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Hip Hop Stylistic origins Funk, disco, soul, R&B, dub, toasting, performance poetry, spoken word, signifying, the dozens, scat singing, talking blues 1970s, New York City Turntable, synthesizer, vocals, drum machine, sampler, beatboxing
Cultural origins Typical instruments Other topics
Breakdance – Graffiti – Fashion – Subgenres – Notable albums – World hip hop
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 culture. The relationship between graffiti and hip hop culture arises from the appearance of new and increasingly elaborate and pervasive forms of the practice in areas where other elements of hip hop were evolving as art forms, with a heavy overlap between those who wrote graffiti and those who practiced other elements of the culture. Beatboxing is a vocal technique mainly used to imitate percussive elements of the music and various technical effects of hip hop DJs.
The word "hip" was used as African American Vernacular English (AAVE) as early as 1898. The colloquial language meant "informed" or "current," and was likely derived from the earlier form hep. The term "hip hop" also followed logically the previous African-American music culture of "Bebop". Keith "Cowboy" Wiggins, a rapper with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five has been credited with the coining of the term hip hop in 1978 while teasing a friend who had just joined the US Army, by scat singing the words "hip/hop/hip/hop" in a way that mimicked the rhythmic cadence of marching soldiers. Cowboy later worked the "hip hop" cadence into a part of his stage performance. The group frequently performed with disco artists who would refer to this new type of MC/DJ produced music by calling them "those hip-hoppers". The name was originally meant as a sign of disrespect, but soon come to identify this new music and culture. Other artists quickly copied the Furious Five and began using the term in their music; for example the opening of the song "Rapper’s Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang in addition the verse found on Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s own "Superrappin’", both released in 1979. Lovebug Starski, a Bronx DJ who put out a single called "The Positive
KRS-One in concert. KRS-One is a long-time activist, performer and promoter of hip hop culture. Hip hop is a music genre and cultural movement which developed in New York City in the early 1970s primarily among African Americans and Latino Americans. Hip Hop’s four main elements are MCing (often called rapping), DJing, graffiti writing, and breakdancing. Other elements include beatboxing, hip hop fashion, and slang. Since first emerging in the Bronx, the lifestyle of hip hop culture has spread around the world.. When hip hop music began to emerge, it was based around disc jockeys who created rhythmic beats by looping breaks (small portions of songs emphasizing a percussive pattern) on two turntables. This was later accompanied by "rapping" (a rhythmic style of
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Life" in 1981, and DJ Hollywood then began using the term when referring to this new disco rap music. Hip hop pioneer and South Bronx community leader Afrika Bambaataa also credits Lovebug Starski as the first to use the term "Hip Hop," as it relates to the culture. Bambaataa, a former Black Spades gang member also did much to further popularize the term.
funk, rock, and records with Latin percussion, formed the basis of hip hop music. Campbell’s announcements and exhortations to dancers would lead to the syncopated, rhymed spoken accompaniment we now know as rapping. He dubbed his dancers break-boys and break-girls, or simply b-boys and b-girls. According to Herc, "breaking" was also street slang for "getting excited" and "acting energetically". Herc’s terms b-boy, b-girl and breaking became part of the lexicon of hip hop culture, before that culture itself had developed a name. Later DJs such as Grand Wizard Theodore, Grandmaster Flash and Jazzy Jay refined and developed the use of breakbeats, including cutting and scratching. The approach used by Herc was soon widely copied, and by the late 1970s DJs were releasing 12" records where they would rap to the beat. Popular tunes included Kurtis Blow’s "The Breaks", and The Sugar Hill Gang’s "Rapper’s Delight". Emceeing is the rhythmic spoken delivery of rhymes and wordplay, delivered over a beat or without accompaniment. Rapping is derived from the griots (folk poets) of West Africa, and Jamaican-style toasting. Rap developed both inside and outside of hip hop culture, and began with the street parties thrown in the Bronx neighborhood of New York in the 1970s by Kool Herc and others. It originated as MCs would talk over the music to promote their DJ, promote other dance parties, take light-hearted jabs at other lyricists, or talk about problems in their areas and issues facing the community as a whole. Melle Mel, a rapper/lyricist with The Furious Five, is often credited with being the first rap lyricist to call himself an "MC". By the the late 1970s, the culture had gained media attention, with Billboard magazine printing an article titled "B Beats Bombarding Bronx", commenting on the local phenomenon and mentioning influential figures such as Kool Herc. Hip hop as a culture was further defined in 1983, when Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force released the seminal electrofunk track "Planet Rock." Instead of simply rapping over disco beats, Bambaataa created an electronic sound, taking advantage of the rapidly improving drum machine, synthesizer technology as well as sampling from Kraftwerk. The appearance of music videos changed entertainment: they often glorified
Jamaican born DJ Clive "Kool Herc" Campbell is credited as being highly influential in the pioneering stage of hip hop music, in the Bronx, New York, after moving to New York at the age of thirteen. Herc created the blueprint for hip hop music and culture by building upon the Jamaican tradition of toasting, or boasting impromptu poetry and sayings over music, which he witnessed as a youth in Jamaica. Herc and other DJs would tap into the power lines to connect their equipment and perform, at venues such as public basketball courts and the historic building "where hip hop was born," 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, Bronx, New York. Their equipment was composed of numerous speakers, turntables, and one or more microphones. In late 1979, Debbie Harry of Blondie took Chic cofounder and lead guitarist Nile Rodgers to such an event, as the main backing track used was the break from Chic’s Good Times.
