What Is Hip-Hop
Hip-Hop is a Culture that is based on 4 Elements of Entertainment.
The most common being Rap & Djing along with Breakdancing, and Graffiti.
The Origins of Hip-Hop comes from various trends in African American history and entertainment.
Before I tell the history I would like to clear this misconception up. Rap and Hip-Hop are often misinterpreted to being separate entities. Rap is simply one part of the whole that is Hip-Hop. So you can not have Rap or any of the other elements without Hip-Hop. No matter how good or bad the artist is, he’s apart of the culture Hip-Hop.
Now that that’s out of the way, on to the history.
Rap has it’s origins Jamaica. Jamaica’s block parties consisted of a stage, a Disc Jockey, Big Speakers, and Performers. It was common for either a DJ or performer to rythmically chant along with the music. The topics would be about whatever the individual thought would please the crowd.
I can not go any further without mentioning the Legendary DJ Kool Herc the father of Hip-Hop. He moved from Kingston, Jamaica to South Bronx New York. Here he became popular in his neighborhood for his epic block parties. He had an idea that rather than playing the whole song, why not only play the best part of the song for dancers of which is called the Break. And with that we can move on.
Now that you know a little bit about how Djing started…. let’s take break from Kool Herc for a bit
Graffiti is art that has existed since Cavemen. It’s all over the world through human history. Graffiti did not become the elaborate art form it is now until Cornbread. Cornbread was kid that wanted to impress a girl by Tagging his name. Eventually his tagging go so good, people thought it was cool and decided to do it too. Including Kool Herc who was a member of a Graffiti crew called Ex-Vandals.
Now that we’re back to Kool Herc, we can finish his story of which is the story of Hip-Hop. Kool Herc may have started Djing, but Grandmaster Flash took it to the next level and used the turntables as an instrument. Instead of just focusing on the break, DJ Flash would focus on several different parts of a record of interest, resulting in him being able to focus not only on the break, but even words and phrases of a record.
The DJ back in the early days of Hip-Hop was the most important part of the party. So of course they are going to have an ego. Kool Herc would rap while Djing, but as Djing got more complex and competitive DJ’s couldn’t mix records and rap at the sametime. So why not let someone else come in and rap about how good the DJ was and how good of a time people were having. But eventually the rappers figured they were pretty good at rapping too, so they started talking about good they were and started becoming more creative with their rapping.
All of this so people could have a good time and dance. One of the most exciting parts of the party being Break Dancers. Dancers that Dance to the Break Beat. The dances they used started out from popular James Brown dances. James Brown was one of the best dancers in show biz with his energetic often considered near acrobatic dance moves inspired kids to do them. But with talent comes competition. Before long people wanted to become better and was inspired to find or develop better more energetic moves to be the best. Taking moves gymnastics old African American dances for example. Competition is the element of Hip-Hop that drives innovation and it’s overall success.
All of this coming from a society of kids who were locked out of societies system threw racism and socioeconomic’s. Kids who once would have committed a crime or join a gang to survive or get noticed, came together in Hip-Hop to find a positive, peaceful way of expression and attention to better their lives and self-esteem. Kool Hercs block parties were glue that held it all together.