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					Author
       Makiya L. Ross
     :
 Title: Hip Hop and Rap's Influence on Slang
 About    I am currently a sophomore here at the University. My major as of right now is
   the    Biological Sciences. My choice for a topic was guided by the fact that in class
Author    we were talking about language. AAVE, which is a language identified mostly
     :    with Blacks, was interesting and I had never heard of it. I really like music and
          I decided to look at how hip hop and rap might influence people's lives and
          daily conversations.
Keywo
       Hip Hop, slang, rap, influence, language, music
  rds:
Abstra Hip Hop and rap have an influence on people's use of slang in their daily
    ct: conversations. In order to find evidence that supported my theory I conducted
        a survey, looked at Facebook statuses, and read about what published author's
        had to say. From my surveys and sources I found that people have difficulty
        defining hip hop and rap. Facebook statuses revealed that hip hop and rap
        have a big influence on peoples' slang use and more.
Initial
Exerci
  ses:
Questi           What is the difference in music slang, if any, from music in the 1980s
  on:
          and music now? Does music contain more/less, more/less/about the same

          harshness/violence? I want to compare the levels of slang in music and try to

          study the influence these levels have had on peoples’ language and slang.

          We’ve talked about slang in conversation and language in school, the real

          world, and in academic writing. I’m really interested in music and I thought

          doing research on slang in music would be a good way to tie my topic to what

          we have been discussing in class.


                 This was my original research question and idea for my topic. After

          some research my topic has changed a little. Instead of researching and
        comparing music of different time periods I just decided to look at how music,

        more specifically hip-hop and rap, affects the kind of slang, and the

        occurrence of slang in peoples’ daily conversations.


Plan:          I plan to research and compare the use and meaning of slang in music

        from the 1980s to now. I plan to use the archives to learn about the music and

        slang that students may have listened to and used in the 1980s. The materials

        I will use from the archives will probably be scrapbooks of past UIUC

        students, fraternities, sororities, and archives of old Daily Illini newspapers.

        Using the information I find from the archives, I will narrow my topic more.


              Facebook will also be a useful tool in my research. People quote lines

        from songs in their statuses, write lyrics from songs they have written

        themselves, and use slang that might be influenced by the music they listen to.

        This will help me to compare the music slang of now to that of the 1980s.


              An electronic survey is also one of my possible ideas of research. I will

        probably get the best results by giving the survey electronically. Facebook,

        again, will be a useful tool through which I could distribute the survey. The

        survey would help me to see the opinion of others’ on music slang.


               My research plan also changed after finding that some sources I said I

        would use didn’t have any helpful information. The archives proved not to be

        useful in any way for my research. I did not end up using music from any

        specific time period like I originally planned. However I have used Facebook
        and compiled some peoples’ statuses in which they quoted lyrics from a hip-

        hop/rap artist. Facebook has so far proven to be a useful tool in my research. I

        also conducted an electronic survey and emailed it to everybody in my class.

        From the low result turn-out I found that I should have stuck with my plan to

        distribute the survey on Facebook. I probably would have gotten more results

        making my surveys more useful in my research.


               Although my research didn’t go quite as planned I did find useful

        information and changed my topic and method of research accordingly. In the

        end I decided to use the databases to find sources for my research and get the

        opinions of published authors about my topic. I got ideas for other things to

        look for during my research and questions for my survey while reading

        through my sources. The plan then was to get my results and compare them to

        what published authors were saying. The survey gave me the idea to look on

        Facebook and observe peoples’ statuses. This would prove to be a way to back

        up my argument that hip-hop and rap affect peoples’ use of slang and the type

        of slang they use.


Data:                                   Survey Results
              While looking through sources for my annotated bibliography I saw

        ideas for good questions for surveys and interviews. I’m kind of a shy person

        so surveys were my preference of questioning and getting the opinions of

        other students. I had already thought of a few questions but not enough to put

        together an effective survey that would get me enough useful information to
make a report of or that would really support my argument. Some of my

sources pointed me to other sources and gave very brief summaries of each

authors’ intent in their work. One thing that stood out to me with each source

was the different definitions or explanations of what hip-hop is. I decided that

comparing peoples’ opinions of hip-hop should definitely be part of my

research. My main goal of surveying people was to find out how their

definitions and opinions of hip-hop differ, if they believe it affects their

language in daily conversations, and if so, how it affected them. I did an

electronic survey and emailed the people in Rhetoric 233. My survey was

limited to my classmates and other people in Rhet 233 because I didn’t know

any other people affiliated with the University that I could give it to and be

sure to get it back.


       I got very few results back from my survey. Despite this obstacle I found

that the few people that did respond had similarities in the responses to both

multiple choice and open-ended questions. Some of my results actually

surprised me. Six out of the seven people who responded agreed that they

used slang from the music they listen to in their daily conversations. Then four

out of the seven disagreed with the statement that Hip-Hop or Rap affected

their use of slang in their daily conversations. Five out of the seven people

disagreed that Hip-Hop is dead. For one of my questions I gave the first part

of a sentence followed by various options and giving people the option of

choosing more than one of the choices. People chose the option that Hip-Hop
is in need of a new message. Having so few results I can’t really tell if I can tie

these questions together to come to the conclusion or support an argument

saying that Hip-Hop affects some people’s daily conversations and that most

people believe Hip-Hop is still alive but needs a new message.