Kool DJ Herc, the Godfather of Hip-hop. Herc was also the developer of break-beat deejaying, where the breaks of funk songs—the part most suited to dance, usually percussion-based—were isolated and repeated for the purpose of all-night dance parties. This breakbeat DJing, using hard
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urban neighborhoods. The music video for "Planet Rock" showcased the subculture of hip hop musicians, graffiti artists and breakdancers. Many hip hop-related films were released between 1982 and 1985, among them Wild Style, Beat Street, Krush Groove, Breakin, and the documentary Style Wars. These films expanded the appeal of hip hop beyond the boundaries of New York. By 1985, youth worldwide were embracing the hip hop culture. The hip hop artwork and "slang" of US urban communities quickly found its way to Europe and Asia, as the culture’s global appeal took root. The 1980s also saw many artists make social statements through hip hop. In 1982, Melle Mel and Duke Bootee recorded "The Message" (officially credited to Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five), a song that foreshadowed the socially conscious statements of Run-DMC’s "It’s like That" and Public Enemy’s "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos". During the 1980s, hip hop also embraced the creation of rhythm by using the human body, via the vocal percussion technique of beatboxing. Pioneers such as Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie, and Buffy from the Fat Boys made beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using their mouth, lips, tongue, voice, and other body parts. "Human Beatbox" artists would also sing or imitate turntablism scratching or other instrument sounds.
Afrika Bambaataa with DJ Yutaka of Zulu Nation Japan, 2004. minorities within America, and an outlet to deal with violence and gang culture. MC Kid Lucky mentions that “people used to breakdance against each other instead of fighting.” Inspired by Kool DJ Herc, once-gang leader of the Black Spades, Afrika Bambaataa created a street organization called Universal Zulu Nation, centered around hip hop, as a means to draw teenagers out of gang life and violence. Contrary to popular belief, the hip hop movement was not centered around violence, drugs, and weapons in the early days. Many people used hip hop in positive ways. The lyrical content of many early rap groups concentrated on social issues, most notably in the seminal track "The Message", which discussed the realities of life in the housing projects. "Young black Americans coming out of the civil rights movement have used hip hop culture in the 1980s and 1990s to show the limitations of the movement.". Hip hop gave young African Americans a voice to let their issues be noticed. It also gave young blacks a chance for financial gain by "reducing the rest of the world to consumers of its social concerns." Hip hop’s social impacts on the country have not been all negative. It has positively affected many youth and encouraged them to voice their opinions on world and personal issues. "Like rock-and-roll, hip hop is vigorously opposed by conservatives because it romanticises violence, law-breaking, and gangs". Both hip hop and rock-and-roll were musical movements used by teens in order to express how they felt about certain issues. Now hip hop and rock-and-roll are combined in many ways including rewriting
Early hip hop has often been credited with helping to reduce inner-city gang violence by replacing physical violence with dance and artwork battles. In the early 1970s, Kool DJ Herc began organizing dance parties in his home in the Bronx. The parties became so popular they were moved to outdoor venues to accommodate more people. City teenagers, after years of gang violence, were looking for new ways to express themselves. These outdoor parties, hosted in parks, became a means of expression and an outlet for teenagers, where "Instead of getting into trouble on the streets, teens now had a place to expend their pent-up energy." Tony Tone, a member of the pioneering rap group the Cold Crush Brothers, noted that "Hip-hop saved a lot of lives." Hip hop culture became an outlet and a way of dealing with the hardships of life as
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songs where a rapper or rock band play with the other. With the emergence of commercial and crime-related rap during the early 1990s, however, an emphasis on violence was incorporated, with many rappers boasting about drugs, weapons, misogyny, and violence. While hip hop music now appeals to a broader demographic, media critics argue that socially and politically conscious hip hop has long been disregarded by mainstream America in favor of gangsta rap. Though created in the United States by African Americans and Latinos, hip hop culture and music is now global in scope. Youth culture and opinion is meted out in both Israeli hip hop and Palestinian hip hop, while France, Germany, the U.K., Brazil, Japan, Africa, Australia and the Caribbean have