Britishhiphop.co.uk - Check here for the entire history of Hip Hop in the British Isles and a comprehensive database of UK Hip Hop releases.
Home arrow Features arrow Hip Hop Survey 2001
Tuesday, 15 October 2019
Main Menu
Home
News
Reviews
Features
Database
Downloads
Forums
Links
Contact Us
Search
News Feeds
FAQ's
Site Pre Oct '05
BHH Myspace
Newsletter
Gallery
Donate
Any donation you can make will help keep the site online.
Donate towards my web hosting bill!
Hip Hop Survey 2001
User Rating: / 4
PoorBest 
Written by Crate Digger   
Wednesday, 02 January 2002
INTRODUCTION

I have been a fan of hip-hop for a decade now, and over the years, it has played an increasing part in my life. Consequently, I have become very passionate about hip-hop and from the conversations I have with other heads, I know that there are many others who share my enthusiasm. However, despite having millions of followers across the globe, there have been very few studies done on the impact that hip-hop has on its fans. That's why I decided to do some research of my own. 

Most of the hip-hop surveys that are actually done are quite superficial and are generally conducted by magazines and award committees to determine which artists and records are the most popular at any given time. I wanted to probe deeper and find out how hip-hop affected the lives of its fans and also discover what feelings they had about its current state. I hoped to conduct a survey that would at least provide new insight about hip-hop for those who are unfamiliar with it as well as for its fans. In addition, I would consider it to be a great achievement if the results of my survey helped to spark discussion and further research into the influence of hip-hop. However, even if that doesn't happen, I am happy just to have embarked on a research project about a subject that I truly love. 

THE RESULTS

SECTION ONE: PERSONAL DETAILS


These questions aimed to help identify the different kinds of people that are fans of hip-hop. The age range of those who submitted their responses to the questionnaire was 14 - 45 years old, with the average age being 22. 86% of those who responded were male.

That the respondents came from 16 countries shows how far-reaching hip-hop has spread. Nearly 70% of respondents were from the UK, followed by USA and Canada at 20%. There was also a significant response from those living in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Those who responded were from all walks of life. The top answers for occupation were as follows:
Position
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Occupation 
Student 
Music industry 
IT/Internet 
Retail 
Sales/marketing 
Technical/Engineering 
Clerical/administration 
Performing Arts 
Art/design 
Media 

ETHNIC GROUP

Ethnic Group
White 
Black 
Asian 
Other 
Not given 
Percentage
70%
14%
3%
11%
2%

Memorable answer: "I'm white, but why does it matter? Art is art, doesn't matter what colour you are."

SECTION TWO: MUSIC LISTENING HABITS

This section aimed to discover the role hip-hop music played in the lives of its fans, what they listen to, and how, why and when they do so. 

FOR HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN LISTENING TO HIP-HOP?

Range (years)
1 - 4
4½ - 8
8½ - 12
12½ - 16
16½ - 20
21½ - 24
24½ - 28
N/A
Percentage
9.6%
34.8%
24.8%
14.0%
13.2%
1.6%
0.4%
1.6%

Even though it has existed for a quarter of a century, many of hip-hop's critics still consider it to be a fad that young fans will quickly grow out of. However, the results of this survey show that ten years is the average length of time that people have been listening to hip-hop, which suggests that it has the ability to attract loyal fans rather than just trend-followers.

IN WHICH PART OF THE DAY DO YOU LISTEN TO HIP-HOP MUSIC MOSTLY?

Time of Day
All Day
Evening
Night
Afternoon
Morning
Percentage*
60.0%
24.0%
16.4%
8.8%
4.0%

* Percentage totals do not add up to 100% since some respondents gave more than one answer.

The Tour Guide on A Tribe Called Quest's classic 'Midnight Marauders' album said '7 times out of 10 we listen to our music at night'. However, judging by the results, it seems that the majority of people listen to hip-hop all day. 

WHICH ACTIVITIES DO YOU USE HIP-HOP MUSIC AS BACKGROUND MUSIC? 