       As for my open-ended questions, they were a little more helpful. Most

people’s definitions of Hip-Hop were something to do with telling some kind

of story, delivering a message, or poetry with music. There was only one stand-

out definition and that person responded that Hip-Hop was music for a party

setting. One person went as far as to say Hip-Hop is music being used to

express political, social, and personal issues. The most common definitions for

Rap were the same as Hip-Hop, and subgenre of Hip-Hop. Others included

rhythmic delivery of lyrics, Hip-Hop, and poetry; real life expressed through

music; sixteen bars; and music where lyrics are mostly focused on.


       Another idea I touched on in my survey was peoples’ opinions of what

slang is. The majority of responses had something to do with shortening of

words. A couple of them were the idea of deviating from Standard English.

One was the manipulation of words to make them sound cooler. I thought the

last one pretty much captured all the basis of everyone’s opinion. If I were to

combine all these definitions into one I would say that most of these people

believe that slang is some kind of manipulation of words.


       Due to my low result turn-out I can’t really apply my results to any
group of people except for the people who responded. One conclusion I can

come to is that Hip-Hop and Rap affects everybody differently. Comparing my

results to my sources from my annotated bibliography I can see there is some

variation in the definition of Hip-Hop but everybody agrees it is ideas

expressed with music, or beats involved. I have learned that there are various

ways people can express basically the same thing about Hip-Hop. As I also

stated before I can’t really make any arguments based on my survey results. I

wouldn’t be able to accurately portray any group of people without a doubt

about their opinions.


      My survey results could serve as a template for other ideas to look into
for my research. The same as I used my sources to get ideas for questions I
could get search terms and focus my research on some trend found in my
survey.

                                Analysis of Text

“(Chicago's Finest) Niggaz be acting as bad as the females do, where's the
dividing line??Aside From That, Back In The Chi Its Set Up Season huh? We'll
See How This Goes... "Back in tha Chi them F.O.L.K.S. aint from MOtown" -
KanYe West”-Facebook status
      For this particular status the person first mentioned something that was

on their mind then quoted Kanye West. They made the transition from their

thoughts to Kanye’s lyrics clear through the use of elipses and quotation marks

around Kanye’s lyrics. This was one of those statuses I had to look up lyrics to

understand the message West was trying to deliver. It might have helped and

saved time if I knew the song. The quote was from West’s song Diamonds Are

Forever. After reviewing the verse from which this piece of lyric was derived I
came to the conclusion that West was saying that his family was from Motown

and the people in Chicago were not from Motown so he does not consider

them family. There was no clear connection between this person’s thoughts

and West’s lyrics so I came to the conclusion that maybe the person was

listening to the song or maybe being in Chicago made them think of this

particular line of West. This would prove hip hop’s influence on people’s daily

lives.


“running circles round a gang like a hula hoop an’ sh-t,your gon have to loop
this sh-t,that won’t be a duplicate,and my blunts be super thick,Im higher than
a super kick,I’m the bomb baby, watch me nuke this sh-t,when I leave the
booth, they gotta scoop this sh-t,my apologies, diabolically,I’m the prodigy,do
you roger me,I look in the flames and see the hotter me,but how come I’m still
colder than commonly,”-FB status
This status is a bar from the artist Lil’ Wayne’s mix tape No Ceilings. Wayne

talks about smoking and how high he gets. He also mentions how hot, or good,

of a rapper he is. This person might have posted this status just because they

liked Lil’ Wayne’s use of metaphors. They may have also felt like they could

relate to Lil’ Wayne in the sense of being a good rapper, or doing drugs and

getting high. Whatever reason the Facebook user had it shows that hip hop

has some kind of influence in people’s daily lives and thought processes.


“"My President is Black in fact he's half White, So even in a racist mind he's
half right." -Jay-Z”-FB status
         This person was quoting Jay-Z in his song My President Is Black. After

the election of President Obama Jay-Z made this song and in the beginning he

makes this statement. There was some disapproval of a Black man being
elected President so it seems that Jay-Z was speaking to those who dislike the

idea of a Black man for President. It seems that Jay-Z was somewhat joking or

being sarcastic and saying that it’s not all bad for the people who did not want

Obama to win. He states that President Obama is biracial so he will be right in

everybody’s mind at some point in time although it might not be at the same

time for everybody. This also makes me think of the way hip hop was a big

influence in getting young, and new voters to register and go out to vote. Hip

hop and rap music had a whole campaign dedicated to encouraging and

informing young voters that their opinion and vote did count despite what

they thought.


