Hip Hop by Makayla Leonard

Hip Hop originated in The Bronx during the 1970s. Hip Hop gained popularity in the 1979 from being played at block parties and clubs. Hip Hop songs were made on two turntables by taking famous songs and making a break in the song. Hip hop transformed music and would bring black people modern day problems to light. Clive Campbell was the DJ that helped spur the moment. Hip Hop was vulgar and gritty unlike music from the past. 

Famous artist 

Although it originated in the 70’s, hip-hop truly emerged in the 80’s and 90’s. Hip Hop started off as just beats and breaks before MC’s decided to start rhyming over them. Hip Hop was the voice for African Americans who had a story to tell. Hip-Hop’s “Golden Age” is where rappers expressed what it meant and felt like to be a Black person in America. Artists like RUN DMC, NWA, Ice Cube, Tupac, and The Notorious B.I.G. used their voices to address the oppression, drugs, gangs, violence, and other issues that were faced in African American communities during those times. Hip Hop was more like a lifestyle as it embodied the culture of blacks. But the issue with our rap music today is that the lyrics has moved to be more vulgar, explicit and degrading. It is often argued that today’s music is corrupting the youth that spends their time listening to it. 

Origin of Hip-Hop

Hip-Hop originated in the United States, more specifically in the predominantly African-American community that is South Bronx. The genre emerged around the 1970s and has remained a popular music genre in today’s modern world. Hip-Hop music often consists of four elements; deejaying, rapping, graffiti, and B-Boy dancing.

Characteristics of Hip-Hop

Social Implications

Many people do not realize how important hip-hop has been in the development of black culture. Hip-hop has given voice to the struggles of many African-Americans, struggles that otherwise would not have be acknowledged by the public. An example of a hip-hop song that shed light on the struggles of African-Americans is “The Message” by Grand Master Flash. In this song, Flash talks about how it feels to grow up in an underserved, economically depressed community.

Important Performers


Many people say that hip-hop has been not only commodified by white people but also by black people themselves. The popularity of “gangsta rap” pushed many hip-hop artists to begin portraying themselves as such. In their raps, these artists would talk about what it means to be a gangsta, not really being one themselves. Hip-hop music was also commodified by people because of its popularity amongst white youth. Advertisers took notice of the youthful appeal that hip-hop music has.


Soul music, funk, pop, and jazz all influenced what is hip-hop music today.

Conclusory Opinion

Before doing my research I never realized how versatile hip-hop music. There are aspects of hip-hop that has nothing to do with the music itself. Things like graffiti and b-boy dancing all play a role in what hip-hop music is. This music has created its own style of dressing, talking, dancing and through this has created a culture of their own.


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