Hip Hop: The Evolution and Influence of a Growing Genre

When, Where, How?

Hip Hop music is something that the black community has loved and cherished since the beginning of its time. But when, where, and how did Hip Hop evolve and originate from?

The musical genre Hip Hop developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans. Hip Hop originated in South Bronx, New York in the 1970s. Hip Hop music consist of elements of MC or rapping, DJing or scratching turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing. The musicality and the rhythmic aspect in Hip Hop is what sets it apart from all other genres of music. Along with its unique elements, Hip Hop was and still is, an influencer within communities.

The Golden Age

Later after the creation of Hip Hop, Hip Hop became more than just a musical genre from the Bronx. During the “Golden Age” is when Hip Hop became more of a culture rather than only a genre. The name, Hip Hop’s “Golden Age” was given to the time period of the 1980s to the mid 1990s. This was a thriving time for Hip Hop artists and all that were influenced by Hip Hop music and culture. The “Golden Age” is so important to the history of Hip Hop because it was so heavily focused on Black Nationalism. Hip Hop artist were creatively expressing what it meant to be Black in America. They expressed oppression, drugs, gangs and city poverty in their songs. Hip Hop artists shared the experience of African Americans and that is what created the culture. Some well known artists/groups that came out of the “Golden Age” include Run-D.M.C., Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, and A Tribe Called Quest. The “Golden Age” and these artists specifically, made Hip Hip, the culture it is today. Today, Hip Hop is experience, fashion, art, expression, clothing, and so much more.

Different Forms of Hip Hop

Because Hip Hop is a culture, different people within the Black community have interrupted culture differently. Hip Hop evolution is simply a reflection of the time. Therefore, Hip Hop music has come in many different sounds during many different times. Different forms of Hip Hop that have evolved include Classic Rap, Hardcore Rap, G-Funk.

Classic Rap

Classic Rap was a product of the “Golden Age” The 1980s rap is what people of today see as old school rap music. Class Rap was about fun and rhythm. Classic Rap evolved out of the times of Disco and Funk. It was about pride and nationalism while also making sure the Black experience could be shard. This fun was even the beginning of what we know and love, the infamous, rap battles.

Hardcore Rap

Modern day rap has the elements of Hardcore Rap to thank. Hardcore Rap is a form of Hip Hop that sends a message to communities. Hardcore Rap focuses on the poverty, gang violence, and oppression that lives in America. Hardcore Rap was so influential because it displayed to the pubic, all the problems that come with being Black in America at the time. Famous Hardcore Rappers include Tupac and 50 Cent.


G-Funk Hip Hop music was Hip Hop mixed with Funk elements. Inspired by those like George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic, G-Funk was the upbeat side of 90s Rap music. Dr. Dre played a huge roll in the success of 90s G-Funk.

Trap Music

Today, Hip Hop music can be classified as Trap music. Trap music is a product of Gangster rap. Trap music discusses drugs, sex, and money. Trap music has been influential in Black communities since the 2000s. Music by Black people have also been a reflection of the struggle and Trap music is not an exception. Trap music Hip Hop artists include 21 Savage, Young Thug, and Future.


The evolution of Hip Hop music is so important to the history of Black people. Our communities are so inspired and influenced by music. Hip Hop became more than a sound, it became a culture. Today, we continue to be influenced by those in the musical world. The messages the Black community receives within the musical world has always been a message of experience.It is important to take note of the all that’s changed within Hip Hop. We can only better music and grow positively when we can become critics. Maya Angelou once said, “I think a number of the leaders are, whether you like it or not, in the hip-hop generation. And when they understand enough, they’ll do wonders. I count on them.”

Imani Wingfield

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