude or class, as many subculture theories assume. The current youthful subcultural currents are not “clear sub-aggregates” of individual societies, but “cultural style variations and groupings that spread internationally and act out very different forms of self-assertion, independence and dependency under the same appearance” (ibid., 315f).
It is also not generally true of all subcultures that they are independent and try to build an alternative network. The independence of cultural systems, which Bell identified as a criterion for defining subcultures, is still valid today. It manifests itself in a fundamental participation in sexuality, consumption, leisure, fashion, etc. (cf. Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988: 316f). “Cultural” does not mean a “superstructure phenomenon”, but rather a specific habitus that can be used to best understand youth cultural phenomena. Youth cultures do not generally change society, but young people can change in them. Baacke postulates that youth cultures are to be understood as transitory, i.e. although they represent a vital socialization instance for young people, they do not guarantee continuity of development (cf. ibid., 317).
2.5 The adoption of the concept of subculture: youth cultures and lifestyles
In view of socio-structural changes and the pluralization of social lifeworlds, the concept of subculture, which dominated until the 1970s, has been in question since the late 1980s and tends to be placed on an equal footing with the adult culture that used to be compulsory for society as a whole (Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1995: 34; Sander, 1995: 39). The change of term is intended to signal the fragility of “class-structural and class-cultural traditions and homogenizations”. The concept of youth culture20 on the other hand, characterizes the “totality of the images and interpretations synthetically produced in the culture industry and the aesthetics of goods about a (supposedly!) classless young person and his or her behavioral orientation” (cf. Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1995: 42).
The authors assume a decoupling of youth cultures in today's modern societies from their milieu of origin, which pre-structured a young person's chances of access to earlier youth cultures (Baacke, 1987: 22). Instead, young people today have a range of different recreational scenes at their disposal, in which participation is not just a question of origin, i.e. youth cultures develop into scenes with specific lifestyles that are characterized by the experience of intensity and action outside of institutionally established contexts when they are disconnected from their respective milieu of origin are. In this context, Baacke speaks of "detachment", which means that "the youth styles, which are initially linked to historical periods of time, territories and social origins, all 'lift off' from their origins and thus become a scene (...)" (ibid., 69).
The concept of the scene21 implies a socio-ecological quality which “relates to the possibility of self-portrayal and the action-packed experience content” (Vollbrecht, 1995: 34). Vollbrecht postulates that, depending on the degree of stylization and commitment intensity, youth cultures can be subdivided into periphery and center. Only a small minority in each case explicitly locates itself at the center of a youth culture. The scene itself accomplishes the differentiation, whereby the transitions are fluid. It is precisely the "border crossers" who work as "part-time stylists", i.e. restrict youth culture stylizations to the leisure area and differentiate them from action requirements and value priorities in other subsystems of society, such as work or school (Vollbrecht, 1997: 28).
Belonging to a scene is defined by the aesthetic design. There are numerous mixtures and transitions of different youth cultural styles in which the young people can optionally participate simultaneously without having to be fully committed. The connection to a scene takes place "situationally". This becomes understandable if one takes into account the development already mentioned that most of today's youth cultures are detached from their social contexts due to the globalization processes accelerated by the media and, as imported goods, represent a selectable pattern judged according to aesthetic criteria (cf. Vollbrecht, 1995 : 33). According to Baacke, this is not an “ideological approximation”, but rather an “aesthetic affinity”. The aestheticizing component is particularly prominent in today's youth cultures in the Federal Republic. An “aesthetic exaggeration of the everyday” can be observed here, while the discursive appeal function dominated until the 1980s (ibid., 29). The scene arises wherever such an aesthetic quality can be experienced (cf. ibid., 34). The main role of the media in the development of youth culture scenes is emphasized here. Media enable young people to participate virtually or imaginary in a scene, i.e. to which they do not really belong, by not only shaping our perception of space and time, but also by creating experiences of reality against the "disintegrating connection". Vollbrecht also describes how the media shorten the "half-life" of youth cultural styles in steps of four from scandal, defusing, generalizing and abolishing (Vollbrecht, 1995: 30). In this way, the media are forcing to a considerable extent an ever faster sequence of “blossoms and marsh blossoms” of youth cultural developments (cf. ibid.).