“is too much for these niggas & three much for these hoes. So happy I might
jus knock a nigga out on the way home Lol. Really doe .”-FB status
       Again there is a mix of an artist’s lyrics and the person’s thoughts. This

one is not clearly separated like the other example but I recognized the line

from a Lil’ Wayne song. It is also from his No Ceilings mix tape. Lil’ Wayne

and the poster seem to have had the same purpose for this line. Basically they

are both saying that they are too much for people to handle. Some may see it

as confidence or a little arrogant. It shows that sometimes music can help

people to express how they feel about themselves.


“Where did the ceiling go???”-FB status
       Another quote of Lil’ Wayne’s from his No Ceilings mix tape. It seems

like Lil’ Wayne was high and may have been having hallucinations of the

ceiling disappearing or just being so high that he felt he was in the sky. This
person may have just liked the quote because it was random but still relevant

for Lil’ Wayne’s purpose.


"dont give da BLACK MAN food, give RED MAN liquor, red man
FOOL, black man NIGGA, give YELLOW MAN tool, make him
railroad builder, also give him pan, make him pull gold from river,
give black man CRACK, GLOCKS & things, give red man CRAPS,
SLOT MACHINES...." –FB status
         The only conclusion I came to for this status is that the person was

describing the differences in opportunities that Blacks and Whites receive as

some hip hop and rap songs point out.


"Have a baby by me, baby be a millionaire" -Curtis "50 Cent"

Jackson | "Have a baby by me, be a single-parent" –Anonymous -FB

status


         When I first saw this status I laughed. As the person has already

pointed out it is a quote from one of rapper 50 Cent’s songs. 50 Cent speaks

about having enough money for a woman to have his baby and be rich and

well taken care of. The second part of the status which was by the Facebook

user points out a sad but true situation in American society particularly the

Hip Hop culture. There are more and more single mothers, more babies

growing up not knowing their father, getting little attention from their father,

or just receiving a child support check every month and never seeing the

source of the money. 50 Cent is expressing his ability to take care of children

financially through his song. The Facebook user is simply expressing the
reality that so many young Black women experience everyday.


“"if u admire sumbody, u should go head tell em, people never get
da flowers while they could still smell em" (K. West)” –FB status
       Kanye West is telling people that if they care about somebody they

should show it and not wait until the person is dead, when it is too late, to

express feelings and give flowers. This person may have been experiencing a

death in the family and realized that they should have done more with or for

the person while they were alive and able to appreciate the love, and care

shown. Hip hop influences more than violence, it also encourages people to

express their feelings.


"She all on me, cuz all i do, is ride around, Bentley coupe, got no need, she got
me, buyin her them Fendi shoes....ALL WE DO IS SHOP UNTIL WE DROP
right there in the floor, & all we do is make love in foreign places till we cant
no more." Live Fancy –FB status
       This is a hook from a song by Fabolous. In the song he talks about

having so much money that there is no need for him to look at tags when he

shops. He brags about getting whatever his “girl” wants and she not have to

worry about anything financially. The Facebook user also adds a little bit of

their thoughts to the end. It proves that hip hop can be the influence for

people whether they aspire to be artists or not. It brings out the creative side

in some people and Facebook is the place people express their ideas.


“Cot damn, the boy’s backFor pushing a mountain of Sno-Caps or avoiding the
KojakThe pioneer of the coke rapI’m dancin’ with the stars, steppin’ on blow,
doin’ the toe-tapThe dope return like I had it on LoJackIt made its way home
like a road mapI fathered thisIf I misled any kid that’s fatherlessThat burden’s
on my soul as long as I exist- "Malice" –FB status
       This is part of a bar from a song by The Clipse and Pharrell. I came to

the conclusion that the rapper was speaking about selling drugs. The person

may have liked the artist’s use of metaphors. Hip hop and rap consists of a lot

of metaphors and rhyming. If the artist’s flow or pace is right it all comes

together and just catches the attention of the listener.


“…My mama told me to speak like you got a college degree. You see I can, but I
won’t ‘cause I’m sayin’ what I want. Plus this slang that I speak don’t change
that I’m deep as the throat on a certified freak when she choke as we headed to
the crib…”-J. Cole

This was part of a bar I pulled from a song while just sitting around listening
to music. It caught my attention because this was the first time I heard an
artist talk about language in their music. The artist J. Cole, who is signed to
Jay-Z’s label, states that his mother instructed him to speak like he was a
college graduate. He then states that he refuses to and expresses his belief that
the way he speaks does not define him. J. Cole is the first artist that I heard
rap about slang and acknowledging that he uses slang over Standard English.
Again there are the metaphors used to express the artist’s feelings and beliefs.

                            Annotated Bibliography
Alim, S. H. (2002). Street-conscious copula variation in the hip hop nation.

       American Speech, 77(3), 288-304.

      Alim compares two hip-hop artists and, what I would call, their degrees

of slang use. Alim interviews the artists about their reasoning behind their use

of slang. Both artists’ responses had something to do with identifying with

their “hood” and the streets. Looking at the language they used in the

interview, Alim compares it to the language used in an album made by each

artist. He even gives the language another classification we never discussed in

class. He calls it the Hip Hop Nation Language or HHNL. It seems like it could
be related to AAVE which we did discuss in class.

