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Journal Entry-Bruce Lee’s Influence on Popular Culture

  • Even after he passed away, Bruce Lee’s film, Game of Death, was seen as a ground-breaking effort of Hollywood cinema, especially in honoring the legacy of an excellent star and maintaining the history of popular culture (Kato, 2012, p.171). Bruce Lee was one of the legends that we remember growing up, and he set the pace for what Hollywood cinema would be like in the future.
  • The interaction of games with hip-hop culture helped define one of the most recent instances of the popular culture revolution and its aesthetic link to globalizing popular culture. Proposition 13 was passed the same year that The Game of Death film was released posthumously in 1978 as an incomplete version and later re-edited with new footage. The proposition would affect the Los Angeles inner-city neighborhood, especially the youth deprived of education, vocational training, and jobs within Los Angeles (Kato, 2012, p.172).
  • Factories began to reconstruct and relocate to other cities, which displaced the Black and Latino working-class communities from Los Angeles to other countries. Lee’s legacy had a direct impact on hip-hop aesthetics. However, the ghetto youth were still hooked on nihilism and narcissistic materials due to the influence of the hip-hop culture, specifically gangster rap (Kato, 2012, p.173).
  • Gangster rap would later be depoliticized, although it led to the commercialization of visual media, charming music videos, and other films that made gangster rap look fantastic, even causing an increase in the number of black murders naturalized by gangster rap.
  • Bruce lees legacy in the hip-hop culture nation continued to be seen when the Beastie Boys of Hollywood progressively led to the treatment of Bruce Lee’s art as a hip-hop aesthetic. If there’s any conscious attempt made to contest Hollywood’s packaging of Bruce Lee’s legacy in Dragon, it was done so by the Beastie Boys, forerunners in treating Bruce Lee’s art as a progressive foundational concept of hip-hop aesthetics (Kato, 2012, p.176).
  • The colonization of hip-hop culture is the separation of rap from the totality of hip-hop, which is composed of DJ-ing, MC-ing (rapping), breaking, and writing (graffiti) (Kato, 2012, p.178).
  • Overall, the industry has experienced drastic changes that are seen as dramatic victories and lasting strides concerning Lee’s performance that, gives the almost figurative form of how persistent the sector has been in ensuring survival even in the face of the death of pioneers of the culture (Kato, 2012, p. 200). In my opinion, popular culture is one of the most timeless cultures in art history.
  • There are many elements to it, including art, writings, and music, all that contribute to its lasting impact on its audience since it references parts that were present even in the 1940’s hence maintaining the culture and enhancing it with new trends.
  • Bruce Lee’s legacy is still maintained, especially his impact on martial arts and popular culture. His influence on popular culture continues, with numerous books, imitations, and documentaries being made to celebrate martial arts. Martial arts did not get the necessary recognition in Hollywood, and the industry was very resistant to casting Asian films. However, with Bruce Lee, they merged the West and East, and the influence is still felt today.


Kato, M. T. (2012). GAME OF DEATH and Hip-Hop Aesthetics. In From Kung Fu to hip hop: Globalization, revolution, and popular culture (1st ed., pp. 171-201). State University of New York Press.


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