Thus Vollbrecht also advocates breaking away from the class-specific concept of subculture and conceptualizing youth cultural phenomena as lifestyles that also include the expressive, aesthetic and the subjective-constructive parts of a life plan (1995: 23). Vollbrecht uses the following definition according to Müller (1992) in his article22 at which lifestyles are
„expressive lifestyle patterns (...), which are a visible and measurable expression of the chosen lifestyle and `` depend on material and cultural resources and values. The resources describe the chances in life, the respective options and choices, which define values, the predominant goals in life, shape the mentalities and are expressed in a specific habitus ´ " (Müller, 1992: 62; quoted from: Vollbrecht, 1995: 26).
Above all, the increase in the level of education and qualification, as well as the standard of living, accelerate the individual development of socio-structural starting positions that require selective use of life opportunities. The plural design options tend to lead to a subject-centered lifestyle. A lifestyle can therefore no longer be understood as a consequence of given circumstances, but rather the subjective setting of relevance forms a style. Hitzler (1994)23 advocates speaking of lifestyles, if the actor experiences himself as a stylizer, then the following applies:
„(...) that the lifestyle at hand is (temporarily) selected (temporarily) by the actor from a plural offer of existing (life-) meaningful self-stylization alternatives (more or less) ´free´, and that it is only as a selected person that he becomes a (part-time effective) ´selection authority ´ for the filtering of social offers of meaning (...) can and usually will be“(Hitzler, 1994: 79; quoted from Vollbrecht, 1995: 24).
Vollbrecht tries to use a list of "assumptions of conventional social structure analysis" to uncover the insufficient explanatory power of class and stratum-specific concepts and to compensate for their shortcomings by means of the lifestyle approach (cf. Vollbrecht, 1995: 25f).
According to Vollbrecht's outlined lifestyle approach, style means that stylizations in relation to youth cultures not only mark belonging to a certain group, but also to a specific lifestyle or form of life to which the respective group is committed. A lifestyle is thus an “expression, instrument and result of social orientation”, that means the style of a person refers not only to “who 'who' or 'what' is, but also who 'who' is for whom in which situation” (Soeffner , 1986: 318; quoted from: Vollbrecht, 1995: 29)24. Having style means "consciously offering and staging a uniform interpretation of one's person for others as well as for one's own self-image" (ibid.). This does not require an explicit justification of the chosen style, but rather knowing the significant selections and using them in action.
The observation that young people's scenes are increasingly being conveyed through the media and that they define themselves through certain musical styles should not lead to the conclusion that young people are victims of complete external control by the culture industry. Youth subcultural style analyzes like that of Willis (1991)25 have made it clear that young people develop independent activity and individual articulation, which enable them to appropriately appropriately or co-create the means of expression of everyday culture in an original way and thus to produce "possibilities of oppositionally independent and alternative symbolizations of the self" (Willis, 1991: 193; quoted from: Vollbrecht , 1995: 35). Youth cultures are therefore not only to be seen as an expression of commercial interests, but also as “autonomous constructors of everyday life relationships and ways of life” (cf. Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1988: 318). Youth cultures can contribute to cultural renewal and contain a moment of resistance. The variety of design options leads to a “youth cultural identity” that is in motion, “can be searched for and tried out” (ibid.). Ferchhoff and Baacke (1988) postulate that, against the background of contradicting life situations, youth cultures are to be understood as "an expression of the search for a plural identity, as attempts to articulate competing life and future plans" (cf. ibid.).
The fragmentation of the youth generation into different subgroups, subtypes etc., the increasing pluralization and differentiation of styles hardly allow any rough classifications of youth culture movements. This development is problematic insofar as the informative value of youth cultures is dwindling and their external positioning as a group becomes more difficult. The research situation provides a confusing picture, since the interpretations of various youth cultural phenomena are becoming ever more short-lived and unmanageable. The growing control of youth cultures by industry makes it difficult to distinguish between authentic and commercially produced Art Nouveau styles.
