Hip-Hop and Cultural Interactions: South Korean and Western Interpretations
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In an increasingly globalized world, there are often questions of hybridity in every aspect of culture from fashion and music to language and religion. The ethnocentric view often parroted by the American public is that the rest of the world is simply trying to mimic the American way of life and failing (Pieterse 2001:225). This study argues that cultural integration of music genres occurs in such a way that the uninformed eye may not notice the difference. Korean hip-hop culture, and rap music specifically, is not a simple copy and paste of American hip-hop into South Korea. It has been glocalized to fit cultural norms, expectations, and history, while still maintaining important aspects of American hip-hop. Hybridity and glocalization have shaped Korean hip-hop into what we see today, but racial stereotypes and the struggle to define authenticity prevent not only Korean but many Asia communities from being fully able to express their struggles through the medium of rap.