long-established hip hop followings. According to the U.S. Department of State, hip hop is "now the center of a mega music and fashion industry around the world," that crosses social barriers and cuts across racial lines. National Geographic recognizes hip hop as "the world’s favorite youth culture" in which "just about every country on the planet seems to have developed its own local rap scene." Through its international travels, hip hop is now considered a “global musical epidemic,” and has diverged from its ethnic roots by way of globalization and localization. Although some non-American rappers may still relate with young black Americans, hip hop now transcends its original culture, and is appealing because it is “custom-made to combat the anomie that preys on adolescents wherever nobody knows their name.” Hip hop is attractive in its ability to give a voice to disenfranchised youth in any country, and as music with a message it is a form available to all societies worldwide. Even in the face of growing global popularity, or perhaps because of it, hip hop has come under fire for being too commercial, too commodified. Artist Nas said it himself in his 2006 album Hip Hop is Dead. While this of course stirs up controversy, a documentary called The Commodification of Hip Hop directed by Brooke Daniel interviews students at Satellite Academy in New York City. One girl talks about the epidemic of crime that she sees in urban black and Latino communities, relating it directly to the hip hop industry saying “When they can’t afford these
kind of things, these things that celebrities have like jewelry and clothes and all that, they’ll go and sell drugs, some people will steal it…” Many students see this as a negative side effect of the hip hop industry, and indeed, hip hop has been widely criticized for inciting notions of crime, violence, and American ideals of consumerism although much of the hip-hop dancing community still chooses to refer back to more "oldschool" types of hip-hop music that does not preach violence and drugs. In an article for Village Voice, Greg Tate argues that the commercialization of hip hop is a negative and pervasive phenomenon, writing that "what we call hiphop is now inseparable from what we call the hiphop industry, in which the nouveau riche and the super-rich employers get richer". Ironically, this commercialization coincides with a decline in rap sales and pressure from critics of the genre. However, in his book In Search Of Africa, Manthia Diawara explains that hip hop is really a voice of people who are down and out in modern society. He argues that the "worldwide spread of hip-hop as a market revolution" is actually global "expression of poor people’s desire for the good life," and that this struggle aligns with "the nationalist struggle for citizenship and belonging, but also reveals the need to go beyond such struggles and celebrate the redemption of the black individual through tradition." This connection to "tradition" however, is something that may be lacking according to one Satellite Academy staff member who says that in all of the focus on materialism, the hip hop community is “not leaving anything for the next generation, we’re not building.” As the hip hop genre turns 30, a deeper analysis of the music’s impact is taking place. It has been viewed as a cultural sensation which changed the music industry around the world, but some believe commercialization and mass production have given it a darker side. Tate has described its recent manifestations as a marriage of “New World African ingenuity and that trick of the devil known as global-hypercapitalism”, arguing it has joined the “mainstream that had once excluded its originators.”  While hip hop’s values may have changed over time, the music continues to offer its followers and originators a shared identity which is instantly
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recognizable and much imitated around the world.
hop to influence different communities. Hip hop’s impact as a "world music" is also due to its translatability among different cultures in the world. Hip hop’s messages allow the under-privileged and the mistreated to be heard. These cultural translations cross borders. While the music may be from a foreign country, the message is something that many people can relate to- something not "foreign" at all. Even when hip hop is transplanted to other countries, it often retains its "vital progressive agenda that challenges the status quo." Global hip hop is the meeting ground for progressive local activism, as many organizers use hip hop in their communities to address environmental injustice, policing and prisons, media justice, and education. In Gothenburg, Sweden, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) incorporate graffiti and dance to engage disaffected immigrant and working class youths. Indigenous youths in countries as disparate as Bolivia, Chile, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Norway use hip hop to advance new forms of identity.