The replacement of the concept of subculture by the plural of youth cultures called for by Baacke and Ferchhoff seems justified insofar as it cannot be denied that the concept of the subculture of the CCCS, which was developed in times of traditional societies, cannot be transferred to our modern, complex societies without change can be. Individualization, pluralization and globalization processes in politics, culture and economy have corresponding effects on young people. The lack of a generally binding catalog of norms and values also makes it difficult to identify a culture that encompasses society as a whole, as well as similarities between clearly different youthful styles and (sub) cultures. However, it should also be considered more closely to what extent socio-structural processes actually represent trends in society as a whole or individualization and pluralization tendencies “vary according to education, class and gender” (Farin, 2001: 19).26 A class-theoretic approach such as the explanation and representation of the workers' subcultures according to the subculture concept of the CCCS can also not be transferred unreservedly to the German situation, since the traditional class terms are no longer sufficient today due to new forms of deprivation. However, the observation that solidarity communities are formed from members with a similar social background where social contradictions emerge most clearly can still be made today.
Farin criticizes Baackes and Ferchhoff's argumentation “the formerly subcultural impulses have been culturally generalized, normalized, leveled and de-dramatized “ (Baacke / Ferchhoff, 1995: 41) . The authors concentrate solely on the “purely style-oriented short-lived subcultures” that are produced by the culture industry (cf. Farin, 1995: 47). What is questionable is the role of the term subculture in relation to cultures that have been labeled with this label for decades and have not changed significantly, such as punks, skinheads or rock'n'rollers. The skinhead scene in particular proves the justification of the term subculture. The majority society has not been able to commercialize, normalize or make it disappear for two decades (see Farin, 1995: 48).
Vollbrecht's lifestyle approach does not contain any negative connotations such as that of subculture and also allows less culturally divergent cultures to be grasped. Adolescents, however, usually only have one lifestyle, but can belong to several youth cultures (Farin, 2001: 19).
The most popular is the concept of the scene, which describes supra-regional, loose networks of communities whose followers have similar interests in terms of their leisure activities.
Ultimately, it should be noted that there is no closed theory of youth cultures. The theoretical discussion presented here is intended to form a basis for classifying hip-hop culture. The extent to which these controversial concepts are helpful in explaining hip-hop culture must be discussed in conclusion. Therefore, the use of terms in the following is not initially limited to one of the terms presented here.
3 What is hip hop?
First of all, what is meant by hip-hop is to be determined in more detail below. The etymological roots of the term "hip hop" are not easy to determine. According to Grandmixer D.ST, “hop” is a dance party and “hip” is “whoever has a clear view”. Put together it means “to be hip at the hop” or hip-hop (cf. Verlan / Loh, 2000: 14). Dufresne derives the meaning of "hip", as a slang term for competition, and "hop", synonymous with "dance", and consequently translates "hip hop" as "competition on the dance floor" (cf. Dufresne, 1997: 443 ). Others believe that they have found the origin in the abbreviation "hippety-hop", an onomatopoeic paraphrase for the "hobbling" of a rabbit that is used by children in puns (cf. Verlan / Loh, 2000: 14). The jumping up and down or “to hop” or “hop” at the parties is, according to Grandwizard Theodore, the basis for deriving the meaning of HipHop. “Hip” characterizes these dance events as particularly “popular” (cf. ibid.). Fab 5 Freddy provides another attempt at explanation by explaining in his dictionary that DJ Hollywood in the mid-1970s commented on playing the records with the exclamation "to the hip-hop the hippy hippy hippy hop and you don't stop" (cf. Poschardt, 1997: 139). There are numerous other legends that try to reconstruct the concept of "hip-hop" in its essence and origin. The expression was initially part of the MC27 - Vocabulary, then prevailed among the youth of the culture. Today the term "hip hop" is in common parlance and describes the current form of rap music, the "Style and state of mind as established by the originators of hip-hop music and culture" preserved (Fab 5 Freddy, in: ibid). HipHop is primarily the generic term for an overall cultural complex that is divided into the areas of rap (MCing and DJing), grafitti and breakdance. Especially in the course of the cultural appropriation by the culture industry, young hip-hops in Germany began to determine themselves and their culture and to differentiate them from media representations. Various definitions can be found even in the form of rapeseed:
"Hiphop is not a style of music / but chanting is only part of the culture / b-boying is only part of the culture / graffiti is only part of the culture" (Cora E, Part of Culture. Buback 12 “, 1994; quoted from: Verlan, 2002: 26).
