Can hip hop be a subculture? Can hip hop be a subculture in the way that other subcultures are? We’re talking about a whole culture, not all of it, and the question’s about how and when these subcultures become the dominant culture of a city, or part of it. How do these subcultures and subcultures become a subculture?
We’re talking about subcultures that begin as an offshoot of another. If you’ve read my other article The Big List of Subcultures, it’s a list of subcultures where a common bond is more important than the distinct identity of the culture. I think of these as “mixed culture” or “mixed-religion.” Some groups have an identifiable religious/ethnic identity, but they do not have a distinct culture, and thus cannot really call themselves “mixed,” and so no one would identify them as ‘mixed.’
Mixed culture is different. These organizations like Hip Hop, Rock, and R&B, as well as many “subcultures” like Mosh Pit, Rock & Roll, Soul, etc. are subcultures. These subcultures cannot be called ‘mixed,’ but we’ve seen a number of other subcultures (mashup, dubstep) which incorporate elements of many other subcultures (R&B, hip-hop, rock, funk, etc.). So I view hip hop culture as just another subculture of rapping and rap music.
For example, let’s say that instead of just looking at the music, you take it a step further. There are some subcultures within rapping and rap, for instance. For instance, we have the Hip Hop Caucus, a body of individuals involved with the various rap culture groups, so that rapping groups feel safe and comfortable discussing their work. And there’s the MC’s Caucus, a group of people who are involved in the production of rap songs (and are therefore responsible for their own opinions), and are sometimes called ‘mangists’ (more on this later).
Now, the hip hop style of music is not an “identity” of its own, nor does it come from a sub culture. It is just rap music. The style of rap differs from one individual’s music to another and so we wouldn’t call it a culture. It’s just rap music, period. But it’s just hip hop, and it’s hip Hop,
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