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Inside Out

Hip-hop

Jo For many people hip-hop is synonymous with rap music, but I’d say it refers to a whole subculture that emerged with rap in the United States – especially New York – in the late 1970s and has since become truly international. Rapping (or ‘MCing’) and DJing are the two main components of hip-hop music. Maybe you could describe rap as a form of expression that is somewhere between speech, poetry and song. Other parts of hip-hop culture are specific styles of dancing, clothing and graffiti art, and even a specific form of English slang. Hip-hop originally came out of African-American communities in New York, and I think it’s true to say that in countries such as the US and Britain it is still quite closely connected with the young black population, though of course there are hip-hop fans from every background, and indeed some famous non-black rappers such as Eminem. The first time a piece of rap music entered the US charts was in October 1979. 28 years later it’s one of the biggest-selling popular music genres in the world, even though it’s been going through a bit of a decline recently. Rappers such as 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, Jay-Z and Eminem have fans all around the world, and earn many millions of dollars a year. In many countries you’ll find magazines and radio shows devoted to hip-hop, and anyone who has ever spent a few hours watching MTV will know that it also has a high profile there.

WORKSHEET A

Mike I think hip-hop is the most overrated musical genre, and that gangsta rap is probably its worst subcategory. All those guys boasting about their guns, their cars and their wealth, and talking about women as if they’re nothing more than objects – it’s not exactly a positive message, is it? A lot of their so-called music clearly glamorises violence, so I’m amazed that it’s even allowed to get on the radio.

Rob Anyone taking a look at my CD collection or the tracks on my mp3 player would see that I love hip-hop. It’s a musical style that attracts frequent criticism and generalisations, mostly from people who know very little about it. I’m sick of hearing people go on about gangsta rap as if that’s all there is. Hip-hop is diverse, and there are a lot of hip-hop artists with intelligent things to say about race, class and other social issues. But then again, why should hip-hop have any ‘message’ at all? Do people demand that other forms of pop music to always have a ‘positive message’? I don’t think so.

Inside Out

Hip-hop

A

Decide whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F), or if the text doesn’t

say (D).

WORKSHEET B

1.

Jo thinks rapping is not really part of hip-hop culture.

2.

Jo thinks hip-hop arrived in Britain after it had emerged in the United States.

3.

Mike thinks gangsta rap is the only kind of hip-hop music.

4.

Rob thinks people often generalise about hip-hop.

5.

Jo thinks Eminem is probably the most famous rapper in the world.

6.

Jo thinks there should be more hip-hop on MTV.

B

Can you find the words or expressions in the text that mean the opposite of the

following?

1.

underrated

2.

loosely

3.

praise

4.

poverty

5.

not surprised

6.

homogeneous

C

Below are some excerpts from the text, but not all of them have been copied correctly.

Can you identify which of them now contain mistakes, and then make the necessary corrections?

1. Do people demand that other forms of pop music to have a ‘positive message’?

2. A lot of their called music clearly glamorises violence …

3. Hip-hop originally came out of African-American communities in New York …

4. … it’s not exactly positive message, is it?

5. … there are a lot of hip-hop artists with intelligent things to say …

6. For many people hip-hop is synonymous with rap music …

Inside Out

Hip-hop

Student A Your partner is going to describe the words that are missing from the crossword below.

The crossword will then reveal the track by the Sugarhill Gang that in October 1979 became

the first ever piece of hip-hop music to enter the US charts:

WORKSHEET C

_’_

 

1

G

L

A

M

O

R

I

S

E

 
 

2

                 

3

P

O

P

U

L

A

R

 
 

4

             
 

5

G

E

N

E

R

A

L

I

S

E

 

6

           
 

7

F

A

M

O

U

S

 
 

8

             

9

P

R

O

F

I

L

E

 

10

                       
 

11

I

S

S

U

E

 

12

         
 

13

S

P

E

E

C

H

 
 

14

         

…………………………………………………………………………………………

Student B Your partner is going to describe the words that are missing from the crossword below. The crossword will then reveal the track by the Sugarhill Gang that in October 1979 became

the first ever piece of hip-hop music to enter the US charts:

_’_

 

1

                   
 

2

G

R

A

F

F

I

T

I

 

3

               
 

4

P

R

O

F

I

L

E

 

5

                   
 

6

T

R

A

C

K

 
 

7

             
 

8

D

E

M

A

N

D

 

9

               

10

I

N

T

E

L

L

I

G

E

N

T

 
 

11

           

12

G

E

N

R

E

 

13

             
 

14

B

O

A

S

T