The genesis of hip-hop begins in the American metropolitan ghettos of the 1970s.Without referring back to this, hip hop in Germany cannot be explained. Often times, the roots of cultural techniques are traced back much further. Tricia Rose gives the following definition in her book "Black Noise":
„Cultural form of African origin that tries to bring the experiences of marginalization, brutally curtailed life opportunities and real oppression to a common denominator within the cultural guidelines of African-American and Caribbean history, identity and community " (Rose, 1997: 142).
Accordingly, a specific cultural and social background plays an essential role in the emergence and development of hip-hop:
“... shaped by the tension between the brokenness, which is the result of oppression in post-industrial society, and the expressiveness of black culture, which creates a feeling of togetherness. This tension forms the critical framework in which the development history of hip hop must be viewed " (ibid).
Therefore, we should first consider the socio-economic conditions under which young people invented hip-hop. This is followed by a historical review of the various development phases of hip-hop culture in general and of the individual cultural practices in particular
3.1 The socio-economic development conditions of hip-hop
Rose recognizes the components of the framework conditions that “formed the breeding ground for the mixed cultural forms and the basic socio-political mood of the texts and music” in the changes in social housing, population growth and in the changes in economic conditions in post-industrial societies, the narrowing of living space and in new communication structures (cf. 1997: 146).
The city profile of New York, as the “birthplace” of hip-hop, was changed with serious consequences between the thirties and sixties by a series of public building projects, as described below with reference to Rose (Rose, 1994: 27ff). The one built in the sixties Cross - Bronx Expressway was decisive for the economic and social inequality that still characterizes New York today. The program for the “renewal of the cities” included the removal of the “slums” as intended by the city planner Moses. The course of the motorway, which could have been led around the proletarian communities, made it necessary to demolish hundreds of houses and business premises. In the Bronx, for example, 60,000 apartments had to be demolished in the 1960s and early 1970s, resulting in the relocation of around 170,000 people. Although the residents of the destroyed residential areas were mostly made up of Jews from the lower middle and working class, 37 percent of them were relatively many colored people who were forcibly torn out of their familiar surroundings. Those who could financially left the neighborhood. The withdrawal of shopkeepers and the "white escape" accelerated the ghettoization of the South Bronx. In the course of the 1970s, financially weak segments of the black population were forcibly relocated to the South Bronx from various parts of New York. At the same time there was an influx of families of different ethnic origins, especially Puerto Ricans and Jamaicans from the former colonies, who were attracted by the cheap rent.
These processes destroyed stable neighborly networks and, above all, led to social tensions due to the associated ethnic shifts. After the looting and devastation during the power failure in July 1977, the Bronx was stylized by the media as a symbol of crime, poverty and decay, for the “failure of modern urban life” (Farin, 2001: 133). The growing impoverishment of the ghettos pushed its mostly Afro-American residents more and more into a marginal role, who since the smashing of the Black Panthers had not succeeded in channeling existential fears and anger into resistance. In their gang rivalries, many young people waged a proxy war against themselves, the victims and perpetrators of which they themselves were (cf. ibid. 134).
Under these circumstances, the South Bronx's isolated youth invented what Rose calls an aggressive and creative counterculture, in which they asserted their right to expression. Experiences such as disillusionment, loss, alienation and senselessness in combination with a complex intercultural exchange paved the way for hip-hop culture, which functioned as a "source of alternative identity formation" (Rose, 1997: 149) . This new, highly competitive form of culture offered young people, despite their social exclusion, an alternative way of acquiring status positions and identities according to practices and rules they had created themselves. According to Rose, graffiti and rap are particularly aggressive forms of expression in the culture of resistance (cf. Rose, 1997: 154). Through hip-hop practices, young people demand the right to leave symbolic signs of their identity behind in an environment "that blocked their legitimate access to economic goods and social participation" (Rose, 1997: 154).
