Hip-Hop was born within the Black community in the South Bronx in New York. Hip-Hop arose around the 1970s and by the 1990s it was internationally known. It has remained one of the most, if not the most, popular music genre today.
Rap/ Hip-Hop comes from various different black oral traditions across the world. More specifically from the story-telling tradition and “playing the dozens” which was a creative yet competitive way of exchanging insults. Hip-Hop music often consists of four elements; deejaying, rapping, graffiti, and break dancing. However, some argue that hip-hop is a culture so there is no way to confine it to those four elements.
Some of the characteristics of hip-hop include heavy baselines over syncopated beats, catchy hooks and chorus’, sampling of old school music and synthesized beats and sounds. One of the most important characteristics is sampling. In fact, in the present day, most hip-hop music is no longer original due to the fact that music and beats are being recycled because artists are mainly sampling other older artists. Hip-Hop also takes influences from pop, soul, jazz and funk music.
Hip-hop isn’t what it used to be. It has been not only been appropriated by white people but has caused black rappers to adopt fake lifestyles in order to become popular. The increased popularity of the sub-genre of “gangsta rap” is the reasoning behind this adoption of a different lifestyle. In the songs in this sub-genre, rappers talk about gang violence, murder, sex, etc.. However, they don’t truly live what they are talking about. Hip-hop music has also been appropriated because it is popular among white youth. This has lead to hip-hop being seen everywhere. But it has also lead to greater racial tensions due to white hip-hop listeners believing they can say the word “nigga.”
Prior to doing research, I never really considered hip-hop a culture. However, I can now truly see it as one. It really is a way of life. And it will continue to be that way because I don’t see Hip-Hop losing popularity any time soon.