It ain’t all about the pimps and hoes.

When oneself thinks of “hip-hop”, oneself will probably think of the usual stereotypes. Pimps, hoes, money, African-Americans and of course some “bling-bling”. But when we shovel deeper into the culture that essentially is confronting society with its problems, we are soon to realise Hip-Hop is about a lot more.  “The thing about hip-hop today is it’s smart, it’s insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable” Barack Obama.

From hip-hops very beginning in the Ghettos of the Bronx in the 70’s, it has been used as a method of political and social activism. The exportation of US movies such as Beat street and Fame (technoscapes) has helped facilitate the globalisation of hip-hop. This is very much evident with a number of Australian hip-hop artists such as Hilltop hoods, Bliss and Eso and Urthboy. Urthboy in particular is much more political with his music. He is signed by the record company ‘Elefants’ who have a reputation to be quite political “I always like to picture them as some kind of new-age socialist community where everyone has equal rights and where they are always picking each other up with their trunks and squeezing lovingly” (Galinovic, 2012) . Urthboy highlights social and political problems but in an “Australianised” sense. His song “knee high socks” highlights the controversial nightlight of the Kings Cross suburb of Sydney “Grab my skateboard from the cloak room, found Kings Cross with her legs wide open, what kind of trouble could a kid get his nose in, when the best of the is as part of Sydney blows in”.

The song 77% by ‘The Herd’ (including Urthboy) is “a song about racism, refugees, and the Tampa (“Wake up, this country needs a fucking shake up”). Not only do they criticise the political policies but are telling the Australian government and people of Australia to “wake-up”. They are using the art of Hip-hop to ‘represent’ the place they come from and informing the globe as a whole (through the help of technoscapes) what their society is all about. The influences of their music obviously comes from the roots of hip-hop which is African-American, but ‘Urthboy’ and the other Australian hip-hop artists are a true testament on how much hip-hop has evolved globally. They do however still hold the true meaning of hip-hop as a platform of representing your society. So no, hip-hop isn’t just all about them pimps and big-booty hoes.


Fair dinkum! What’s not to understand?!

Crikey! Has the “Aussie” dialect of English become that colloquial that foreigners have no hope in understanding us? In some cases yes, but is it really a bad thing? Does our “evil twin sister” form of the pompous, well-behaved Old English language give us a uniqueness in culture that International students are intrigued by and want to learn more about it?  In my opinion and from personal experiences, yes it does.

As Australia is a fairly new country and is essentially made up of migrants, “Australian English vocabulary is a hybridisation of Gaelic, Welsh, Scots, London Cockney, Indigenous, Malay…”(Angelo, 1994). This has given Australian English its unique dialect made up of informality and colloquialisms. Now, when we throw international students into this culture, mumbling sentences at them at 1 million miles an hour such as “Aymatey,gonnagetonthepisswivyaoldpalafterthefootythisarvo?” is probably going to get a very “…..” response from poor old Edgar from Germany who thought he had quite a good grasp on the English language. In the reading ‘International students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes’, its stated “Students mentioned that it was particularly difficult to understand the Australian accent out in the community”. This is mostly due to our tendencies to mumble and slur words, when foreign students listen to clear and accurate accents when learning English e.g. instead of classically saying “going to” we mash the words together to form “gonna”. These sort of words confuse the daylight out of students  and in some cases deter them from speaking to locals. Yes, it is a lazy and colloquial form of language, but that’s what foreigners love about Australia! Take into account the recent tourism campaign “Where the bloody hell are you?”. The stereotypically relaxed, informal message of Australia that the campaign is conveying to the globe, complements our relaxed and informal “Australian language”.

Even though it may be a daunting prospect for international students to understand our “lingo”, the best way to experience the culture is to fully embrace and immerse yourself in it. Find a common ground with some of locals even if its just simply talking about what you had for “brekkie” (breakfast). Whilst us as Australians need to understand that our form of English is not globally taught so patience and constant communication will ensure a culturally-rich experience for the internationals. Here’s a video that will definitely give you a headstart. Cya round you little ankle-biters!

Global village or Western village?

“Think local and act global”, are the words spoken by Manuel Castells in the reading ‘Media and Society’. My interpretation of this quote on Globalisation is to incorporate your own cultures individuality into a product and then communicate this product globally for maximum success. Some examples from the top of my head include Mcdonalds, iPhones and Xbox. Now, I am quite sure that most of my readers are thinking of similar products, as we are constantly saturated in these products every single day. The other similarity that these Global products have is that they all come from America- “the land of opportunity”. This therefore makes me and many others wonder, are we really living in a “global village”?

This music video clip showcases positive globalisation in relation to world music. African music or any music from third world areas of the globe did not have exposure in the past, but through the growth of communication media there is now the exposure they desire. The clever use of the well known Western pop artist Shakira will definitely globalise African inspired music, but will the Americanised editing and pop-styled finished product desensitise the true essence of African music to the world?

Since the explosive growth in media and communication industries in the 20th century when television and radio were popularised, there has been constant debate concerning the positives and negatives with the Globalisation of these media’s. The positive facts concerning the globalisation of communication are characterised by:

Instantaneity (instant access to distant information eg. The internet)

-Interconnectedness (formation of relationships across different cultures eg. Charities)

Interdependence (politics coming together from different countries about certain issues eg. United Nations)

Marshall McLuhan’s utopian view on globalisation suggests that people of the world can be brought closer together by the globalisation of communication. He sees this as an agent of empowerment, education, democracy and equality. As much as I agree with Mcluhan’s view, it is to only some extent, as I believe this view can only really benefit the developed/western world. How can people in Africa with no access to the internet let alone electricity, be included in media globalisation? My answer to this is that they just simply cannot. Even though media globalisation has done wonders for the worlds economic output, the gap between the rich and poor is stretching further and further apart.

These negatives in globalisation are very much evident in the products we all consume on a daily basis. The multi-national company Nike for example has strengthened the Dystopian views on Globalisation. The sweat-shops that are running in parts of Asia exploit the poorer parts of the globe by underpaying workers in horrific conditions. Whilst countries like Australia and England are paying for these product in expensive amounts, the Asian workers that produce these products cannot even afford what they make.

Castell’s distopian view of globalisation ‘we are not living in a global village, but in customised cottages globally produced and locally distributed’ perfectly describes my view on the supposed ‘Global village’. In order for it to be a genuine global village, the western culture should stop being cultural imperialists and embrace traditional cultures.