Hip-hop is about claiming territories for self-determination. This is illustrated in particular using the cultural technique of graffiti, as will be explained in Section 3.3.3. Hip-hop took place within the framework of the socially marginal living space of the ghetto and therefore remained a locally limited and relatively self-sufficient subculture in the initial phase (cf. Bärnthaler, 1997: 1). The societal marginal location guaranteed an authentic development free of commercial appropriation.
3.2 The history of the development of hip hop
The following chapter is an outline of the distinction common in literature between the various development phases of hip-hop. Since my work is about German hip-hop culture, it is necessary to look back at the beginnings of hip-hop in the old Federal Republic and the former GDR to this day. First of all, the development and further development in its country of origin, the USA, is of essential importance. The generally accepted phase classification according to old school, New School and Native tongue28 follow one another chronologically.
3.2.1 The early stages of hip-hop - the old school until 1983
Jamaicans who immigrated to the USA in the 1960s provided important cornerstones of hip-hop. In Jamaican discos it is common for the DJ not to just play records, but to comment on them in a funny way using his own microphone, and improvise texts that heat up the audience. This is also called toasting (see above). In this context, the Jamaican Kool Herc called (cf. Toop, 1992: 51). He is the inventor of break-beat music29, a forerunner of rap music. Kool Herc started his portable sound system on the streets in the Bronx block parties in the 1960s30 to organize. Herc solved popular breaks31 out of their original contexts and integrated them into his own composition process. Pieces of music are not viewed as uniform works, but as a combination of different building blocks that can be picked out individually and used as material for a new composition. At the same time Herc toasted (see below) over his microphone. The young people invented breakdance to match breakbeat music, i.e. in a particularly pronounced break passage the young people started with acrobatic movements. In this context Poschardt speaks of an assembly technique, since it is not the destructive impulse that the collage creates32 identifies who is the ultimate impetus. The DJ composition is defined by the constituent element. This can be seen in the reinterpretation and design of what was previously deconstructed on the turntable (cf. Poschardt, 1995: 152). This means that individual passages are taken from your favorite records and integrated into your own new composition, so that something completely new emerges from it.33"The breakbeat took the cherry off the cake and threw the rest away" (Toop, 1992: 74). According to Poschardt, the invention of breakbeat music in the mid-1970s marked the actual beginning of hip-hop (cf. ibid, 152).
At the time when hip-hop was emerging, school resources were drastically reduced, so that access to traditional forms of instrumentation remained blocked. Due to limited financial resources, the young people used outdated industrial technologies to create new forms of expression. (see Rose, 1997: 150). "Hip-hop artists transferred qualifications that had long since become superfluous from repressed professions into the raw material for creativity and resistance" (Rose, 1997: 150). Many of them had been trained for professions that no longer existed or were out of date (cf. ibid.). So it worked Grandmaster Flash to perfect the technology due to his training as an electronics technician. Grandmaster Flash sees himself as a DJ missionary: “I still teach kids who want to be DJs themselves. They watch me and ask Flash, how do you do this and how do you do that "( see Poschardt, 1995: 157). He made the style of Kool Herc his own and was able to improve the rather primitive layout of his model (see above). Since he was the first to start working with headphones, Flash managed to synchronize the breakbeats when mixing one record with another. With the Scratch mixer and turntable were expanded to become an instrument, with which new sounds could be produced. Flash began to assemble his equipment himself according to his own ideas. “The mixers in particular did not allow you to cut properly or to isolate the breaks perfectly. That's why I built my own mixer and didn't just invent cutting or scratching34, but also the crossfader " (Grandmaster Flash. In: Leuffen, 2002: 29f).35 In the technical field, many innovations arose in this experimental phase. Very soon, drum computers, so-called beat boxes and samplers were used instead of pure DJ work. Samplers make it possible to record any sounds and save them digitally. With the help of ever better techniques, it was soon possible to record entire pieces of music in this way, i.e. to produce purely electronic music.36 The references between past and present and the preference for breaks in time are clearly demonstrated in the technique of sampling.37 Sampling has made it possible to quote older pieces or to repeat or dismember a rhythm until it is unrecognizable (cf. Spatschek, et al. 1997: 102.). Flash's invention of the beatbox is described by Poschardt as the second important step in the direction of his own music production. The beatbox added current elements to the montage in the form of a few rhythmic patterns, i.e. passages taken from music history (cf. 1995: 160). In this way, the two basic forms of DJing, scratching and mixing, were invented in the experimental phase of hip-hop.