      I could use this article to further my argument when talking about

people being able to only give examples and elements which contribute to, or

make up hip-hop but not being able to define it. It is like our class discussion

earlier this semester of Standard English, everybody could give general rules

and exceptions but there was no clear statement or definition for what exactly

Standard English was.

Dunham, K. J. (2000, June 7). Mr. Atoon Is Down With Rap Slang, And

       That's an Up Thing --- His Hot Hip-Hop Dictionary Is a Favorite in the

       'Hood; Pretty Fly for a White-Guy. Wall Street Journal (Eastern

       Edition), p. A1. Retrieved October 28, 2009, from ABI/INFORM

       Global. (Document ID: 54878985).

       Dunham talks about a hip-hop dictionary created by a white guy from

another country. The article praises Mr. Atoon for such a helpful resource he

created. The dictionary breaks down the hip-hop and rap language. It gives

definitions of slang words and also provides a sentence or lyric from a song to

show how the word would be used in conversation.


       This article and hip-hop dictionary can be used to show the many

words that are used in rap songs and also in peoples’ everyday conversations. I

could also show how quickly some words and phrases come and go, and how

some have been around for many years and have just resurfaced but we use

them and think they are new. I could make an argument about how rapidly the
language of hip-hop changes and how it affects students here at the

University.


Leach, A. (2008). “One day it’ll all make sense”: Hip-hop and rap resources for

       music librarians. Notes, 65(1), 9-37.


       Leach’s article provided a lot of information dealing with hip-hop and

rap. In providing the elements of hip-hop Leach shows how slang is not just

used in the music but also to describe jobs of people involved with the culture.

It is a resource for music librarians but it was helpful in pointing me in a

direction to look for other sources which could be more helpful in my

research. His article reveals that there are different opinions on what hip-hop

is and what rap is. I can use this and other texts to compare and get an idea of

people’s opinion on the definitions/elements of rap and hip-hop.


Sanders, L. (2008). Hip hop-It don’t stop. Retrieved November 2, 2009, from

       IDEALS.


       Sanders analyzes hip hop and it’s affect on college freshman attitudes,

behaviors, and their daily lives. It is similar to my idea for my research in that

it is looking at the affect of hip hop music on college students. She looks at the

general effects on college freshman, I will only look at the effects on daily

conversations/slang use. Also instead of just freshman, I will look at all levels,

mostly undergraduate students like myself.


      Some of Sander’s sources seem like they would be of help to my
         research. Also some of her survey and interview questions helped to get me

         thinking of questions for my survey I plan to conduct. I could use her method

         of research as a model for my paper. Her interviews also supported some my

         argument about people’s variation of defining hip-hop. Sander’s project will

         serve more as a guide than as a support for my arguments.


         Smitherman, G. (1997). “The chain remain the same” Communicative

                practices in the hip hop nation. Journal of Black Studies, 28, 3-25.


                Smitherman talks about the elements of hip-hop, her opinion of what

         rap is and what it represents. She mentions some artists that started the hip-

         hop culture and what we know as rap today. She even includes lyrics from

         some songs to show that rap music has a message despite some people

         thinking it is just a lot of noise.


         I plan on using this article to compare with other authors’ opinions and survey
         results I obtain from students here at the University. It will support my
         argument that people can give examples of what makes hip-hop, but hip-hop
         cannot be defined
Discus                                  Hip Hop’s Influence on Slang
    s:
                What is the difference in music slang, if any, from music in the 1980s

         and music now? Does music contain more/less, more/less/about the same

         harshness/violence? I want to compare the levels of slang in music and try to

         study the influence these levels have had on peoples’ language and slang.

         We’ve talked about slang in conversation and language in school, the real

         world, and in academic writing. I’m really interested in music and I thought
doing research on slang in music would be a good way to tie my topic to what

we have been discussing in class.


       This was my original research question and idea for my topic. After

some research my topic has changed a little. Instead of researching and

comparing music of different time periods I just decided to look at how music,

more specifically hip-hop and rap, affects the kind of slang, and the

occurrence of slang in peoples’ daily conversations.


       I plan to research and compare the use and meaning of slang in music

from the 1980s to now. I plan to use the archives to learn about the music and

slang that students may have listened to and used in the 1980s. The materials

I will use from the archives will probably be scrapbooks of past UIUC

students, fraternities, sororities, and archives of old Daily Illini newspapers.

Using the information I find from the archives, I will narrow my topic more.


      Facebook will also be a useful tool in my research. People quote lines

from songs in their statuses, write lyrics from songs they have written

themselves, and use slang that might be influenced by the music they listen to.

This will help me to compare the music slang of now to that of the 1980s.


