African American Literature
12 December 2014
Hip Hop Then Vs. Hip Hop Now Hip-Hop has changed tremendously since the earlier years when it first started and emerged on the scene. Since hip-hop’s origins during the mid ‘70’s it has expanded from a small urban arts to a multibillion dollar a year production. Hip hop comes from many categories of different music, for example; funk, soul, rhythm and blues, jazz, heavy metal, reggae, pop, salsa, disco, techno, etc…and now hip hop’s is the most rapidly growing music genre in the U.S.
Hip-Hop is a lifestyle and a culture. Hip-Hop was founded in New York, in the South Bronx by DJ Kool Herc, who known to be one of the founders of hip-hop. DJ Kool Herc, also known as Clive Campbell is the originator of backbeat DJing. DJing is known to be one of the fundamentals of hip-hop.
When hip-hop emerged in the South Bronx in the late era of the 20th century, its foundations were being laid in the 1970’s by DJs in the South Bronx. The word “hip hop” did not exist yet but it was invented later by a legendary DJ, Afrika Bambaataa. In 1969, Afrika saw breakdancing as more than just dance; he saw it as a way to achieve something. DJs invented sampling hip-hops other keys elements through trial and error.
In today’s hip-hop, the recording studio has taken over and has replaced DJing. In the 70’s rappers didn’t have all these things. Rappers didn’t have a band but they did have turntables, turntables put music in a spin over the last 50 years. The turntables have been used as a musical instrument since the 40’s and 50’s.
Hip-Hop consists of 4 fundamental elements: DJing, graffiti art, breakdancing and emceeing.
Emcee is extract from the abbreviation “M.C.” or “Master of Ceremonies.” M.C.’s are people with clear and well-written lyrics. Many people would rather ‘rap ‘or rhyme words in a catchy manner, but few take the time to actually emcee.
Graffiti holds special significance as one of the elements of the hip-hop’s culture. Graffiti as an urban art existed at least by the 1950’s but began developing in the late 1960’s and the grew during the 1970’s. Graffiti in hip-hop began as a way of “tagging” for one’s crew/gang and developed more during the 1970’s on the subways and expanded to the city walls themselves. Graffiti is multicultural, representing the ethnic and diversity of New York, the city that emerged it.
Hip-Hop originated among the black and Latino ghetto. The language (street slang), dress (baggy pants), caps, expensive sneakers and all of this evolved from rap music. Rap music was a way that urban black youth expressed themselves in rhythmic form. Street language is transmitted to the hip-hop culture through rap music. Rapping serves as a method of declaring pride in one's community. It also became a form of competition for a rapper to display his skills and defend his neighborhood or community. This competition was created during the early days of rap, commonly referred to as "battling.” Early rap depicted heavily on lyrical compositions that expressed the joy of immersing oneself in the music, dancing, partying and competing in the various forms of musical expression particularly rapping, scratching and break-dancing.
Non-traditional utilization of musical instruments including the human voice this technique is known as "beat boxing" where a person imitates the sounds of percussive instruments.
Part of the appeal of rap music appears to be its ability to easily deliver the message of the author or the artist to the listener, much like blues and country music.
Spontaneous "rapping" (delivery of rhythmic lyrical compositions) known as "free styling" comprised many competitions between rappers from school corridors and grounds to street corners to large promoted demonstrations. Competitions have remained a mainstay of Hip-Hop’s culture.
According to Russell Simmons, hip-hop’s first millionaire entrepreneur who is chairman and CEO of Rush