The Essence of Hip Hop

The creation of Hip Hop

Hip Hop came after Disco in the 1970s. Pastor Calvin Butts notes “rap is the essence of who we are”. Rap is music without restrictions; it can be off-key, you can say anything whether it makes sense or not, and use whatever beat you want. It began in Bronx and Harlem, New York for teenagers. Hip hop has affected cultures all over the world and provides a way to express music in one’s own way through beats, instruments, and lyrics. Likewise, Breakdance is used during the era of hip hop to show energy to the music that makes you feel good. 

The Environment around Hip Hop

Hip Hop started as a party movement but became a protest movement. During the time that it was created, crack was just being introduced in the Bronx, it was popular and heavily used. There was also an increasing number of guns in the community as a big part of street culture. The Message by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five describes urban America and can only be understood by those who experienced it. Likewise, it had an effect on societal records that came after its release. Hip Hop turned the negative energies of the world into positive through its mode of creativity.

Essential Hip Hop Artist and their Influences

The block party movement Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa were DJs, attracted different cultures (black and Hispanic) which is what led to the creation of Hip Hop. Chuck D says hip hop is the culture and term for creativity. Furthermore, KRS-One created music that reflected society in the 80s. He included crack and gun use that was affecting street culture in his lyrics. Lastly, Gil Scott-Heron was a rap/jazz poet. He was the guiding spirit for political hip hop. 

Modern Hip Hop

Hip hop is still in evolution after 40 years. Artists such as Drake, Lil Baby, and Cardi B emerged during the 2000s-2020s to continue the genre of hip hop. Although today’s music doesn’t sound the same as when hip hop was first introduced, it is rooted from the music of the 80s. 

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