      An electronic survey is also one of my possible ideas of research. I will

probably get the best results by giving the survey electronically. Facebook,

again, will be a useful tool through which I could distribute the survey. The

survey would help me to see the opinion of others’ on music slang.
       My research plan also changed after finding that some sources I said I

would use didn’t have any helpful information. The archives proved not to be

useful in any way for my research. I did not end up using music from any

specific time period like I originally planned. However I have used Facebook

and compiled some peoples’ statuses in which they quoted lyrics from a hip-

hop/rap artist. Facebook has so far proven to be a useful tool in my research. I

also conducted an electronic survey and emailed it to everybody in my class.

From the low result turn-out I found that I should have stuck with my plan to

distribute the survey on Facebook. I probably would have gotten more results

making my surveys more useful in my research.


       Although my research didn’t go quite as planned I did find useful

information and changed my topic and method of research accordingly. In the

end I decided to use the databases to find sources for my research and get the

opinions of published authors about my topic. I got ideas for other things to

look for during my research and questions for my survey while reading

through my sources. The plan then was to get my results and compare them to

what published authors were saying. The survey gave me the idea to look on

Facebook and observe peoples’ statuses. This would prove to be a way to back

up my argument that hip-hop and rap affect peoples’ use of slang and the type

of slang they use.


       During my research I saw a pattern. The authors whose work I used in

my research all gave elements of hip-hop and rap. Some even referred to it as a
culture. None of them gave a direct definition of hip-hop and rap. It reminded

me of the talk in class we had about defining Standard English. Everybody had

ideas of what made English standard or not standard but there was no clear

definition.


       Leach’s article provided a lot of information dealing with hip-hop and

rap. In providing the elements of hip-hop Leach shows how slang is not just

used in the music but also to describe jobs of people involved with the culture.

His article reveals that there are different opinions on what hip-hop is and

what rap is.


       In an attempt to define hip hop and rap Leach (2008) says that hip hop

is a “cultural movement” and rap is an “expression of hip hop culture” (p. 10).

He goes on to say that the main elements which make up the hip hop culture

are MCing, DJing, breaking, and graffiti art (Leach, 2008, p. 10).


       These elements are also evidence of how hip hop is an influence on

slang. MCing, DJing, breaking and graffiti art are like codes, or language of

hip hop. MCing is the same thing as somebody saying rapping, and the MC is

the mic controller or master of ceremonies (Leach, 2008, p. 10). DJing is just

the art of scratching on the turntables or turntablism, and the DJ is the disc

jockey (Leach, 2008, p. 10). Breaking is a form of dancing, probably better

known as break dancing (Leach, 2008, p. 10). Graffiti art, or aerosol art, is

seen everywhere and recognized by almost everybody. These are the four
main elements of hip hop according to Leach (2008, p. 10).


        Leach (2008) adds that some people believe fashion, beat-boxing, and

language which I already mentioned (p. 10). The inclusion of these elements

makes it easier to agree that hip hop is more of a culture. Fashion and

language are only a couple of many factors that we look at when we see people

and try to determine ethnicities and racial backgrounds. Hip hop is the

culture; rap and slang are the language unique to and expressive of the

lifestyle.


        Smitherman (1997) says that hip hop is a culture defined by graffiti,

break dancing, certain fashion trends, and a love of basketball (p. 3). Although

an earlier publication than Leach (2008) there are still similarities in what

people thought defined hip hop culture. There is definitely the agreement that

hip hop is a culture.


        The decade difference in the time of publications showed little change

in people’s thoughts of hip hop as a culture and the elements that distinguish

it from other cultures. Leach (2008) and Smitherman (1997) both mention

graffiti, break dancing, and fashion as part of the hip hop culture. The

differences in Smitherman (1997) and Leach’s (2008) opinions of the

elements are Leach (2008) includes language, beatboxing, MCing, and DJing

but doesn’t mention a love for basketball or any sport at all.


        These differences may be due to earlier hip hop being more based on
visual aspects. Smitherman (1997) states that rappers such as Ice Cube, Public

Enemy, Ice-T, Queen Latifah, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Dr. Dre, and 2 Pac were

representative of the Hip Hop Nation (p. 4). People might not have thought of

the music and language as something that made up the hip hop culture. It

seems more like people thought of rappers and their music as the

spokesperson for the Hip Hop Nation. Leach’s (2008) article being more

recent peoples’ opinions have changed to include music and language as a way

to identify a culture.


       Smitherman (1997) defines rap as a “contemporary response to

joblessness, poverty, and disempowerment” (p. 5). Clearly hip hop was

characteristic of Blacks of the lower class. Rap now compared to back then has

grown and changed. During Smitherman’s time of publication rap was about

an artist’s current conditions and lifestyle. They spoke about the hardships of

living in the ghetto, the hood, and living by any means necessary. Rap today is

about the artist’s overcoming of poverty, the hood, the streets, and joblessness.

Artists focus more on their success, newfound wealth, and their ability to

provide for them, and their family without looking to illegal means of making

money. Smitherman (1997) looked at rap as artists’ response to their

conditions, Leach (2008) looked at rap as an expression of a culture.