Position
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Activity 
Travelling
Relaxing
Work
Exercising
Study 
Having Sex
Sleeping
Smoking/Getting high
Computer/video games
Drinking 

Memorable answer: "Music is the background of my life"

FOR WHAT PURPOSE DO YOU LISTEN TO HIP-HOP MUSIC?

Purpose
Entertain
Inspiration
Escapism
Education
Part of Job
Other
Percentage*
93.2%
79.6%
56.4%
49.6%
34.4%
17.2%

* Percentage totals do not add up to 100% since some respondents gave more than one answer.

Memorable answer: "It's part of me and my identity… I live for hip-hop and am basically infatuated by the whole lyricism and diversity the culture encompasses"

KRS-1 used the term 'edutainment' to describe the dual role - of educating and entertaining - that he wanted his music to perform. Though the results show 'entertainment' as being the most popular reason why fans listen to hip-hop, only half of those surveyed said that they listened to hip-hop for educational reasons.
The fact that 'inspiration' and 'escapism' rank higher than education' suggests also that fans see hip-hop artists as role models or storytellers rather than teachers. 

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT IN A HIP-HOP TUNE?

Answer
Beats
Rhymes
Both
The Whole Package
Scratching
Originality/Creativity
There Isn't One
Vibe/Feel/Atmosphere
Subject Matter/Message
Percentage
26.8%
28.0%
28.8%
4.8%
3.2%
2.8%
2.4%
2.4%
1.6%

Memorable answer: "It's like a marriage. A phat beat can (and has) carried many a weak/mediocre verse and the inverse is true too."

If everyone knew the winning formula was for making a hip-hop tune, there would be even more gold and platinum plaques being awarded than there currently are. However, each individual hip-hop fan listens out for different things in their music. 

TOP 20 ALL-TIME FAVOURITE HIP-HOP ARTISTS

1.
2.
3=
3=
5.
6=
6=
6= 
9=
9=
11.
12=
12=
12=
12=
16=
16=
16=
16=
16=
KRS-1 
2pac 
A Tribe Called Quest
Gangstarr
De La Soul 
Public Enemy 
Rakim
Kool Keith 
Mos Def
The Roots
Notorious B.I.G.
Beastie Boys 
Nas
Pete Rock
Talib Kweli
Big Daddy Kane
LL Cool J
Snoop Dogg
Taskforce
Ice Cube

This question is often asked in surveys, yet it seems that it still remains difficult to answer. 15.2% of those surveyed needed to give more than one answer and 8.4% admitted that they did not have one or had too many to choose from.
The top twenty all-time favourite hip-hop artists, as identified by the results, contains several of the usual suspects (2pac, Rakim, Public Enemy etc), along with a few surprises. For instance, Kool Keith was voted joint sixth most popular artist and received more votes than veterans like LL Cool J and Ice Cube. Also, hip-hop legend the Notorious B.I.G. failed even to make the top ten. UK act Taskforce have done well to make the top twenty, and KRS-1, despite his limited commercial success, shows that he has still been very influential by claiming the number one spot. 

HOW OFTEN DO YOU BUY HIP-HOP MUSIC AND IN WHICH FORMAT?

For a sizeable proportion of those surveyed (44.8%), hip-hop records form part of their weekly shopping list. The results also showed that despite the availability of equipment to copy CDs and free hip-hop tracks on the Internet, fans still regularly dig into their pockets to get their hands on the latest tunes.

Despite there being many people who fear that CDs will kill off vinyl, the results of the survey showed that CDs and vinyl are just about as popular as each other when it comes to format hip-hop fans prefer (52% and 53% respectively). Hip-hop has always had a strong DJ following which is probably a major reason why vinyl 12"s remain popular. When it comes to purchasing albums, on the other hand, fans perhaps prefer the CD format because of its superior durability. 

WHAT OTHER TYPES OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO APART FROM HIP-HOP? 