From its early spread to Europe and Japan to an almost worldwide acceptance through Asia and South American countries such as Brazil, the musical influence has been global. Hip hop sounds and styles differ from region to region, but there is also a lot of crossbreeding. In each separate hip hop scene there is also constant struggle between "old school" hip hop and more localized, newer sounds. Regardless of where it is found, the music often targets local disaffected youth. Hip hop has given people a voice to express themselves, from the "Bronx to Beirut, Kazakhstan to Cali, Hokkaido to Harare, Hip Hop is the new sound of a disaffected global youth culture." Though on the global scale there is a heavy influence from US culture, different cultures worldwide have transformed hip hop with their own traditions and beliefs. "Global Hip Hop succeeds best when it showcases ... cultures that reside outside the main arteries of the African Diaspora." Not all countries have embraced hip hop, where "as can be expected in countries with strong local culture, the interloping wildstyle of hip hop is not always welcomed". As hip hop becomes globally-available, it is not a one-sided process that eradicates local cultures. Instead, global hip hop styles are often synthesized with local styles. Hartwig Vens argues that hip hop can also be viewed as a global learning experience. Hip hop from countries outside the United States is often labeled "world music" for the American consumer. Author Jeff Chang argues that "the essence of hip hop is the cipher, born in the Bronx, where competition and community feed each other." Hip hop has impacted many different countries culturally and socially in positive ways. "Thousands of organizers from Cape Town to Paris use hip hop in their communities to address environmental justice, policing and prisons, media justice, and education." While hip hop music has been criticized as a music which creates a divide between western music and music from the rest of the world, a musical "cross pollination" has taken place, which strengthens the power of hip
DJ Hypnotize and Baby Cee, two Disc jockeys Turntablism refers to the extended boundaries and techniques of normal DJing innovated by hip hop. One of the few first hip hop DJ’s was [[Kool DJ Herc, who created hip hop through the isolation of "breaks" (the parts of albums that focused solely on the beat). In addition to developing Herc’s techniques, DJs Grandmaster Flash, Grand Wizard Theodore, and Grandmaster Caz made further
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innovations with the introduction of scratching. Traditionally, a DJ will use two turntables simultaneously. These are connected to a DJ mixer, an amplifier, speakers, and various other pieces of electronic music equipment. The DJ will then perform various tricks between the two albums currently in rotation using the above listed methods. The result is a unique sound created by the seemingly combined sound of two separate songs into one song. A DJ should not be confused with a producer of a music track (though there is considerable overlap between the two roles). In the early years of hip hop, the DJs were the stars, but their limelight has been taken by MCs since 1978, thanks largely to Melle Mel of Grandmaster Flash’s crew, the Furious Five. However, a number of DJs have gained stardom nonetheless in recent years. Famous DJs include Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, Mr. Magic, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Scratch from EPMD, DJ Premier from Gang Starr, DJ Scott La Rock from Boogie Down Productions, DJ Pete Rock of Pete Rock & CL Smooth, DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill, Jam Master Jay from Run-DMC, Eric B., DJ Screw, Funkmaster Flex, Tony Touch, DJ Clue, and DJ Q-Bert. The underground movement of turntablism has also emerged to focus on the skills of the DJ. Mixtape DJs have also emerged creating mixtapes with different artist and getting exclusive songs and putting them on one disc, djs such as DJ White Owl, DJ Skee, DJ Drama, and DJ Whoo Kid
Rapping, also known as Emceeing, MCing, Rhyme spitting, Spitting, or just Rhyming, is the rhythmic delivery of rhymes, one of the central elements of hip hop music and culture. Although the word rap has sometimes been claimed to be a backronym of the phrase "Rhythmic American Poetry", "Rhythm and Poetry", "Rhythmically Applied Poetry", or "Rhythmically Associated Poetry", use of the word to describe quick and slangy speech or repartee long predates the musical form. One early example includes the spoken word group The Last Poets. Rapping can be delivered over a beat or without accompaniment.
An aerosol paint can, common tool for modern graffiti In America around the late 1960s, graffiti was used as a form of expression by political activists, and also by gangs such as the Savage Skulls, La Familia, and Savage Nomads to mark territory. Towards the end of the 1960s, the signatures—tags—of Philadelphia graffiti writers Top Cat, Cool Earl and Cornbread started to appear. Around 1970-71, the centre of graffiti innovation moved to New York City where writers following in the wake of TAKI 183 and Tracy 168 would add their street number to their nickname, "bomb" a train with their work, and let the subway take it—and their fame, if it was impressive, or simply pervasive, enough—"all city". Bubble lettering held sway initially among writers from the Bronx, though the elaborate Brooklyn style Tracy 168 dubbed "wildstyle" would come to define the art. The early trendsetters were joined in the 70s by artists like Dondi, Futura
Rapper Busta Rhymes performs in Las Vegas for a BET party.