       While looking through these and other sources for my annotated

bibliography I saw ideas for good questions for surveys and interviews. I’m

kind of a shy person so surveys were my preference of questioning and getting
the opinions of other students. I had already thought of a few questions but

not enough to put together an effective survey that would get me enough

useful information to make a report or that would really support my

argument. Some of my sources pointed me to other sources and gave very

brief summaries of each authors’ intent in their work. One thing that stood out

to me with each source was the different definitions or explanations of what

hip-hop is. I decided that comparing peoples’ opinions of hip-hop should

definitely be part of my research. My main goal of surveying people was to find

out how their definitions and opinions of hip-hop differ, if they believe it

affects their language in daily conversations, and if so, how it affected them. I

did an electronic survey and emailed the people in Rhetoric 233. My survey

was limited to my classmates and other people in Rhet 233 because I didn’t

know any other people affiliated with the University that I could give it to and

be sure to get it back.


       I got very few results back from my survey. Despite this obstacle I found

that the few people that did respond had similarities in the responses to both

multiple choice and open-ended questions. Some of my results actually

surprised me. Six out of the seven people who responded agreed that they

used slang from the music they listen to in their daily conversations. Then four

out of the seven disagreed with the statement that Hip-Hop or Rap affected

their use of slang in their daily conversations. Five out of the seven people

disagreed that Hip-Hop is dead. For one of my questions I gave the first part
of a sentence followed by various options and giving people the option of

choosing more than one of the choices. People chose the option that Hip-Hop

is in need of a new message. Having so few results I can’t really tell if I can tie

these questions together to come to the conclusion or support an argument

saying that Hip-Hop affects some people’s daily conversations and that most

people believe Hip-Hop is still alive but needs a new message.


       As for my open-ended questions, they were a little more helpful. Most

people’s definitions of Hip-Hop were something to do with telling some kind

of story, delivering a message, or poetry with music. There was only one stand-

out definition and that person responded that Hip-Hop was music for a party

setting. One person went as far as to say Hip-Hop is music being used to

express political, social, and personal issues. The most common definitions for

Rap were the same as Hip-Hop, and subgenre of Hip-Hop. Others included

rhythmic delivery of lyrics, Hip-Hop, and poetry; real life expressed through

music; sixteen bars; and music where lyrics are mostly focused on.


       Another idea I touched on in my survey was peoples’ opinions of what

slang is. The majority of responses had something to do with shortening of

words. A couple of them were the idea of deviating from Standard English.

One was the manipulation of words to make them sound cooler. I thought the

last one pretty much captured all the basis of everyone’s opinion. If I were to

combine all these definitions into one I would say that most of these people
believe that slang is some kind of manipulation of words.


      Due to my low result turn-out I can’t really apply my results to any

group of people except for the people who responded. One conclusion I can

come to is that Hip-Hop and Rap affects everybody differently. Comparing my

results to my sources from my annotated bibliography I can see there is some

variation in the definition of Hip-Hop but everybody agrees it is ideas

expressed with music, or beats involved. I have learned that there are various

ways people can express basically the same thing about Hip-Hop. As I also

stated before I can’t really make any arguments based on my survey results. I

wouldn’t be able to accurately portray any group of people without a doubt

about their opinions.


       My survey results could serve as a template for other ideas to look into

for my research. The same as I used my sources to get ideas for questions I

could get search terms and focus my research on some trend found in my

survey.


       According to my survey results the people who responded believe hip

hop is a story, message, or party music. Nobody mentioned that hip hop is a

culture or movement. One person did say that hip hop is expressive of

political, social and personal issues. This is similar to what Leach (2008)

pointed out in their article, but instead rap was the means of expressing and

hip hop was the lifestyle or culture.
       The survey revealed that people defined rap similarly to hip hop. Some

said it was a subgenre of hip hop but nobody characterized rap as the

language, or an element of hip hop. Despite these results Leach (2008) states

that there is actually disagreement when it comes to hip hop and rap being

used as interchangeable terms (p. 10). Although one person did say they would

define it as life expressed through music. It was the closest to Leach’s (2008)

definition stating that rap is an expression of hip hop culture (p. 10). Maybe

people believe hip hop to be a culture and a genre of music. The younger

generation may look at hip hop in more of a musical way than a lifestyle. The

title of my survey and the surrounding questions may have also affected

peoples’ responses. With people knowing that my survey was about hip hop

and it’s influence on slang they might have just focused on the music aspect of

hip hop instead of hip hop in it’s entirety.


       While on Facebook I collected somewhat of a sample of statuses which

had something to do with hip hop or I felt were influenced by hip hop or rap. I

plan to use these to give a more visual example of how hip hop and rap have

such a big influence on language and slang. Some people’s statuses included

lyrics along with a thought of their own. Some people just quote lyrics from

artists’ songs.


       I also paid attention to the fact that it was only sometimes that the

artist was acknowledged at the end of statuses. When the artist was failed to

be mentioned others would comment stating the name of the artist and/or the
name of the song from which the quote was pulled from.