Afrika Bambaataa (aka Bam) promoted the tendency to develop a political and socially critical awareness through hip-hop by using music as a stage for agitation. One of the things that contributed to this was that Bam pushed the strongly integrative component in relation to other musical styles. The raw material were records from all kinds of branches. Bambaataa used the sampling technique to make black and white music38 to mix and in this way to trigger a surprise effect in his audience (cf. Toop, 1992: 79). With his musical work he tried to create something like a black and white integration (cf. Spatschek, et al., 1997: 106f). Jacob describes his album “The Light” as “pure political education” (cf. Jacob , 1993: 34). With this album, Bam had set himself the goal of breaking up a wrongly justified black racism. His collaboration with white musicians and their demonstrative integration in the fight against the “World Racial War” is to be understood as a strategic provocation of his own supporters. Afrika Bambaataa founded the oldest important ideological institution of hip hop, the "Zulu Nation"39 (see Chapter 4.) as a “positive counterpoint to (...) gang violence” (Krekow et al., 1999: 338). At this point it should be mentioned that Bam tried to give black young people their own black historical consciousness and an almost “esoteric” worldview (cf. Poschardt, 1995: 165) based on the principles of “freedom, justice, equality , Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding “(Krekow et al., 1999: 338). Parallel to the rise of black nationalism, Bam had ideas about an organized, intellectual and social protection offering black community. The Zulu nation thus became a multiplier of "Black Nationalism", which particularly influenced the ideology of hip-hop in the 1980s. In this sense, hip-hop, conversely, was also agitational pop for “Black Nationalism” from the start.
On the battles organized by Bambaataa40 the young people were driven to further develop their talent. Based on the criteria of ability and creativity, the participating young people were selected as “Shaka Zulu Kings” and “- Queens”. Bam thus gave young people the chance to achieve the status of a locally recognized entity (Krekow et al., 1999: 13). That was the starting point for the first crews.41
The first rap record was released in 1979. However, it was not from one of the three DJ legends Herc, Flash or Bam mentioned, but from the Sugarhill Gang. This group had been put together by Sylvia Robinson's successful record label "Sugarhill Records".42 The music was not a DJ production, but was recorded by a band. The record "Rappers Delight" was a shock for Grandmaster Flash and others, as this band was never seen at one of the numerous block parties and had no access to the original scene. From the 1980s onwards, the pop industry became aware of the new cultural phenomenon HipHop and began to commercialize the techniques that had been documented on cassettes until then under the genre name "Rap".
3.2.2 The phase of the politicization of hip-hop - The New School from 1983 to 1985
Jacob describes rap in the early 1980s as “non-political pop entertainment” (1993: 42). In the beginning, hip-hop was primarily a party culture. The message by Grandmaster Flash is considered a turning point in hip-hop history. Until then, hip hop had been a struggle for autonomous zones and room for maneuver. Now the pop music forum was used to rap about everyday life in the ghetto:
“(...) got no money to move out, guess I got no choise. Rats in the front room, croaches in the back, junkies in the alley with a baseball bat. (...)
Don´t push me ´cause I´m close to the edge. I'm trying not to loose my head (...).
It's like a jungle, sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under ” (Grandmaster Flash "The Message", 1982).
Other groups like Run DMC later also dealt critically with the social conditions. But only with the phase of New School In the mid-eighties, which spread from the west coast to the south of the USA, especially Texas and Florida, rap became a political authority that addressed and challenged those in power directly. Many rappers of the late 1980s profess to support some fundamentalist organizations and propagate their ideas in their lyrics.