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2000, Daze, Blade, Lee, Zephyr, Rammellzee, Crash, Kel, NOC 167 and Lady Pink. The relationship between graffiti and hip hop culture arises both from early graffiti artists practicing other aspects of hip hop, and its being practiced in areas where other elements of hip hop were evolving as art forms. Graffiti is recognized as a visual expression of rap music, just as breakdancing is viewed as a physical expression. The book Subway Art (New York: Henry Holt & Co, 1984) and the TV program Style Wars (first shown on the PBS channel in 1984) were among the first ways the mainstream public were introduced to hip hop graffiti.
focus in the fictional film Beat Street. Early acts include the Rock Steady Crew and New York City Breakers. B-boying is one of the major elements of hip hop culture, commonly associated with, but distinct from, "popping", "locking", "hitting", "ticking", "boogaloo", and other funk styles that evolved independently during the late 1960s in California. It was common during the 1980s to see a group of people with a radio on a playground, basketball court, or sidewalk performing a B-boy show for a large audience.
Beatboxing, popularized by Doug E. Fresh, is the vocal percussion of hip hop culture. It is primarily concerned with the art of creating beats, rhythms, and melodies using the human mouth. The term beatboxing is derived from the mimicry of the first generation of drum machines, then known as beatboxes. As it is a way of creating hip-hop music, it can be categorized under the production element of hip-hop, though it does sometimes include a type of rapping intersected with the human-created beat. The art form enjoyed a strong presence in the ’80s with artists like the Darren "Buffy, the Human Beat Box" Robinson of the Fat Boys and Biz Markie showing their beatboxing skills. Beatboxing declined in popularity along with break dancing in the late ’80s, and almost slipped even deeper than the underground. Beatboxing has been enjoying a resurgence since the late ’90s, marked by the release of "Make the Music 2000." by Rahzel of The Roots (known for even singing while beatboxing). As it grew and developed into a multi-billion dollar industry, the scope of hip hop culture grew beyond the boundaries of its traditional four elements. KRS-ONE, a rapper from the golden age of hip hop, names nine elements of hip hop culture: the traditional four and beatboxing, plus hip hop fashion, hip hop slang, street knowledge, and street entrepreneurship. He also suggests that hip hop is a cultural movement and that the word itself had to reflect this. He spells it Hiphop (one word, capital "h") and this is reflected in his Temple of Hiphop.
Breaking, an early form of hip hop dance, often involves battles, showing off skills without any physical contact with the adversaries. Breakdancing, also breaking or B-boying, is a dynamic style of dance which developed as part of the hip hop culture. Breaking began to take form in the South Bronx alongside the other elements of hip hop. The "B" in B-boy stands for break, as in break-boy (or girl). The term "B-boy" originated from the dancers at DJ Kool Herc’s parties, who saved their best dance moves for the break section of the song, getting in front of the audience to dance in a distinctive, frenetic style. According to the documentary film The Freshest Kids: A History of the B-Boy, DJ Kool Herc describes the "B" in B-boy as short for breaking which at the time was slang for "going off", also one of the original names for the dance. However, early on the dance was known as the "boiong" (the sound a spring makes). Breaking was briefly documented for release to a world wide audience for the first time in Style Wars, and was later given a little more
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example is remarkably prolific). There are also words like homie which predate hip hop but are often associated with it. Sometimes, terms like what the dilly, yo are popularized by a single song (in this case, "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See" by Busta Rhymes) and are only used briefly. Of special importance is the rule-based slang of Snoop Dogg and E-40, who add -izz to the middle of words so that shit becomes shizznit (the addition of the n occurs occasionally as well). This practice, with origins in Frankie Smith’s nonsensical language from his 1980 single "Double Dutch Bus", has spread to even non-hip hop fans, who may be unaware of its derivation. As a genre of music popular all over the world, World hip hop, in which African-American English is not the dialect used, is as prevalent as ever.
Street breakdancing in San Francisco, California Hip hop has made considerable social impacts since its inception in the 1970s. Orlando Patterson, a sociology professor at Harvard University helps describe the phenomenon of how hip hop spread rapidly around the world and diffusion of Global. Professor Patterson argues that mass communication is controlled by the wealthy, government, and businesses in Third World nations and countries around the world. Professor Patterson believes that mass communication created a global cultural hip hop scene. As a result, the youth absorb and are influenced by the American hip hop scene and start their own form of hip hop. Professor Patterson believes that revitalization of hip hop music will occur around the world as traditional values are mixed with American hip hop musical forms, and ultimately a global exchange process will develop that brings youth around the world to listen to a common musical form known as hip hop. It has also been argued that rap music formed as a "cultural response to historic oppression and racism, a system for communication among black communities throughout the United States". This is due to the fact that the culture reflected the social, economic and political realities of the disenfranchised youth. .
