Hip hop music is important precisely because it sheds light on contemporary politics, history, and race. At its best, hip hop gives voice to marginal black youth we are not used to hearing from on such topics.
Obviously, Jay-Z is one of the greatest entertainers of the world today. Not only is he a remarkable rhetorical genius, he's also a man of deep sympathy and empathy for those who are lost and vulnerable, but especially under-educated youth of all cultures and stripes.
Body piercing and baggy clothes express identity among black youth, and not just beginning with hip-hop culture. Moreover, young black entrepreneurs like Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs and Russell Simmons have made millions from their clothing lines.
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