The Top 10

1.
2.
3.
4. 
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Jazz 
Drum & Bass
R&B
Reggae 
Rock 
Ragga 
Garage 
House
Classical
Soul

Hip-hop music is often credited for its ability to incorporate different styles of music, but at the same time, hip-hop fans are sometimes criticised for being closed-minded towards other types of music. The results of the survey, however, show that those hip-hop fans surveyed have a wide variety of musical tastes, and very few of them limit themselves to listening to just hip-hop music. 

SECTION THREE: HIP-HOP CULTURE
This section of the survey took a wider look at the hip-hop movement, the opinions fans had of it and its stars, the part they played in it and the effect it has had on them.

WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING BEST DESCRIBES HIP-HOP TO YOU?

Top 5 answers

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Culture
Lifestyle
State of mind
A type of music
A form of entertainment

Over half of the fans surveyed stated that they would describe hip-hop as a culture. Hip-hop tends to have its own symbols, rituals, sets of behaviours and values, which suggests that hip-hop exists as a culture. However, for each of its fans, hip-hop will mean a different thing, depending on how connected they feel to it. Consequently, significant numbers of those surveyed classified hip-hop as a 'lifestyle', a 'state of mind', or simply a 'type of music'.

WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING HIP-HOP ACTIVITIES HAVE YOU EVER BEEN INVOLVED IN?

Activity 
DJing
Rapping
Graffiti
Beatboxing
B-boying 
None
Percentage* 
60.8%
50.8%
36.0%
26.0%
20.0% 
10.0%

* Percentage totals do not add up to 100% since some respondents gave more than one answer.

Memorable answer "as a female, I feel it's harder for us to be taken seriously doing this stuff"

Many people within the hip-hop circle believe that in many ways hip-hop has lost its roots. My reason for asking this question was to find out the extent to which the original elements of hip-hop have had an impact on existing hip-hop fans. It can be seen that the majority of the hip-hop fans surveyed have, at on time or another, been involved in deejaying and rapping.

However, when it comes to the other elements of hip-hop, the proportion of fans that have been involved in them is quite low. This could possibly because of the high profile given to the multi-million rap music industry and the relatively small exposure given to other hip-hop-inspired activities.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU GO TO LIVE HIP-HOP EVENTS?

Frequency
Weekly
Every 2 weeks
Monthly
Occasionally
Rarely
Percentage
44.8%
20.8%
22.8%
30.4%
16.4%

The results of this question are very similar to those for Question 13. Exactly the same proportion of people surveyed (44.8%) who had said they bought hip-hop music weekly also said that they attended live hip-hop events weekly. It is not possible to see from these results whether those surveyed provided the same answer for both of these questions. However, the results do show that the majority of hip-hop fans regularly attend live events. 

WHICH OF YOUR PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS DO YOU THINK HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY HIP-HOP?

Characteristic
Lifestyle
Fashion
Career Ambitions
Political Opinions
Spiritual Beliefs
None
N/A
Percentage
65.6%
59.2%
50.0%
40.0%
21.2%
3.2%
4.8%

* Percentage totals do not add up to 100% since some respondents gave more than one answer.

Memorable answer: "Hip-hop as well as any other music shouldn't have an effect on anyone, no one has an excuse for killing. Hip-hop didn't invent guns or drugs."

The results for this question show that almost two-thirds of the fans surveyed believed that hip-hop affected their lifestyle. From this, it can be seen that hip-hop possesses great power in terms of its potential to influence the behaviour of its listeners. A high proportion of those surveyed also stated that hip-hop has affected their fashion and career ambitions. Even though there is a limited amount of political debate in hip-hop music, 40% of those surveyed still believed that their political opinions have been affected by hip-hop.

WHAT IS YOUR MAIN SOURCE OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE LATEST HIP-HOP NEWS?