A graffiti artist uses his artwork to make a satirical social statement on censorship: "Don’t blame yourself... blame hip-hop." Hip hop has probably encountered more problems with censorship than any other form of popular music in recent years, due to the frequency of expletives used in lyrics. It also receives flak for being anti-establishment, and many of its songs depict wars and coup d’états that in the end overthrow the government. For example, Public Enemy’s "Gotta Give the Peeps What They Need" was edited without their permission, removing the words "free Mumia". After the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, Oakland, California group The Coup was under fire for the cover art on their Party Music, which featured the group’s two members holding a detonator as the Twin Towers exploded behind them. Ironically, this art was created
Hip hop has a distinctive slang. Due to hip hop’s commercial success in the late nineties and early 21st century, many of these words have been assimilated into many different dialects across America and the world and even to non-hip hop fans (the word dis for
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months before the actual event. The group, having politically radical and Marxist lyrical content, said the cover meant to symbolize the destruction of capitalism. Their record label pulled the album until a new cover could be designed. The use of profanity as well as graphic depictions of violence and sex creates challenges in the broadcast of such material both on television stations such as MTV, in music video form, and on radio. As a result, many hip hop recordings are broadcast in censored form, with offending language "bleeped" or blanked out of the soundtrack (though usually leaving the backing music intact), or even replaced with "clean" lyrics. The result – which sometimes renders the remaining lyrics unintelligible or contradictory to the original recording – has become almost as widely identified with the genre as any other aspect of the music, and has been parodied in films such as Austin Powers in Goldmember, in which Mike Myers’ character Dr. Evil – performing in a parody of a hip hop music video ("Hard Knock Life" by Jay-Z) – performs an entire verse that is blanked out. In 1995 Roger Ebert wrote: “ Rap has a bad reputation in white ” circles, where many people believe it consists of obscene and violent antiwhite and anti-female guttural. Some of it does. Most does not. Most white listeners don’t care; they hear black voices in a litany of discontent, and tune out. Yet rap plays the same role today as Bob Dylan did in 1960, giving voice to the hopes and angers of a generation, and a lot of rap is powerful writing.
condemnation. The segment was discontinued in mid 2006.
Foodstuffs emblazoned with hip hop images Critics such as Businessweek’s David Kiley argue that the discussion of many products within hip hop music and culture may actually be the result of undisclosed product placement deals. Such critics allege that shilling or product placement takes place in commercial rap music, and that lyrical references to products are actually paid endorsements. In 2005, a proposed plan by McDonalds, which would have paid rappers to advertise McDonalds food in their music, was leaked to the press. After Russell Simmons made a deal with Courvoisier to promote the brand among hip hop fans, Busta Rhymes recorded the song "Pass The Courvoisier". Simmons insists that no money changed hands in the deal. The symbiotic relationship has also stretched to include car manufacturers, clothing designers and sneaker companies, and many other companies have used the hip-hop community to make their name or to give the credibility. One such beneficiary was Jacob the Jeweler, a diamond merchant from New York, Jacob Arabo’s clientèle included
In a way to circumvent broadcasting regulations BET has created a late-night segment called "Uncut" to air uncensored videos. Not only has this translated into greater sales for mainstream artists, it has also provided an outlet for undiscovered artists to grab the spotlight with graphic but low production quality videos, often made cheaply by nonprofessionals. Perhaps the most notorious video aired, which for many came to exemplify BET’s program Uncut, was "Tip Drill" by Nelly. While no more explicit than other videos, its exploitative depiction of women, particularly of a man swiping a credit card between a stripper’s buttocks, was seized upon by many social activists for
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Sean Combs, Lil Kim and Nas. He created jewelry pieces from precious metals that were heavily loaded with diamond and gemstones. As his name was mentioned in the song lyrics of his hip hop customers, his profile quickly rose. Arabo expanded his brand to include gem-encrusted watches that retail for hundreds of thousands of dollars, gaining so much attention that Cartier filed a trademark-infringement lawsuit against him for putting diamonds on the faces of their watches and reselling them without permission. Arabo’s profile increased steadily until his June, 2006 arrest by the FBI on money laundering charges. While some brands welcome the support of the hip-hop community, one brand that did not was Cristal champagne maker Louis Roederer. A 2006 article from The Economist magazine featured remarks from managing director Frederic Rouzaud about whether the brand’s identification with rap stars could affect their company negatively. His answer was dismissive in tone: "That’s a good question, but what can we do? We can’t forbid people from buying it. I’m sure Dom Pérignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business." In retaliation, many hip hop icons such as Jay-Z and Sean Combs who previous included references to "Cris", ceased all mentions and purchases of the champagne.
