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The Hip Hop Culture

Keepin' It Real

Kimberly Mifsud

on 15 September 2013

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Transcript of The Hip Hop Culture

When hip hop music began to emerge, it was based around DJ's who created rhythmic beats by looping breaks on two turntables. This was later accompanied by "rapping" (a rhythmic style of chanting.)
An original form of dancing, and particular styles of dress, arose among followers of this new music. These elements experienced considerable refinement and development over the course of the history of the hip hop culture
What is Hip Hop?
Hip hop is a cultural movement built largely around the music genre of hip hop music, which developed in New York City during the 1970's primarily among African-Americans and Latino-Americans.
the end
Hip hop's four main elements are rapping (or MCing), DJing, graffiti-writing and break-dancing.
There are other elements of hip hop which includes beat-boxing, hip hop fashion, and hip hop slang.
Since first emerging in the Bronx and Harlem, the lifestyle of hip hop culture has spread around the world.
Creating rhythmic beats
Hip Hop Old School Dictionary:
Original Form of Hip Hip Dancing
Definition of the Hip Hop Culture:
Art, Fashion, and Design
In 1973, DJ Cool Herc (later known as the father of hip hop) DJ'd his first black party in the South Bronx. The South Bronx was a poor neighbourhood isolated from the rest of New York. One factor in this isolation was construction of the Cross Bronx Express way, which created scenery of fubble in neighbourhoods it ran through.
Trans-Europe Express was first released by Kraftwerk in 1977. Like Kraftwerk itself, this track had major influence. Afrika Bambaataa's major hit "Planet Rock" samples the synth line.
Keepin' it Real
The History
The genre of hip hop originated in the 1970s in New York City when black parties became more popular. At house parties and community centres DJs mixed songs from different records together. They started extending short drum breaks into longer dance mixes by switching between record decks.
In 1973, DJ Cool Herc (later known as the father of hip hop) DJ'd his first black party in the South Bronx. The South Bronx was a poor neighbourhood isolated from the rest of New York.
One factor in this isolation was construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway, which created scenery of rubble in neighbourhoods it ran through. The youth found their own way to make these bleak surroundings more positive and beautiful. They spray-painted and danced on cardboard they laid on the ground. Hip hop parties were positive alternative to gang violence.
Kool Herc formed the basis of hip-hop music by experimenting with instrumental breaks of funk, soul, and R&B songs. Bronx DJ’s experimented with touching and moving vinyl records with their hands. They also used electronic sounds coming from other places, like Europe. A famous example is Afrika Bambaataa’s use of Kraftwerk’s Trans-Europe Express in 1977.
A segment from the 83 BBC documentary
"Beat This: A hip hop history"
Malcolm Mclaren describes his first hip-hop experience, followed by the legendary Kool DJ Herc.
DJ Cool Herc
Free-style Live
Born Kevin Donovan, Afrika Bambaataa was an important rap-music pioneer who became a forgotten elder statesman as rap evolved. His life-changing trip to Africa resulted in his name change and his efforts to transform the South Bronx community which shows how the emergence of hip hop is connected to identity, race, and place.
Bambaataa (meaning “Affectionate leader”), who took his name from a movie about Zulu warriors, quit the notorious Black Spades street gang in the mid 1970s and formed the Universal Zulu Nation, a hip hop awareness group that organised cultural events for youth. The group was an alternative to gang activity for many young people. Over time, the Zulu Nation was spread internationally as a hip hop awareness movement guided by certain spiritual principles.
Reformed gang member Bambaataa defined the four elements of the hip hop scene.
These four elements of the hip hop culture are...
DJ-ing is the art of spinning records at a dance party, picking out songs in a crowd-pleasing sequence. It is also the art of touching and moving records with your hands.

The two popular DJing techniques are:
1. Cutting - using volume control to drop in a section of music from one turntable into music from another turntable.
2. Scratching - the sound a DJ makes by putting his hand on the record and rubbing the vinyl under the needle in time by putting his hand on the record and rubbing the vinyl under the needle in time with the music.

Turntablist legend DJ Craze Performs
combining traditional vinyl techniques like juggling, scratching and body tricks with advanced controller-based functions such as cue point manipulation, tempo-synced effects and ultra-quick track changes, this performance showcases the cutting edge of turntablism and controllerism.

Break-dancing is a style of dancing that includes gymnastic moves, head spins, and backspins. Young people were into dancing to the breaks of Bronx parties started calling themselves B-boys and B-girls, and their style of dancing came to be known as break-dancing.

