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Real Stories

Hip-Hop Music Culture and Wealth?

Materials Needed:
Several large photos, cardboard or tagboard, overhead projector, large chart paper, markers, overhead transparencies

Prior to beginning this activity, the facilitator should have several large photos cut out of magazines that depict Hip-Hop or popular culture stars, jewelry, cars, CD covers, fashion, etc. or assign students to bring in their own images.

  • These photos should be glued onto cardboard or tag board; if you have technology available, you could pre-select a few websites to fulfill the same purpose.

The facilitator should begin this activity by:
Displaying the pictures where everyone can see them and then asking the participants to individually reflect and write about what they see and how those images make them feel. What are they being persuaded to think or want?

  • After giving them adequate time to do so, the entire group should discuss all the answers.
  • The facilitator should develop and write a list of terms either on an overhead projector, large chart paper or the like that would describe hip-hop music and popular culture as the participants are sharing.
  • Note how many times participants refer to material wealth. Then ask: how is this representation different from real world experiences? How might popular culture shape our ideas about money?
  • Use this as your jumping off point to refer back to sections of Chapter One where young adults and Russell Simmons discuss "making mistakes" in regard to money. Brainstorm ways such "big trouble" (Simmons) might be avoided. What questions should we ask to ensure that we are making informed choices and decisions?

Facilitator Tip: If your participants are more comfortable giving their answers orally instead of writing them individually, this may easily be done. Just be sure that you are capturing what they are saying on chart paper or an overhead.

The facilitator should conclude this activity with the following:
Use the following quote, "And, the same thing happens on a smaller scale to everybody, not just artists," and ask participants to write out or discuss their reactions to the statement.