Hip hop magazines have a large place in hip hop lifestyle, including Hip Hop Connection, XXL, Scratch, The Source and Vibe. Many individual cities have produced their own local hip hop newsletters, while hip hop magazines with national distribution are found in a few other countries. The 21st century also ushered in the rise of online media, and hip hop fan sites now offer comprehensive hip hop coverage on a daily basis.
Breakdance in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Hip hop has spawned dozens of sub-genres which incorporate a domineering style of music production or rapping, and it exhibits elements of trifunctionalism. Hip-Hop has now expanded and gone on a global scale, millions of rap albums are sold in foreign countries, some are not English speaking countries, yet people go out of their way and purchase these albums even thought they don’t understand the message the song carries, and manage to memorize the lyrics and sing along not knowing what they are saying. In foreign countries Hip-Hop has influenced natives to pursue rap careers and do what is being done in the United States such as following the trends, in their country. This is a product of globalization and it explains how popular culture can be interwoven with the everyday life of individuals that follow it, and how it can affect them in many ways. Like jazz, hip-hop is one of the few musical genres that scholars see as entirely American. Here, it is important to note the varying social influences that affect hip-hop’s message in different nations. Frequently a musical response to political and/or social injustices, the face of hip-hop varies greatly from nation to nation.
Hip-hop culture is intrinsically related to television; there have been a number of television shows devoted to or about hip-hop. For a long time, BET was the only television channel likely to play much hip hop, but in recent years the mainstream channels VH1 and MTV have added a significant amount of hip hop to their play list. With the emergence of the Internet a number of online sites have also begun to offer Hip Hop related video content. Hip hop films have been related since hiphop’s conception and have become even more related in the 21st century. During the early 1990s, African-Americans experienced a film renassiance, sparked by the popularity of hood films, in-depth looks at urban life, focusing on violence, family, friends and hiphop. There have also been a number of hip hop films, movies which focused on hip-hop as a subject.
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For example, in South Africa the largest form of hip hop is called Kwaito, which has had a growth similar to American hip hop. Kwaito is a direct reflection of a post apartheid South Africa and is a voice for the voiceless; a term that U.S. hip hop is often referred to. Kwaito has become much more than just music, it has evolved into a lifestyle, encompassing all aspects of life including language and fashion. The music of Kwaito is both politically and party driven. The politically fuelled music gives a voice to oppressed people that have no other way to voice their concerns and find music to be very accessible, not only to themselves but also to the audiences they are trying to reach. On the other hand the club driven music can also be seen as political in the sense that the artists couldn’t care less about the post apartheid life they live and are more concerned about having a good time and not how their access to this life came about. Kwaito is a music that came from a once hated and oppressed people, but it is now sweeping the nation. The main consumers of Kwaito are adolescents and half of the South African population is under 21. Some of the large Kwaito artists have sold over 100,000 albums, and in an industry where 25,000 albums sold is considered a gold record, those are impressive numbers. In the end Kwaito gives aspirations to the oppressed people of a post apartheid South Africa, where they now have a control over a very influence source of media, music. In Jamaica the sounds of hip hop are derived from American and Jamaican influences. Jamaican hip hop is defined both through dancehall and Reggae music. Jamaican Kool Herc brought the sound systems, technology, and techniques of Reggae music to New York during the 1970s. Jamaican hip hop artists often rap in both Brooklyn and Jamaican accents. Jamaican hip hop subject matter is often influenced by outside and internal forces. Outside forces such as the bling-bling era of today’s modern hip hop and internal influences coming from the use of anti colonialism and marijuana or "Ganja" references which Rastafarians believe bring them closer to God. Author Wayne Marshall argues that "Hip hop, as with any number of African-American cultural forms before it, offers a range of compelling and contradictory significations to Jamaican artist and audiences. From
"modern blackness" to foreign mind", transnational cosmopolitanism to militant pan-Africanism, radical remixology to outright mimicry, hip-hop in Jamaica embodies the myriad ways that Jamaicans embrace, reject, and incorporate foreign yet familiar forms." In the developing world hip hop has made a considerable impact in the social context. Despite the lack of resources, hip hop has made considerable inroads. Because funds are limited, hip hop artists are forced to use very basic tools, and even graffiti, an important aspect of the hip hop culture, is constrained because it is not available to the average person. Many hip hop artists that make it out of the developing world come to places like the United States in search of an identity and place that fits them specifically. Maya Arulpragasm is a Sri Lankan born hip hop artist in this situation. She claims, "I’m just trying to build some sort of bridge, I’m trying to create a third place, somewhere in between the developed world and the developing world."