       This part of my research was very interesting. It showed how

widespread the influence of music is. There were always many people

commenting on a status when they recognized a quote from a song. If not

mentioning the artist or song they would give the next line or bar from the

song, sometimes even the hook, a favorite line of their own from the song, or

maybe a line from another song of the same artist which they liked.


       After compiling my list of Facebook statuses and reviewing them I

found that it was not always clear the artist’s purpose of the piece of lyric. For

a few of them I had to look up lyrics to look at the whole bar to get an idea of

what message the artist was trying to deliver. This sometimes also helped in

figuring out what message the person posting the status meant to deliver to

Facebook users.


“(Chicago's Finest) Niggaz be acting as bad as the females do, where's the
dividing line??Aside From That, Back In The Chi Its Set Up Season huh? We'll
See How This Goes... "Back in tha Chi them F.O.L.K.S. aint from MOtown" -
KanYe West”-Facebook status
      For this particular status the person first mentioned something that was

on their mind then quoted Kanye West. They made the transition from their

thoughts to Kanye’s lyrics clear through the use of elipses and quotation marks

around Kanye’s lyrics. This was one of those statuses I had to look up lyrics to

understand the message West was trying to deliver. It might have helped and

saved time if I knew the song. The quote was from West’s song Diamonds Are
Forever. After reviewing the verse from which this piece of lyric was derived I

came to the conclusion that West was saying that his family was from Motown

and the people in Chicago were not from Motown so he does not consider

them family. There was no clear connection between this person’s thoughts

and West’s lyrics so I came to the conclusion that maybe the person was

listening to the song or maybe being in Chicago made them think of this

particular line of West. This would prove hip hop’s influence on people’s daily

lives.


“running circles round a gang like a hula hoop an’ sh-t,your gon have to loop
this sh-t,that won’t be a duplicate,and my blunts be super thick,Im higher than
a super kick,I’m the bomb baby, watch me nuke this sh-t,when I leave the
booth, they gotta scoop this sh-t,my apologies, diabolically,I’m the prodigy,do
you roger me,I look in the flames and see the hotter me,but how come I’m still
colder than commonly,”-FB status
This status is a bar from the artist Lil’ Wayne’s mix tape No Ceilings. Wayne

talks about smoking and how high he gets. He also mentions how hot, or good,

of a rapper he is. This person might have posted this status just because they

liked Lil’ Wayne’s use of metaphors. They may have also felt like they could

relate to Lil’ Wayne in the sense of being a good rapper, or doing drugs and

getting high. Whatever reason the Facebook user had it shows that hip hop

has some kind of influence in people’s daily lives and thought processes.


“"My President is Black in fact he's half White, So even in a racist mind he's
half right." -Jay-Z”-FB status
         This person was quoting Jay-Z in his song My President Is Black. After

the election of President Obama Jay-Z made this song and in the beginning he
makes this statement. There was some disapproval of a Black man being

elected President so it seems that Jay-Z was speaking to those who dislike the

idea of a Black man for President. It seems that Jay-Z was somewhat joking or

being sarcastic and saying that it’s not all bad for the people who did not want

Obama to win. He states that President Obama is biracial so he will be right in

everybody’s mind at some point in time although it might not be at the same

time for everybody. This also makes me think of the way hip hop was a big

influence in getting young, and new voters to register and go out to vote. Hip

hop and rap music had a whole campaign dedicated to encouraging and

informing young voters that their opinion and vote did count despite what

they thought.


“is too much for these niggas & three much for these hoes. So happy I might
jus knock a nigga out on the way home Lol. Really doe .”-FB status
       Again there is a mix of an artist’s lyrics and the person’s thoughts. This

one is not clearly separated like the other example but I recognized the line

from a Lil’ Wayne song. It is also from his No Ceilings mix tape. Lil’ Wayne

and the poster seem to have had the same purpose for this line. Basically they

are both saying that they are too much for people to handle. Some may see it

as confidence or a little arrogant. It shows that sometimes music can help

people to express how they feel about themselves.


“Where did the ceiling go???”-FB status
       Another quote of Lil’ Wayne’s from his No Ceilings mix tape. It seems

like Lil’ Wayne was high and may have been having hallucinations of the
ceiling disappearing or just being so high that he felt he was in the sky. This

person may have just liked the quote because it was random but still relevant

for Lil’ Wayne’s purpose.


"dont give da BLACK MAN food, give RED MAN liquor, red man
FOOL, black man NIGGA, give YELLOW MAN tool, make him
railroad builder, also give him pan, make him pull gold from river,
give black man CRACK, GLOCKS & things, give red man CRAPS,
SLOT MACHINES...." –FB status
         The only conclusion I came to for this status is that the person was

describing the differences in opportunities that Blacks and Whites receive as

some hip hop and rap songs point out.


