P.O.M.E. concept in Hip-Hop culture by: Matthew Ocbina (B.I.N.S.)

30 Mar


             What is it with hip-hop these days?  The mere mention of bling, pimping bitches, and “yo, seen my new ride? seen my 30 inch rims?” lead us to a shallow idea of hip-hop.  Did Nas tell us the truth by saying hip-hop is dead? or did he say that for marketing purposes?.  P.O.M.E. is an abbreviation for product of my environment.  This concept is most evident in the culture of hip-hop.  All the 9 elements that comprise this culture is largely influenced by the environment where it came from.  Hip-hop has its humble beginnings.  The streets gave birth to this culture during the late 70s, particularly in the nitty gritty neighbourhoods of South Bronx, New York. 


            We must first analyze the concept of “the ghetto” for us to understand the concept of P.O.M.E. in this culture.  We all know that most of the rappers out there came from a ghetto or hood.  Ghetto is an area of a city lived in by a minority group, especially a run-down and densely populated area lived in by a group that experiences discrimination.  It is also the part of town were Jews were required to live back then.  The hood has a great influence in one’s psyche.  It can ruin one’s perspective about life or it can also bring out the best of us.  Hip-hop plays a huge role in gritty parts of the city.  It is an outlet for the youth to express their ideas and emotions by various means.  Examples of which are writing rhymes(MCing), dancing(B-boying), and graffiti(street art).  This art form can prevent the youth from being led to a life of crime which is most prevalent in their world.


            Role models also play an important role in the P.O.M.E. concept.  Most of the role models that the kids in the ghetto look up to are shady characters (pimps, gangbangers, drug dealers) because they are the ones that have all the money and material possessions that one wishes to have.  This would eventually lead to the mentality of wishing to be one of them when one grows up..  Environment also plays an important role on how one walks, talks, and dress.  Hip-hop as we all know is a street culture.  The way rappers dress up and talk can all be pointed out where it came from. 


            Hip-hop music is not all about negativity since it came from the streets.  It is not all about having the best cars and women.  Having to rock the best Jordans or designer clothes.  Certain rappers out there are still pushing for the true meaning of this culture.  Which is to uplift minds, promote camaraderie, spark one’s creativity, and most importantly to promote it as a positive outlet amidst the harsh realities of the world.  So let us ponder with the question- Is Hip-Hop dead?


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