1st Source Evaluation


Darryl “D.M.C” McDaniels of Run D.M.C.

The overarching topic of my research paper is about the similar origins of punk and hip-hop, in late 1970’s New York, and how the shared cultural and social circumstances affected the conception and early growth of the two genres. I have started researching each genre individually and will eventually merge them with my research of Def Jam Records through Rick Rubin. The first major source I have gone through is the Netflix documentary series, Hip-Hop Evolution. It takes the viewer from the very beginnings of hip-hop, in the bronx, to 1980’s and 90’s “gangsta rap” through interviews with the pioneers of the art and experts on the subject. The series has one episode focusing on Def Jam, Rick Rubin, The Beastie Boys, and some similarities between punk and hip hop. This episode is the one I will use most for the paper.



Grandmaster Flash


Hip-Hop Evolution is a very strong source for the hip-hop side of my paper as it has countless interviews with rappers, DJ’s, and social figures that started the Hip-Hop movement. This first hand information helps get away from the modern stigma surrounding Rap and takes it at its core. The source does however fall short on the punk side of my paper, but this was anticipated and still does show some of the cross over through Def Jam. The documentary series focuses on the African American community in New York at the time and how Hip-Hop was an alternative outlet for so many people in different ways. It helped prevent gang violence through forming non-violence based communities, and offered the young generation an artistic outlet that was anti-disco. The nature of an alternative outlet mixed with social turmoil, is what ties Punk and Hip-Hop so closely. Hip-Hop Evolution does a good job of capturing this unrest and breaking away from mainstream media.



Hip-Hop Evolution. Dir. Darby Wheeler. Perf. Shad. Netflix.com. N.p., 29 Apr. 2016. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.

1 comment for “1st Source Evaluation

  1. JPT
    January 23, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    A good place to start and you are right to highlight it’s strength in primary interviews, but that part is also its limitation. They are telling a story that more often than not is self-aggrandizing and I don’t think the documentary (which is very fine overall) has a real critical eye for the overstatement of these early figures. It certainly is not as weak and over simplified as the mainstream media (whatever that is in this fractured media landscape), but it does not have the academic heft and specificity that you will need as you drill down. It also seems like a very good way to get a rough periodization of the time and it would be good to discuss how that helped you focus your point. Also that is … cap B Bronx BOOOOOOOOOOYYYYY! 45/50

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