We can find hip-hop everywhere we go, from streets to shopping mall, from Brazil to France and even Japan have their own hip-hop culture. Where does hip-hop come from?
Hip hop is a cultural movement that involves various forms of artistic and musical expression. This includes DJing, spoken word/poetry, graffiti, beat boxing, rapping, fashion and break dancing. Each element has played a distinctive role in developing this movement’s reputation. In the United States as well as in many parts of the world, it is often assumed that hip hop is just rap music. However, while rap is a major part of what we define today as hip hop, it is really only a subset of a larger cultural lifestyle. Hip-hop music also called rap music, is one of the popular music genre developed in the United States in worldwide. It consists of strong rhythm and usually comes with rapping.
Centuries ago, in West Africa, traditional storytellers played musical instruments while they were telling stories. When this tradition traveled from West Africa to the USA, it developed into different musical styles. For example, blues and jazz. These styles all started in poor African-American areas. And in the 1970s, there were many poor areas in New York. There wasn’t any money for music lessons in schools, so kids made their own music. African teenagers and DJ here played their records outside in the streets.
On August 11, 1973, a DJ named Kool Herc threw a birthday party for his sister in the Boogie Down Bronx. Instead of playing a full song, he played in breaks, sections, where he found out the people, would go high: “I was noticing people used to wait for particular parts of the record to dance, maybe to do their specialty moves.” Using two turntables, he extended the instrumental breaks, allowing people to dance longer, a dancing style that came to be known as breaking. Next came to the MC, or the master of ceremony, who added rhymes over the beats to get the party going and flowing. Since then, Hip-Hop culture was born and raised. In the years since DJ Kool Herc’s first party, hip-hop culture has become a major force in music, dance, art, fashion, and whole lot more.
Hip-Hop as a culture
Hip-Hop as a culture, is more than music. In 1982, hip-hop group “Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five” release a song called “The message”, which is the first outstanding hip-hop song that delivers social commentary rather than the self-congratulatory boasting or party chants of earlier hip-hop. In the song he describes the harsh realities of living in the ghetto or city slums. “Broken glass everywhere, People pissing on the stairs, you know they just don’t care, I can’t take the smell, I can’t take the noise, Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice.” A similar song was released by Slick Rick entitled, “Hey Young World,” in which the artist warns the youth about society leading them down the wrong roads in life. “Here’s a rule for the non cool… your life, don’t drool. Don’t be a fool like those that don’t go to school. Get ahead… and accomplish things. You’ll see the wonder and the joy life brings.”
Over the past three decades, Hip Hop has influenced and boosted the United States, passing on from generation to generation and providing a voice to a group of people trying to deliver the message. Opponents of hip-hop culture believe that the music is intrinsically aggressive and promotes social rebellion – yet the provocative lyrics do not deny that hip-hop is the vocal outlet of many in the United States. Hip Hop provides a platform for MCs and rappers to express their views on the decades-long treatment of society, government and African Americans in the United States. This way out is crucial to the revitalization of the black community and benefit to the entire community.
Although Hip Hop is popular in the United States, there is still a strong voice that Hip Hop promoting violence, sex, and drugs, aggression, vulgarity and more. One argument is that the hip-hop community is means of combating social upheaval rather than a credible method of productive social restraint. This argument attempts to undermine the intentions of the hip-hop and its effects. There are many arguments against hip-hop. However, they still cannot stop the trends of Hip-Hop as a cultural affectation, especially in black and other marginalized community. Music, not only hip-hop music, in some situation, are not just entertainment tools but also a powerful technique that can be used to raise social awareness. Music reveals trends, value, social issues at the time, and inspiring people for the good desire. Very few people know that hip-hop music has also been instrumental in promoting positive themes such as anti-violence and raising awareness about poverty and the importance of education. The vast majority of pioneers in the hip hop industry have been African-American and Latino. Both of these groups have historically been disproportionately affected by poverty in the United States. With nowhere else to turn, many decided to use rap, spoken word, dance and graffiti as their outlet to deal with this issue. Therefore, Hip-hop music, in this case, become a social revolution of marginalized groups that expose the social conflict at that time such as poverty, discrimination, and disempowerment… “Traditionally oppressed groups are able to use the music to convey their plight and circumstances, and in that way rebel against both overtly and covertly oppressive conventionalities within that society.”(Kathleen 2016)
Development of hip-hop
The process of hip-hop music came to the 80s of last century, there have been a lot of talented groups and individuals, which is also the time when people finally began to really pay attention to hip-hop music. A young poet, Rakim, came to the stage and used his song to open a brand new page of hip-hop music. At the same time, it was generally considered the golden age of rap, and Rakim not only started rapping new content, but also brought a whole new flow. Although his rhyming skills can still be traced back to Melle Mel’s Old School style, he has incorporated more syllables in his rhymes. He tried rhyming with multiple syllables and created many rhythms that MC could not possibly make. The success of current rappers is simply not divorced from Rakim’s influence, especially if you are listening carefully, especially on the flow side, and you will find Eminem, Mos Def, and Nas’s works directly with Rakim symbols. At the same time, Rakim’s partner Eric B. created jazz and R & B-heavy style also affected many early 90s artists, like the tribe called QuestDe La Soul, root, Tupac.
In the following days, some MC began to add more personal emotions into their hip-hop music, incorporating more street elements in the songs and hardcore rap began to grow rapidly like NWA Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg Tupac, Notorious BIG. And Mobb Deep began to dominate the rap world, which is also my personal favorite of an era. In California, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Ice Cube, Dre and other rap artists became pioneers of the Now-classic West Coast, Tupac’s classic “thug life” continues Rakim’s flow in style with the addition of new and varied rhyming and more aggressive terms, while the Notorious BIG on the east coast no longer sticks to Rakim’s tricks and replaces them Is his own style realistic, slow and with a large number of unique rhyming and pronunciation skills.
Today, hip hop music is still strong. Several of the emerging artists in the 1980s and 1990s are still prolific, selling CDs and singles with artists of this century, such as Eminem, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Juelz Santana, Akon and Nelly.