It is doubtless, that the present-day culture became commodified, being oriented on the mass market. It is almost impossible for the cultural workers to resist the temptation to be driven by the corporate interests only. To preserve the universal value of the hip hop generation cultural heritage, it is necessary to include the non-market values into the products, to nurture people while entertaining them, not denying the vast effects of the market forces at the same time.
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The relationship between the hip hop and commercial culture may be viewed from the point of view of the aims they pursue and the differences and the social status of the cultural workers involved. Hip hop representatives initially had several more goals besides the goal to gain economic profits. The black males tried to spread the outlaw fantasies of the white people concerning them, to exaggerate their fears. Meeting the expectations of the audience, they chose this way of self-expression, predetermined by the state of economic and political marginalization. But due to the successful development of the trend and its popularity among different sections of the population, hip hop took more and more political and social space as well as the space in the market. Hip-hop culture was used for the commercial purposes in order to appeal to the feelings of the common people. “These examples of international, hip-hop-related meaning making are intertwined with the use of hip-hop by global capitalist advertisers to sell Campbell soup, Coca-Cola, clothing, and all brands of athletic shoes to children of all ages” (Adjaye 268). This fact may serve the evidence that hip hop became integrated with the commercial culture and involved in the market relations, willing it or not, notwithstanding the initial purposes of the hip hop representatives.
One more reason for further orientation on the market was Telecommunications Act of 1996, which opened up the new possibilities before the entrepreneurs in the sphere of commercial culture. The belief of Congress that the competition should replace all the preceding limitations concerning entrepreneurship in this field was expressed in the act. It was a step forward that became decisive for some companies and provided their rapid growth. The consequences of this reform were reported in the mass media. For example, two articles Clear Channel to buy 2 Milwaukee radio stations Company News and Clear Channel Communications in 2 Radio published in the Ney York Times in January, 1997 and April, 1998 correspondingly, dealt with the initiatives of the company, that became possible after the entry of the law into force. His articles provided the figures and concrete sums of money involved in the business. One year after the reform was carried out Clear Channel Communications owned or programmed 104 radio stations and a year later, in 1998, they managed to buy six radio stations more. It was this reform that allowed the company in question to become a media conglomerate company. The act enabled it not only to own more stations but to entrepreneurs in other spheres of the mass media as well. The conditions for severe competition were created and it led not only to the prosperity of some companies but to decay and absorption of others as well. These two articles are to become the source of concern for the people who are worried about the future way of hip hop, especially those who deny the importance of its marketplace. Existing in the era of market relations, hip-hop culture workers are induced to reckon with the realities of the time and look for the suitable place in the market to survive.
Nowadays the new possibilities are to be used so that to meet the requirements of the market. New technologies and materials are among them. Black people were always creative as to the use of modern technologies, inventing some unconventional ways for it and looking for new decisions. At the present moment, a wide range of new products and services are at the cultural workers’ disposal. It is up to them to use them or not. Some of the products may provide not only possibilities but the challenges as well. The question of whether the voice or the music processed by the computer may be considered art is raised rather often. But the use of other modern technologies such as digital media storage, for example, is compulsory to go with the times. It is doubtless that the mechanisms and chips can not substitute the genius of the artist but it is convenient and reasonable to use their support. The progress can not be stopped and it is senseless to reject the new possibilities opened up in the spheres of technological achievements or entrepreneurship.
It is very important for the hip hop culture workers to choose the right direction for its further development and to find the balance between the contemporary market orientation, allowing to survive, and the primary goals of any culture at any historical period. “We must imagine and foster spaces that can be sustained outside these market conditions, nurture what Cornel West refers to as the nonmarket values of love, support, and nurturance” (Adjaye 270).
Adjaye, Joseph , Andrews Adrianne. Language, Rhythm, and Sound. University of Pittsburgh Press. 1997: 291.