By Jocelyn You
In the 90’s, Wu-Tang Clan, a popular rap group, created the saying, “Wu-Tang is for the children,” but this applies to hip hop in general. The group was so famous that it promoted the slogan, “Wu-Tang is forever,” intending for the music to live on for future kids to love. The music heavily influenced the generation of 90’s teenagers and for a while, people thought hip hop was dead. However, 2014 brought forth a new generation of teenagers surrounded by hip hop influences. Today’s hip hop radio hits influence: Clothing, music and even personality. In addition to new hip hop influences, kids are also introduced to “old school” hip hop from their parents who lived through the 90s. Teenagers everywhere, especially at Tustin High, are in this hip hop/rap culture movement. Social media users constantly tweet and caption Instagram pictures with song lyrics. Tumblr, a site used for blogging constantly features hip hop jams, new and old, to its users (who are mostly teenagers). Hip hop is played at sporting events such as football and basketball games in order to pump up crowds. Athletes use hip hop to get them hyped up, and other students listen to it out of pure love. A lot of students can relate to the lyrics, and some even tweet about how the lyrics are relevant to world events today. For example, students got fired up on Twitter when the Ferguson case went down and related the situation to a 2Pac song called “Changes.” Rap and hip hop are meant to pump up listeners, but they can also teach lessons that are useful in real life.
Some of the artists popular today include Kanye West, Drake, PARTYNEXTDOOR, The Weeknd, Childish Gambino, Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper, and Tyler, the Creator. Additionally, old school artists such as Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Usher, 2Pac, and 50 Cent still occur on playlists everywhere. The impact that hip hop and rap have on this generation is huge. It’s inspiring how something as simple as music is able to bring together a whole mass of teenagers growing up and finding themselves.
Like Wu-Tang said over fifteen years ago, “Hip hop is for the children.”