Source
Internet/Email
Magazines
Family/friends
Record Shops
Radio
Television
Percentage
55.6%
26.8%
26.8%
22.4%
12.8%
7.2%

The effectiveness of the internet as a means of communication is illustrated by the fact that over half of those surveyed stated that the internet and email are their main sources of information about hip-hop. This is not that surprising considering that I used email as the method of sending and returning this questionnaire. Consequently, those who responded to the survey would already be familiar with using the Internet and email.

'Magazines' and 'friends/family' came joint second place for this question, but with less than half of the number of votes given for 'internet/email'. The surprisingly low place of radio and television suggests that fans think these media are not covering hip-hop effectively. 

WHO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN HIP-HOP? 

Top 10 answers

1. Me
2. DJ Kool Herc
3. Everybody
4. Nobody
5. Dr Dre
6. There are too many 
7. KRS-1
8. DJ Premier
9. 2pac 
10. Afrika Bambaataa

That 20.4% of those who responded to the survey would not or could not provide an answer to the question indicates that a significant number of people did not believe there to be a 'most important person in hip-hop. In addition, popular answers given included 'everybody', 'nobody' and 'there are too many'. Fans that were able to name a person chose from a variety of old-skool hip-hop innovators and popular rap artists. The most popular answer was 'me', suggesting that many fans believe that their enthusiasm and loyalty to hip-hop is the foundation that keep hip-hop alive. 

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT HIP-HOP?

Top 10 answers

1. Freedom/Freedom of Expression - "it's a tool of expression for the man in the street and for people who want to reach the man in the street"
2. Personal Impact - "it's the only music that makes me nod my head involuntarily and makes me feel different in a good way. Makes me smile too"
3. Unity/Community - "in this country [England], at least, everyone is willing to help each other out, artists included"
4. The Music - "nothing else makes people want to get up and move like hip-hop does"
5. Variety/Versatility - "it can make you smile, laugh, cry, care and still have change left to take the train home"
6. Lyrics/Rhymes - "speaks to your heart but it has funk unlike some shitty poetry reading"
7. The Culture - "this music has an identity, a history and a future. Not all forms of art or culture can say that. You have to be into hip-hop to understand that"
8. Creativity - "it is an artform that seemed initially improvised, basically the urban youth who started it all did the best they could with what they had available to them at the time and in the process created a viable artform. You can't break that kind of spirit. I personally think that is one hell of a success story and am proud to be part of the country who started it"
9. The Beats - "for me... the instrumental element of hip-hop is paramount... i.e. ..the beat... the groove" 
10. Everything/The Elements - "the community, family, music, art, dance, creativity, all the stuff that brought hip-hop to new dimensions"

Honorable mention: " LONGEVITY - "that it never dies"

WHAT IS THE WORST THING ABOUT HIP-HOP?

Top 10 answers

1. Commercialism - "it has been pimped"
2. Its Bad Press/Reputation - "the way the media focuses on, glamorises and therefore help sell negative hip-hop, stigmatising against positive hip-hop in the eyes of the masses "
3. Bling Bling/Jiggy/Hip Pop - "nursery rhyme flows with people acting like their life is ghetto and forgetting this is the West and that even the most hardcore area in America is NOTHING compared to the poverty and atrocities committed in Africa and Asia"
4. Guns/Violence/Gangster Rap - "all the violence. (seeing your favourite artists get murdered over some stupid beefs). And younger cats not learning from previous mistakes"
5. Fake/Wannabes - "people in the UK trying to be all gangsta when they're really from Bournemouth"
6. Crap Rappers - "skills not being the benchmark of an emcee anymore"
7. It Is Misunderstood - "sexist/racist/violent elements are taken out of context or too seriously"
8. Unoriginality - "clones, e.g. ja rule and dmx"
9. P Diddy - "Puff, the wanker, with all that dough letting his man Shyne go down for his crime"
10. Race/Racism - "ignorant people that think you have to be black to 'get' hip-hop" 

Honorable mention: UNACCOUNTABILITY - "I think artists and fans should take more responsibility for lyrical content"

DO YOU THINK THAT YOU WILL EVER GROW OUT OF HIP-HOP?

