Hip Hop

Hip Hop
Hip Hop

Hip Hop Culture And Underground Rap Music

Hip Hop Culture

Hip Hop culture is defined by the five key elements also known as the 5 pillars of hip hop which include Rapping, DJing, Breakdancing, Graffiti and Beatboxing. There is some debate over exactly when and where Hip Hop started but most historians agree that Hip hop began in the Bronx of New York City during the 1970s. The term rap is often used synonymously with hip hop, but hip hop actually denotes the entire subculture.
Rapping, also referred to as MCing or emceeing, is the vocal style in which the artist speaks lyrically, in rhyme and verse, generally to an instrumental or synthesized beat.
The Origins

Hip Hop Originated in New York City during the 1970's. Spoken word poetry artists such as Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Poets, and Jalal Mansur Nuriddin had a significant impact on the the budding hip hop culture of the 1960s and 1970s.

Hip hop became a distinct genre during the 1970s when block parties became increasingly popular in New York City particularly the Bronx. The music that came out of these block parties was influenced by the African-American, Jamaican and Latino population in the Bronx. Block parties incorporated DJ's who played popular genres of music, especially funk, disco and soul music. DJ's, realizing its positive reception, began isolating the percussion breaks of popular songs. A major player and one of the originators of the technique was the the Jamaican-born DJ Kool Herc.

Turntablist techniques, such as beat mixing/matching, scratching (seemingly invented by Grand Wizard Theodore) and beat juggling eventually developed creating a beat that could be rapped over. From there Hip Hop in its most contemporary form was born.

Hip Hop blew up in the 1980's and quickly became the prominent genre of that era. In the early 1990's Gangsta Rap became the favored sub-genre of hip hop fans worldwide. In the late 1990's and early 2000's Club Rap became the most prominent sub-genre of hip hop.

Current Hip Hop

Currently hip hop is in a state of crisis. Nas has been quoted saying "hip hop is dead". The genre of rap has been in the mainstream for so long that it has became pop music. While artists are forced to conform to a style of music that limits subject matter to booty booze and benjamin's there are rappers known as Underground Rappers who stay true to the roots of counter culture hip hop.

Mainstream Hip Hop

Mainstream hip hop is defined by not only the sound of the music but the success of the artist. Certain mainstream artists like Gnarles Barkley and The Roots are quite famous but maintain to stay true to hip hop roots of content, artistic expression and rhymes.

Underground Hip Hop

Underground hip hop not only refers to the style of rap that is against mainstream pop music but also currently describes the other elements of hip hop. Breakdancing, DJ'ing, Graffiti Art and Beatboxing are also considered Underground Hip Hop.

Hip Hop Fashion

Hip Hop Fashion is one of the fastest growing sub genres of the fashion industry. With major labels like Stüssy, Rockawear, New Era and Nike pumping out massive amounts of product and promotions it is hard to watch tv, walk down the street or visit your favorite website without seeing hip hop fashion.

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