Having its roots from reggae, disco, funk, hip hop has since exponentially expanded into a widely accepted form of representation world wide. It expansion includes events like Afrika Bambaataa releasing "Planet Rock" in 1982 which tried to establish a more global harmony in hip hop. In the 1990s MC Solaar became an international hit that was not from America, the first of his kind. From the 80s onward, television became the major source of widespread outsourcing of hip hop to the global world. From Yo! MTV Raps (a television show that was shown in many countries) to Public Enemy’s world tour, hip hop spread further to Latin America and became highly mainstream. Ranging from countries like France, Spain, England, the US and many many other countries world wide, voices want to be heard, and hip hop allows them to do so. As such, hip hop has been cut mixed and changed to the areas that adapt to it. Early hip hop has often been credited with helping to reduce inner-city gang violence by replacing physical violence with hip hop battles of dance and artwork. However, with the emergence of commercial and crime-related rap during the early 1990s, an
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emphasis on violence was incorporated, with many rappers boasting about drugs, weapons, misogyny, and violence. While hip hop music now appeals to a broader demographic, media critics argue that socially and politically conscious hip hop has long been disregarded by mainstream America in favor of its media-baiting sibling, gangsta rap. Many artists are now considered to be alternative/underground hip hop when they attempt to reflect what they believe to be the original elements of the culture. Artists/ groups such as Lupe Fiasco, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Dilated Peoples, dead prez, Blackalicious, Jurassic 5, Immortal Technique and newly added Ghana Force may emphasize messages of verbal skill, unity, or activism instead of messages of violence, material wealth, and misogyny. Authenticity is often a serious debate within hip hop culture. Dating back to its origins in the 1970s in the Bronx, hip hop revolved around a culture of protest and freedom of expression in the wake of oppression. As hip hop has become less of an underground culture, it is subject to debate whether or not the spirit of hip hop is embodied in protest, or whether it can evolve to exist in a marketable integrated version. In "Authenticity Within Hip-Hop and Other Cultures Threatened with Assimilation," Commentator Kembrew McLeod argues that hip hop culture is actually threatened with assimilation by a larger, mainstream culture. In support of this position, editors of magazines such as the Village Voice have said that hip hop is slowly losing its edge due to the genre’s involvement in the mainstream, hyper-capitalist world. Believing that hip hop should be utilized as a voice for social justice, Tate points out that in the marketable version of hip hop, there isn’t a role for this evolved genre in context of the original theme hip hop originated from (freedom from oppression). The problem with Black progressive political organizing isn’t that hip hop, but that the No. 1 issue on the table needs to be poverty, and nobody knows how to make poverty sexy. Tate discusses how the dynamic of progressive Black politics cannot apply to the genre of hip hop in the current state today due to the genre’s heavy involvement in the market. In his article he discusses Hip Hop’s 30th birthday and its evolution has been a devolution due to its capitalistic endeavors. Both Tate and McLeod
argue that hip hop has lost its authenticity due to its losing sight of the revolutionary theme and humble "folksy" beginnings the music originated from. "This is the first time artists from around the world will be performing in an international context. The ones that are coming are considered to be the key members of the contemporary underground hip-hop movement." This is how the music landscape has broadened around the world over the last ten years. The maturation of Hip Hop has gotten older with the genres age, but the initial reasoning of why Hip Hop has started will always be intact. Expression and oppression will always be at the root of any Hip Hop movement. Though born in the United States, the reach of hip hop is global. Youth culture and opinion is meted out in both Israeli hip hop and Palestinian hip hop, while France, Germany, the U.K., Africa and the Caribbean have long-established hip hop followings. According to the U.S. Department of State, hip hop is "now the center of a mega music and fashion industry around the world", that crosses social barriers and cuts across racial lines. National Geographic recognizes hip hop as "the world’s favorite youth culture" in which "just about every country on the planet seems to have developed its own local rap scene."
• • • • Rapping Hip hop dance List of hip hop albums List of hip hop genres
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• Hip hop at the Open Directory Project