80's Break dancing on U.S tv
Graffiti is a visual art that is an expression of youth culture and rebellion in public spaces. The first forms of subway graffiti were tags, or signatures of someone’s nickname or crew. It has evolved into elaborate scripts, colour effects, and shading.
MC are initials for “master of ceremonies”. MC's originally hosted parties and introduced tracks to the dancers. Eventually the term was used to describe rappers. Rapping is the art of saying rhymes to the beat of music. It comes out of the African-American oral tradition of using rhyming language to ridicule your friends or enemies in a clever way. In the early 1970s, this developed into street jive; a type of half-spoken, half-sung urban street talk. Rapping also has roots in Jamaican toasting, a type of lyrical chanting.
Back when hip hop had soul...
Kool G Rap & DJ Polo
"Ill Street Blues"
Over the next 6 years, hip hop continued to grow with groups such as Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and the Cold Crush Four forming. In 1979, the Sugar Hill Gang recorded the first popular commercial rap recording, “Rappers Delight,” in 1979 which became the first hip hop hit, reaching #36 on Billboard. This song was many Americans’ first brush with hip hop.
Grandmaster Flash
& the Furious Five
Cold Crush Four
Sugarhill Gang
"Rapper's Delight"
Original 1979 promo video
The 80’s was a crazy time for hip hop with many new groups forming, groups dividing, politically inspired songs, drug-related activity, deaths and even murders. The hip-hop scene expanded and entered the mainstream in the U.S. Artists like Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy, and NWA released albums. Def Jam Recordings was established. The two big steps in making hip hop mainstream were Run-DMC’s release of its version of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” and the group’s nomination for a Grammy.
Music video by RUN-DMC
"Walk This Way"
(C) 1986, 1999 Arista Records, Inc.
MTV and the radio started to have rap-specific programming with “YO! MTV Raps!” and “Mr Magic’s Rap Attack” on the New York FM radio station WHBI.
It wasn’t just the men breaking into the hip hop culture. Two of the most noteworthy women in the hip hop world in the 1980s were Lady B and Queen Latifah.
Queen Latifah "Dance for me"
At the end of the 80s, hip hop started getting some negative press. Politicians and media personalities painted a picture of commercial hip hop as music that taught immoral values.
In the 90’s some very influential artists became famous such as 2Pac, Dr Dre, Busta Rhymes, and The Notorious B.I.G. Gangsta rap, a type of rap that describes life in inner-city neighbourhoods, became commercially popular in the U.S.
Gangsta rap has been contested and protested by parents and politicians alike. Most rap prior to gangsta rap was written in the third person. With gangsta rap, however, artists were using the first person to tell stories of the “lives of felons, gang members, or crack dealers.” This style of storytelling made critics believe they were promoting violence and crime.

Even though many people criticised it, this music spoke to youth who could identify with its themes of anger, rebellion against authority, and apathy. Companies who could profit from young consumers caught onto this trend and linked up their products with popular rap music. Some hip hop fans see the commercialisation of hip hop music as a sell out and compromising hip hop’s original message.
Rap music continued to flourish the most within the Hip-Hop culture. It is known for bringing together a tangle of some of the most complex social, and political issues in todays American society. It offered young urban New Yorkers a chance to freely express themselves and it was accessible to anyone who wanted to do it. They now had a chance to tell their life stories in a way that people were not used to hearing.
From 1998 until present, we have seen the rise of hip hop superstars such as Eminem, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar and most recently Macklemore.
Macklemore is an American rapper of todays hip hop culture. He began independently releasing music in 2000 and now collaborates with producer Ryan Lewis. He has gain a significant online fan base. He has released one mixtape, three EPs and two albums, although none are on a major record label.
In the realm of hip hop, often criticised for its obsession with material wealth and rampant homophobia, charity shopping and gay marriage are highly unusual subject matters to say the least.
Macklemore isn't just changing the music scene with his lyrics. Because in spite of all their success, Macklemore and Lewis are still unsigned. To put this into perspective, they are the first unsigned artists to reach number one in the US Billboard chart in more than one decade.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
"Can't Hold Us" ft. Ray Dalton
With rap you didn't have to invest in any type of lessons or any other training. Rapping, in essence, is a verbal skill. It also offered unlimited challenges as there were no real set of rules... other than it had to be original and the rhyme was to the beat of the music. Another aspect that made it so attractive was that rap could be about any and/or everything. Because there were no rules to rapping, the personality of whoever was rapping came through in the music.
In conclusion, hip hop is the culture from which rap emerged but consists of the four main elements. Although break dancing and graffiti are not as widespread as they once were, it should be noted that all aspects of hip hop culture still exist... they're just on new levels. Today the hip hop movement is coming on strong. The movement is trying to teach people about hip hop and it's four elements. Hip hop has helped to shape America today. It has given a voice to people that were formerly left unheard, and given urban youths entry into a three billion dollar a year business. The hip hop culture is now incorporated in everything today from movies and TV, to clothes, speech and the way we interact with each other.
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