220.127.116.11 Black nationalism and hip-hop
The rap formation Public Enemy (PE) promoted the increased politicization of rap at the end of the eighties. Toop describes PE as the band, "which gave rap a direction and orientation back in 1987. It offered a vision that went much further than any ambition within the music industry ” (Toop, 1992: 204). In contrast to message rap, the band used rather socially critical messages on content-wise militant-oriented lyric poetry. Even in the self-designation as an enemy of the state, an offensive confrontation with the dominant rule is expressed, and at the same time a reference to the repression of the same by the idea "By young blacks as enemies of the state who are in the crosshairs of precision weapons" is evoked (Toop, 1992: 204). In keeping with their band name, their stage show also has a paramilitary design.43 Rap is instrumentalized around the reverse racism (Dufresne, 1997: 84) to agitate. PE openly profess the Nation of Islam (NOI)44whose ideas they carry on in the texts. They appear with an ideology that can be described as a “liberation utopia from nationalism and separatism” (Bärnthaler, 1998: 7). The release of their music meant the opportunity for PE to achieve their goal of "organizing a communication network in the country"45 to realize. Public enemy represent an extreme, explicitly profess propaganda without the "The usual artist gesture of only hinting at points of view metaphorically and packing them into beautiful poetry like analogy" (Jacob, 1993: 199) and came under the crossfire of criticism not least because of the anti-Semitism of band member "Professor Griff".
In the course of the ideologization of rap, many bands were oriented towards religious associations, such as the Five Percenters46. Groups like Brand Nubians, PE and rappers like Afrika Bambaataa, Big Daddy Kane or Ice Cube are openly committed to the doctrinal teachings of the Nation Of Islam. Separatism and fundamentalism are seen as adequate counter-models to integrationist approaches. This tendency to fundamentally reject the prevailing discourse is also evident in the renaissance of Afrocentric concepts and their mythologization in rap. Malcolm X advanced in the late 1980s in conjunction with the advent of a new spiritual one black cultural nationalism (see below) on the American pop icon (cf. Jacob, 1996: 54f).
The reason for the long considered taboo ideas of the Black Panther Party47 discussed again in the 1990s was the confession of some well-known rappers to be children of Black Panther activists (e.g. Arrested Development, Tupac Shakur). Jacob argues that the brutal persecution of this militant group caused "social criticism to be channeled into religious and cultural-nationalist channels" (ibid., 67). In “Agit-Pop” (1993) the author gives a very detailed description of the political development of the Afro-American population. On the one hand, it honors the fact that hip-hop drew attention to the problems of the black community, especially in the phase of popularization of hip-hop from the 1980s, when hip-hop carried on the political and ideological ideas of black nationalism. On the other hand, Jacob warns, however, that the ethnocentrism in the texts should be wrongly interpreted as an authentic and natural attitude of the Afro-American people, instead of being classified as an “anachronistic 60s revival”, which is due to two mutually influencing events: the social polarization of the blacks Population and the new ethnic makeup of the American population, due to increased immigration over the past 20 years. These changes are thematically processed in rap texts. Today, however, ethnocentrism is “only a Voice in a chorus of minority nationalisms ”(cf. 1993: 12). In this context, Jacob uses the hip-hop chart analogy as a political barometer. "From the musical orientation you could infer certain musical preferences such as Afrocentricity and vice versa " (Jacob, in Dufresne, 1997: 434). Today, on the other hand, hip-hop has "dissolved in a postmodern manner into a flood of signs" that make clear classification difficult (cf. ibid.).
18.104.22.168 Gangster rap
A harder and more provocative variant of hip-hop emerged on the US west coast in the mid-1980s, gangsta rap. The lyrics deal with experiences with violence, crime and drugs in the ghettos. The gangsta rappers stage themselves with the habitus of a street gangster, whereby the socially desirable morality of the texts remains controversial. Here the perceived hopelessness, which manifests itself in a specific type of aggression and a nihilistic attitude, is expressed in an authentic and extreme way. At the beginning of this development is the band “Niggaz With Attitude” (NWA). Your LP "Straight outta Compton"48 was boycotted by the big record companies and the official media and provided by the censors with the “Parental Advisory sticker”, which developed into a sales guarantee (cf. Spatschek et al., 1997: 109). Representatives of gangster rap are accused of building clichés about life in the ghetto through their texts , in order to achieve high sales figures. Others claim that misunderstandings are inevitable if there is no real understanding of this language practice (cf. Toop, 1992: 207/213).49
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