Amoriello, T. (2021). Hip Hop

Hip-hop Empowers-Annotated Bibliography

Student’s name

Institutional affiliation

Amoriello, T. (2021). Hip Hop Empowers! – NAfME. Retrieved 6 October 2021, from article Hip Hop Empowers was authored by Thomas Amoriello Jr. and is published on The National Association for Music Education (NAfME)’s website. Thomas Amoriello Jr. is the chairperson to NAFME’s Council for Guitar Education. He also doubles as New Jerseys Music Education Association Chairperson. Since 2005, Amoriello has served as a guitar tutor for Flemington Raritan School District in New Jersey. Thomas has also served as an adjunct guitar instructor for Cumberland County College for five years. He holds a Master’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Music from Shenandoah Conservatory and Rowan University consecutively. Thomas has written various children’s books including Ukelele am Strums in the Sand and A Journey to Guitarland with Maestro Armadillo. Furthermore, he also holds heavy metal records with artists including Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, and Yngwie J. Knowing Thomas Amoriello Jr diverse background in the field of music, only increases my trust in the content of the article. This is because the author has personal interests and professional experience in music-making him best placed to analyze whether or not empowers society.

This article was published as recently as March 14th, 2019. This increases my understanding of the topic of discussion because it helps me put the discussions into a modern-day context. Knowing that the article was published barely three years ago makes me see how important it is to delve into the topic of discussion as an emerging issue that is worth discussing. The article was published by an association known as The National Association for Music Education (NAfME). The main purpose of this organization is to provide a forum to share opinions and information on matters of music. NAfME’s mission is to advance music education through promoting the making and undertaking of music by people. Other types of writings that NAfME writes include blog articles, opinion columns in magazines and journals, and posting on the website that are used to amplify the membership portal. The intended audience of the text is members of the general public who have an interest in matters of music education (Amoriello, 2021). The article also targets educators in the music sector, rappers, and music students. This article was published for consumption of popular press hence it is not a scholarly article. In this article, the author appeals t the six elements of hip hop music including community awareness, conscious awareness, political awareness, justice, activism awareness, and justice. Thomas also speaks to hip-hop music as a genre that demonstrates society in various ways and how it has come to be termed as the music of the youth. The article bears no bias. The author makes logical arguments that are neutral and free of bias.

The findings, ideas, and arguments presented by the author in this article are sensible to me in various ways. I find them sensible because I can easily relate to them and that is how I find them to be authentic. For instance, the author speaks to how hip-hop music aligns with matters of social justice, intersectional feminism, and challenges that young people encounter growing up in various neighborhoods. Without a doubt, the issues of racism and violence have always been of concern in American society and they are also at the center of hip hop music. This makes them resonate with the article even more because I can relate with them.

After taking a critical stance at the article, I recognize various gaps as regards the education sector. Billy Thomas notes “I was accepted for Berklee for a second bachelor’s, I could not muster up the courage to spend $200k on a music education that was the same amount for a nice house.” This statement leads me to question the effectiveness of the education system. It makes me wonder why Billy decided not to attend formal college if after all is truly the key to success. This shows that he did not see value in going to college when could follow his music ambition. He saw it as a waste of money and states that being a performer have led him to network and cross paths with music legends which have helped him curate his own music.

The evidence I find to be most convincing is Billy’s approach in teaching a rap lesson for the first time. I feel that music is more of an art which makes it difficult for a person to be trained. I find his strategy convincing because I would employ the same method to teach a rap class. Before delving into writing lyrics it is important to set a mood that allows the students to understand, time rhythm and sound.

The evidence I find to be least convincing is the fact that Billy realized his love for music in grade 3 from his teachers. In my opinion, this allegation seems a bit far-fetched to be true. This does not rule out the possibility that it might be true. It is hard for me to believe that a grade 3 child can master such complex structures of music including syncopation and polyrhythm at such a tender age. All in all, this does not mean that Billy’s teachers did not lay a foundation for Billy in rap music.

This text changes my entire thinking about rap music from its history, its elements, and how it has evolved over the years. The text has changed my perception of rap music as being the music of the 21st century. Initially, I associated hip-hop music with negative issues such as objectification of women, gun violence, drug abuse, and crime in general. Now I see hip hop for what it is; a tool for social change.

Because of this article, I now know that rap music started in the 20th century and is a branch of other music genres like funk, discos, and blues that were popular at the time. Additionally, I can relate to rap music better because I now know that it is a movement that focuses on justice and civil rights movement, community awareness among others. As I listen to rap music, I am capable of telling how the lyrics bring awareness to society.

This source is similar to other previous texts that I have come across in the parts that talk about hip-hop music. Just like other texts I have encountered, this article maintains that hip hop has always and continues to play a critical role in transforming society. Although not all rap music will address social activism and awareness, most artists are expanding their expertise and rapping about the usual issues of love and women. Artists are now moving away from traditional topics of sex and love and addressing vices of racism and police brutality in their songs.

After reading this text, I think future research should focus on changing the perception that society has towards hip-hop music. For a long time, people have always had a negative perception of music that had to do with violence, drugs, and promiscuity. However, this is no longer the case, and members of society should be taught to look at the bigger picture; that hip hop is moving towards important matters of social justice, community awareness. Hip hop is impacting society for the better.


Amoriello, T. (2021). Hip Hop Empowers! – NAfME. Retrieved 6 October 2021, from