What is Hip-Hop Really? An Interactive Video Tour

This is a video tour of the development of Hip-Hop, Hip-Hop then and especially Hip-Hop now. But first a little information on the background of Hip-Hop.

P.S. Yes I used one of your videos Dr. Johnson, think of it as a compliment to your teaching lol.

Origin and Influences

Hip-Hop began in minority communities in the Bronx in the 1970s. Soon, it would be popular in all boroughs of New York and the rest is history. To understand the influences of hip-hop one must first understand that hip-hop is not equivalent to rap. Rap is but one small piece of a very large puzzle. Hip-hop is an entire culture including the art of graffiti, multiple song and clothing styles, and frankly, a way of life. Once that is understood, it is easy to see how the hihop genre drew inspiration from almost every genre before it. The bass that was introduced during the rise of jubilee quartets, the call-and-response that began in folk music, the mixing records that became so popular in techno, and the list goes on and on.


When hip-hop first began it was not viewed as a good investment, however, it has transformed through the years to become a multi-billion dollar industry. With rappers even going beyond the music to become some of the best business moguls in the world. Large record labels dedicated to the commodification of rap began turning into the monsters they are now in the 80’s. Now… well, I’ll let these rappers show you.

The Social Implications and Influence on Other Genres

Since hip-hop is one of the most recent of African American hip-hop genres its influence is rarely spoken of but if you look around, hip-hop has clearly changed the world. It’s influence is clear in new styles of gospel music, music abroad in countries like China, and the culture that manifests itself on every level of society in America. If you want to see the influence of hip-hop, turn on the news, watch a television commercial, or just look around. Although hip-hop has all of this influence, it has had an uphill battle with society since day one. Its versatility and ability to also comment on social and political issues is even more upsetting to those against it.

Wait... So Who Really Started This?

Now Let Me Tell You Something

Hip-hop is an extensive culture that has experienced a lot of change through its time. My opinion this time has more to do with the state of hip-hop now, although I understand that the genre has changed significantly it didn’t change all by itself. People who identify as being part of an older generation are very fast to attack the state of hip-hop because it isn’t what it used to be. I understand that and I am not saying its entirely wrong but kids learn what they are taught and that has been proven time and time again. It is also been said time and time again that hip hop is a reflection of the environment that one is placed in, matter of fact, that same line has been used by creators within the genre as a defense against people who wish to paint it as bad. My point is that these kids that create the majority of rap now are just telling people what they see. And if what they are seeing is wrong, if their surroundings are wrong and they’ve lost the ability to articulate that then isn’t there a problem with the entire black community? The older generation needs to stop looking at the younger generation as a nuisance, as a population separate from themselves and teach. How else will the genre develop properly?

What's your password?

Login to your account

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.