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Mapping Youth Culture Through Fliptop

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Today, with the advent of modern technology, almost everything has undergone innovations, reinventions and some deconstructions. It has brought forth many changes in human endeavor – including language use. Language has been our ‘dress of thought’ and avenue of free views and ideas. Unsurprisingly, our values and contemporary influences are imbedded in the language or the choice of words we use. “Language is the key to the heart of culture.” The correlation between language and culture enabled language to “hold the power to maintain national and cultural identity” (Samovar, Porter, 2000). In this world wherein language has taken an active role in the determinism of our thoughts and relativity to fellow language users, various contemporary pop cultures have sprung out, including Fliptop. Fliptop Rap Battles, a facet of Filipino music, is deemed to be a reinvention of the classical ‘balagtasan’. It is composed of three rounds and is a match between two people, whoever can throw the cleverest punchline while insulting the other wins. The local hip-hop scene has never been more popular than before.

The virality of Fliptop rap battles, with the use of Filipino language and new media (Youtube) as the channel, has been hip-hop music’s first giant step towards acceptance and recognition from local listeners. It uses vulgar words and insults as additional spice; thus, it is not resistant to bias, racism and sexism. Rappers, however, have gained recognition for their display of awareness of Filipino pop culture in their lyricism (Yap, 2012). With the use of Filipino language in the exchange of thoughts, we could establish or map the dominant image of youth culture in our country. It is said that language is used to think as well as to speak.

An individual’s language is influenced by his thoughts (E. M. Rogers, T. M. Steinfatt, 1998). Language, being the mirror of society and a reflection of culture, can help us understand the underlying trends and leanings of the youth. Thus, the use of language can be a key component in analyzing and determining the dominant image of youth culture as gleaned in Fliptop Battles, a research therefore in this matter would prove significant. The proponent of this study decided to look into the different values and image of youth culture that are reflected in the lyricism and language used in the context of fliptop rap battles .

Statement of the Problem

What is the dominant image of youth as imbedded in Fliptop Rap Battles posted in the video sharing site in Youtube during the months of November 2012 to January 2013? More specifically, this study aims to answer the following questions: 1.Are there significant relationships in the content of fliptop rap battles and the dominant image of the youth in the Philippines? 2.What are the popular/contemporary influences presented in fliptop rap battles?

Objective of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to determine the dominant image of youth as imbedded in Fliptop Rap Battles posted in the video sharing site in Youtube during the months of November 2012 to January 2013? Specifically, this study seeks to:

1.Determine the significant relationships in the content of Fliptop and the dominant image of youth and; 2.Identify the popular/contemporary influences presented in Fliptop Battles.

Significance of the Study

The youth is the hope of the motherland. It is on this premise that this study is conceived. It is hoped that this study will be useful in the following ways. 1.Awareness of the popular/contemporary influences as depicted in Fliptop Rap Battles will help us understand the dynamics and behavior of youth towards certain issues. Thus, we can assume the efficiency of the language use (semantics, pragmatics) and communicate with the youth more effectively. 2.Results of this study will help in determining the role of fliptop rap battles, a form of discourse, to the standpoints and opinions of youth in societal issues. 3.The level of acceptance of the respondents in Iloilo City will determine the positive or negative attitude of the audience to the new medium such as fliptop.

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