Answer 
No
Yes
Don't Know
N/A
Percentage 
75.2%
1.2%
18.8%
4.8%

Memorable answer: "No, never, even when I'm old & grey I'll be quotin' an M.O.P. verse"

The results of this question provide strong evidence to suggest that hip-hop is far more than just a musical fad. Three quarters of the people surveyed said that they would never grow out of hip-hop, and only three people said that they thought they would grow out of hip-hop.

CONCLUSION 

Back in August 2001, when I conducted this survey my goal was to find out how hip-hop affected the lives of its fans and to discover the feelings they had about its current state. 

I received hundreds of responses to the questionnaire I sent out, from hip-hop fans in sixteen different countries. Those that completed the questionnaire came from a wide range of backgrounds and a broad age range. The results of the survey proved to be very revealing. In general, fans considered hip-hop to be a culture that they have supported for a considerable amount of time, and one that they plan to continue to support in the future. They listen to hip-hop mainly for entertainment at all hours of the day and as background music for a variety of activities. The majority of fans said that they have been involved in Djing and rapping at some point and believe that hip-hop has affected their lifestyle, fashion and career ambitions.

Fans generally believed that the beats and rhymes of a tune are equally as important and KRS-1 was considered to be fans' all-time favourite artist. Vinyl seems to be as popular a music format to fans as CD is, and when they are not listening to hip-hop, their favourite types of music are drum & bass, R&B, jazz and reggae.

Fans appear to be as equally committed to buying hip-hop records as they are to attending live hip-hop events. Their main source of hip-hop new is the Internet and they feel that they, the fans, are the most important people in hip-hop. Finally, the freedom of expression that hip-hop allows and the personal impact that it has on it has on its fans were considered the best aspects of hip-hop; while the commercialism that has developed in hip-hop was identified as the main negative element.

Hopefully, in reading the survey results, you will have found it informative and easy to understand. I have found that conducting this survey has personally been a very rewarding experience. As well as providing support for many of the opinions I have about hip-hop, the results have also given be a terrific insight into the way fans feel about and contribute to the hip-hop movement. 

I plan to conduct a similar survey in 2002, concentrating on a specific area of hip-hop culture. Already, I have planned that when I conduct the next survey I will try to get responses from a greater number of countries - particularly African and Asian nations. I will also attempt to get the opinions of more female hip-hop fans. If you have any other suggestions, or general comments about how I could have improved this survey, please contact me at diggerinthecrates@hotmail.com

In addition, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in the survey. The response was far better than I anticipated. It is clear from this and from many of the comments made by respondents that there are many heads that are very passionate about hip-hop. As an example of this I will leave you with a poignant comment left by one fan at the end of his completed questionnaire:

'In closing… Hip-hop is my life, I would lie for it, cheat, steal, and die for it. It got me through rough times, and it will get me through many many many more. Peace' 

Long Live Hip-Hop.




Did you enjoy this? Please share or bookmark with:
Digg!Reddit!Del.icio.us!Google!Live!Facebook!Slashdot!Netscape!Technorati!StumbleUpon!Spurl!Wists!Simpy!Newsvine!Blinklist!Furl!Fark!Blogmarks!Yahoo!Squidoo!FeedMeLinks!BlinkBits!
 


Related Items:


Newer Items:


Older Items:



< Prev   Next >

Polls
What would you like to see more of on the site?....
 
Selected Items
Ty ft. Mpho - Brixton Baby MP3 [Jazz re:freshed]

article thumbnail

Read Story
Various Artists - The Move Volume 2 LP [Tokyo Dawn Records]

article thumbnail

Read Story
London's Da Flyy Hooligan Premieres New Video On Complex And Signs With US Label

article thumbnail

Read Story
Syndicate
  • Subscribe in a reader
  • Subscribe to britishhiphop by Email

1999-2017 britishhiphop.co.uk / QED