"Have a baby by me, baby be a millionaire" -Curtis "50 Cent"

Jackson | "Have a baby by me, be a single-parent" –Anonymous -FB

status


         When I first saw this status I laughed. As the person has already

pointed out it is a quote from one of rapper 50 Cent’s songs. 50 Cent speaks

about having enough money for a woman to have his baby and be rich and

well taken care of. The second part of the status which was by the Facebook

user points out a sad but true situation in American society particularly the

Hip Hop culture. There are more and more single mothers, more babies

growing up not knowing their father, getting little attention from their father,

or just receiving a child support check every month and never seeing the

source of the money. 50 Cent is expressing his ability to take care of children

financially through his song. The Facebook user is simply expressing the
reality that so many young Black women experience everyday.


“"if u admire sumbody, u should go head tell em, people never get
da flowers while they could still smell em" (K. West)” –FB status
       Kanye West is telling people that if they care about somebody they

should show it and not wait until the person is dead, when it is too late, to

express feelings and give flowers. This person may have been experiencing a

death in the family and realized that they should have done more with or for

the person while they were alive and able to appreciate the love, and care

shown. Hip hop influences more than violence, it also encourages people to

express their feelings.


"She all on me, cuz all i do, is ride around, Bentley coupe, got no need, she got
me, buyin her them Fendi shoes....ALL WE DO IS SHOP UNTIL WE DROP
right there in the floor, & all we do is make love in foreign places till we cant
no more." Live Fancy –FB status
       This is a hook from a song by Fabolous. In the song he talks about

having so much money that there is no need for him to look at tags when he

shops. He brags about getting whatever his “girl” wants and she not have to

worry about anything financially. The Facebook user also adds a little bit of

their thoughts to the end. It proves that hip hop can be the influence for

people whether they aspire to be artists or not. It brings out the creative side

in some people and Facebook is the place people express their ideas.


“Cot damn, the boy’s backFor pushing a mountain of Sno-Caps or avoiding the
KojakThe pioneer of the coke rapI’m dancin’ with the stars, steppin’ on blow,
doin’ the toe-tapThe dope return like I had it on LoJackIt made its way home
like a road mapI fathered thisIf I misled any kid that’s fatherlessThat burden’s
on my soul as long as I exist- "Malice" –FB status
       This is part of a bar from a song by The Clipse and Pharrell. I came to

the conclusion that the rapper was speaking about selling drugs. The person

may have liked the artist’s use of metaphors. Hip hop and rap consists of a lot

of metaphors and rhyming. If the artist’s flow or pace is right it all comes

together and just catches the attention of the listener.


“…My mama told me to speak like you got a college degree. You see I can, but I
won’t ‘cause I’m sayin’ what I want. Plus this slang that I speak don’t change
that I’m deep as the throat on a certified freak when she choke as we headed to
the crib…”-J. Cole
       This was part of a bar I pulled from a song while just sitting around

listening to music. It caught my attention because this was the first time I

heard an artist talk about language in their music. The artist J. Cole, who is

signed to Jay-Z’s label, states that his mother instructed him to speak like he

was a college graduate. He then states that he refuses to and expresses his

belief that the way he speaks does not define him. J. Cole is the first artist that

I heard rap about slang and acknowledging that he uses slang over Standard

English. Again there are the metaphors used to express the artist’s feelings

and beliefs.


       Due to my poor pacing and time management I did not get to do any

interviews. From the research that I did get done I see that hip hop and rap is

a big influence in some people’s lives. It influences language, lifestyles, and

thought processes. Hip hop is more than a culture; it is a culture, movement,

lifestyle and musical expression. Rap is the language, and also the expression
           of the hip hop movement and culture. Artists can take serious issues and

           express them to the world. They can provide uplifting messages for somebody

           that might be going through a rough time in life. Rap can be informational or

           encouraging to get people to do something. Hip hop and rap influence

           language and many other things in peoples’ lives.


  EUI Sanders, L. (2008). Hip hop-It don’t stop. Retrieved November 2, 2009, from
Links:
            IDEALS.


           http://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/11610/Research_Proc

                   ess_and_Final_Paper.doc?sequence=2


Reflect It was an interesting experience to conduct research of my own. It was a lot of hard work but I
      : learned a lot about conducting research and about my topic. I enjoyed distributing a survey,
           seeing the results and being able to tie it to my project. It was rewarding to be able to put
           together an almost 15 page paper from the research I conducted. If I could do it again I would
           use my time more wisely and put more work into the smaller steps in order to make the final
           project a little easier. I would also come up with a better survey and find more people to take
           it. An interview would have also been a big help and contribution to my paper. I could have
           spoken with up-and-coming rappers to see how they felt about hip hip, rap, slang, and what
           and/or who influences their lyrics. I would have put more effort into finding relevant
           information for my project.

           The idea of archiving was exciting, it felt good that I would have the chance to put my work
           somewhere and other people would be able to read it and use it. I'm hoping my paper will be
           of use to someone in the future and maybe they can find something in my project that they
           feel needs to be further researched or it helps them to come up with another idea for research.

				
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