The Hip-Hop Culture

Background

Music still tells a story, we know just have many genres to satisfy the cultural and social tastes of our modern society. Hip Hop is a genre of music that has significantly grown the last couple of decades. Hip- Hop is a creative expression, sensibility, and aesthetic that first emerged in largely African American, Afro-Caribbean, and Latino communities. Hip-Hop is one of the biggest growing genres of today. From its early stages in the 1970’s to today’s pop culture, it has grown quite a lot. Hip hop was almost entirely unknown outside of the United States prior to the early 1980s. During that decade, it began its spread to every inhabited continent and became a part of the music scene in dozens of countries. It’s increased popularity has brought it to the forefront of globalization. Technological advances has made it easy for Hip Hop to spread out globally. Often the word rap is used as same meaning with the hip hop but hip hop has an entire subculture. Usually rapping is also called Mcing which is a vocal style in which the artist speaks lyrically in rhyme and with the company of an instrumental or synthesized beat. Beats mostly are created by looping and mixing portions of other songs. Hip hop arose during the 1970s when block parties became increasingly popular in New York City, especially in the Bronx. Block parties incorporated DJs who played popular genres of music, especially funk and soul music.

Artists

Hip- Hop’s history of transformation is a story of movement, friction and conflict.  Afrika Bambaataa (former leader of the Zulu Nation, which is an international hip-hop awareness group) outlined the foundation of hip-hop culture, creating the term “rapping” which is using a rhythmic vocal rhyming style, DJ’ing which is making music with record players/DJ mixers, breakdancing which is a dance, and graffiti art which is are writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted illicitly on a wall or other surface, often within public view.   The Golden age of Hip-Hop was present during the time period of between the mid-1980’s and early 1990’s. This era includes artists such as Public Enemy, Rakim, and KRS-One.  Gangsta Rap is a another genre of hip hop that often focuses on the violent lifestyles and impoverished conditions of inner-city African-American youth. N.W.A and ICE-Cube are key founding artists. The popularity of hip hop music grew through the 2000s, hip hop influences reached their way into mainstream waves of pop. This was due to artist such as OutKast and Kanye West, which created a genre of Alternative Hip Hop. Hip hop is seen as being a new and old phenomenon; the importance of sampling tracks, beats and basslines from old records to making it a refined art form. This simply means that majority of the culture has been centered around the idea of updating classic recordings, attitudes, and experiences for the current audience. Hip-Hop created this concept of “Flipping” which is sampling older culture (through the music, fashion, and language)  and reusing it in a new context or a new format. During the late 2000’s and 2010’s rappers like Nicki Minaj, Drake and Lil Wayne all have been extremely prominent within the music realm.