Doing it for The Culture has become a common phrase and concept in hip-hop, especially with the artists and producers from Atlanta. Side note: no other place has had a bigger impact on hip-hop than Atlanta in the past 10 or so years. The phrase usually stands in as a sort of justification for doing especially opulent things, but the concepts goes beyond opulence. It can also represent moments of hip-hop culture colliding with popular culture at large. I.e., doing things that bring hip-hop into the mainstream.
The following video represents doing it for The Culture, and how it interfaces with the changing media and fashion landscapes.
Hot Ones is an interview show premised on eating ten increasingly spicy chicken wings. Most of the appeal comes from the highly-researched questions, but the spice certainly helps make the entire video a bit more entertaining.
Complexcon is an annual convention held by media giant Complex, a brand which has come to partially represent the hypebeast subculture. Hypebeast culture is all about rare and hard-to-get fashion (Supreme is a prime example), but there is a great deal of cross-over with the regular hypebeast’s appreciation of rap music. The faces in the audience are telling of the kind of demographic reading Complex and consuming the general consciousness of that world. It has a very suburban youth flavor.
DaBaby is a popular rap artist from North Carolina. He is consistently ranking in the top ten on Billboard and Apple Music, and is making a huge dent in the flow and beat trends of rap music today.
Rap is becoming incredibly self-aware as it gains a growing share of relevance within the pop culture space. Doing it for The Culture is a stand in for doing things to increase that share, and to promote the idea of black excellence — a concept solidified by Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne.