Hip hop began in the 1970s with young people living in the Bronx just “wanting to have a good time,” and from there it has grown into a cultural and social phenomenon affecting social change, says the author of a history of the movement.
Jeff Chang, a Stanford University professor, wrote Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, A History of The Hip-Hop Generation.
Chang, executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts and the Committee on Black Performing Arts at Stanford, says hip hop is a cultural movement that provides insight into race relations, politics, aesthetics and social movements.
“Millions of people all over the world have been working through, and talking about, this body of knowledge, and it’s not just about a couple of rappers you see on TV,” Chang says. “It’s about local neighborhood histories, it’s about the changing of the economy, it’s about political shifts and changes.
“It’s about the type of things that made the election of Barack Obama possible in 2008.”