A Look At The History of Hip Hop

Since its creation, Hip Hop has had a cultural impact on youth all around the world. The youth specifically because the music, for many, is a reflection of their lives and is told in a way they can easily understand. Starting in the South Bronx of New York in November of 1974, Hip Hop consisted mainly of DJing, breaking (break dancing), graffiti, and rapping. However, it is much more than just a kind of music. Many believe that the genre can be seen as a way of life, given that it also has brought about new ways of dressing, its own way of speaking, and its own unique outlook on cultural, political, economical and intellectual aspects.

The name "Hip Hop" is said to have been coined by Keith "Cowboy" Wiggins. Wiggins was a member of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, a Hip-Hip group formed in 1978 in the South Bronx. They were a large part of the genre's early development. Other artists signifying the beginning of Hip Hop include The Sugar Hill Gang. Signed by Sylvia Robinson, they have been recognized as the first popular rap group. Their song, "Rapper's Delight," is still popular today. The first female group to release a Hip Hop single was known as The Sequence, releasing "Funk You Up" in 1979. Other popular female artist's from the early days of Hip Hop include Salt 'N Pepa, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, and Oaktown 357.

Clive Campbell, or DJ Kool Herc, is credited with originating Hip Hop music. Born in Jamaica in 1955, his hard funk records such as James Brown contrasted the violent gang activity and disco craze of the bronx in the early 70's. Campbell's claim to fame is his use of two turntables playing the same record in order to make the break longer. Turntablism is the act of combining two or more songs to create a "mix". Other popular Djs of Hip Hop include Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, Mr. Magic, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Scratch from EPMD, DJ Premier from Gang Starr, DJ Scott La Rock from Boogie Down Productions, DJ Pete Rock of Pete Rock & CL Smooth, DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill, Jam Master Jay from Run-DMC, Eric B., DJ Screw from the Screwed Up Click and the inventor of the Chopped & Screwed style of mixing music, Funkmaster Flex, Tony Touch, DJ Clue, and DJ Q-Bert along with many others. These lengthened breaks of funk and rock combined with Latin percussion created the basis of Hip Hop, as we know it today. These breaks also allowed for more breaking or break dancing. Also known as B-boying, Break dancing is a dance that has become integrated into the culture of the music. It is a kind of dancing done very close to the ground with moves such as the head spin. Finally these breaks were accompanied by an emcee rapping. Rapping is a form of poetry involving speaking with rhyme in a consciously rhythmic manner. The rap of Hip Hop spoke to and about the youth of America and started the development of one of the largest cultural movements of the 20th century.

Since the 1970's, Hip Hop has grown world wide to be globally accepted as an art form. Starting with just DJ Kool Herc and a couple of turntables in the Bronx, Hip Hop is now one of the most popular and commercialized genres of music on the market today. Rapping, emceeing, break dancing, graffiti and beat boxing have all grown from their roots of Hip Hop, but still remain strongly linked. Some argue that what it is today does not have the same authentic feeling as when it started, which is true, but nearly all genres evolve over time. The commercialism has cause the movement to lose some of its original cultural value of freedom and protest. It is merely a matter of what you believe what Hip Hop truly is.

Source by Ben M Bruce

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