Hip hop music has permeated every aspect of popular culture, from fashion to jewelry and even race; white rappers like Eminem have proven that hip hop is colorblind. While many rappers and hip hop artists have marked their careers with calamity and crime, there are some bright spots.
For example, Eminem has done extensive charity work via the Eight Mile Association, Marshall Mathers Foundation and NineMillion.org, all of which benefit the education of at-risk youths. And 50 Cent's G-Unity non-profit donates to the Boys Choir of Harlem, Compton Unified School District, Teach for America, the Jam Master Jay Foundation, and Queensborough Community College.
Hip hop has also transcended into fashion, mostly through clothing lines headed up by enterprising rapperpreneurs. Eminem has Shady Ltd., Jay-Z has Rocawear, Nelly has Apple Bottoms, and LL Cool J has FUBU and Todd Smith. Beyond these clothing lines, hip hop artists have also loaned their infamous faces to sell other luxury goods like perfume and liquor.
Vibe Magazine recently named Eminem the best rapper alive, a distinction that has been met with a significant amount of criticism. Whether you agree with the voters who participated in the tournament-style polls or not, one thing's for sure: Hip hop is here to stay.
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By: Marissa Brassfield - Published: Oct 14, 2008