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Hip hop

From Academic Kids

Hip hop is a cultural movement that began among urban African Americans in New York City in the early 1970s, and has since spread around the world. Some consider beatboxing the fifth element of hip hop; others might add political activism, hip hop fashion, hip hop slang, double dutching (an urban form of rope skipping) or other elements as important facets of hip hop. The term has since come to be a synonym for hip hop music and rap to mainstream audiences. They are not, however, interchangeablerapping (MCing) is the vocal expression of lyrics in sync to a rhythm beneath it; along with DJing, rapping is a part of hip hop music.

Contents

Hip hop music

Main article: Hip hop music

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U-Roy.jpg
U-Roy, one of the earliest Jamaican dub musicians
Hip hop music Hip hop music is related to the griots of West Africa; traveling singers and poets whose musical style is reminiscent of hip hop. Some griot traditions came with African slaves to the New World. The most important direct influence on the creation of hip hop music is the Jamaican style called dub, which arose in the 1960s. Dub musicians such as King Tubby isolated percussion breaks because dancers at clubs (sound systems) preferred the energetic rhythms of the often-short breaks. Soon, performers began speaking in sync with these rhythms. In 1967, Jamaican immigrants such as DJ Kool Herc brought dub to New York City, where it evolved into hip hop. In Jamaica, dub music has diversified into genres like ragga and dancehall. Herc was one of the most popular DJs in early 70s New York, playing at neighborhood parties (also known as block parties). Since Herc's first gig on Sedgewick Ave. in the Bronx, he quickly switched from using reggae records to funk, rock and disco, as the New York audience did not particularly like reggae. Herc and other DJs extended the percussive breaks using an audio mixer and two records, and other mixing techniques soon developed. Performers spoke while the music played; these were originally called MCs (Master of Ceremonies or Mic Controller) and, later, rappers. These early rappers focused on introducing themselves and others in the audience, with some improvisation and a simple four-count beat, along with a simple chorus. Later MCs added more complex lyrics, often humorous, and incorporated sexual themes. By the end of the 1970s, hip hop music was beginning to become a major commercial and artistic force and had spread throughout the United States. During the 1980s and 1990s, hip hop gradually became mainstream (a transition usually considered to have been completed in 1992) in the US and, to a lesser degree, worldwide.

DJing

Main article: DJing

DJing (turntablism) in hip hop refers to the art of using turntables as a musical instrument. Records/albums are used as tools to create many different styles of music. Some of the techniques used include cutting_(music), scratching, body tricks, needle drops, and blends or mixes.

Traditionally, a DJ will use two turntables simultaneously. These are hooked to a receiver, an amplifier, speakers, a mixer (or fader) 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).

Some famous DJs are Grandmaster Flash, Mr. Magic, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Scratch from EPMD, DJ Premier from Gang Starr, DJ Miz, DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill, Jam Master Jay from Run-DMC, Eric B., Tony Touch, DJ Clue, DJ Shadow, DJ Q-Bert, DJ D-Styles and DJ Spooky.

Before coming into their own as music makers, an MC's role was to get the crowd into the DJ's mix. Hip hop used to be, above all, about getting your audience to dance. In Europe this attitude has been more enduring than in the U.S., where MCs quickly became hip hop's central focus. Disillusioned with this new culture, some DJs further explored the art of spinning records, creating the turntablist scene.

A DJ needs turntables, a good sound system, and scratch fodder, which typically comes in the form of vinyl records. Some early recorded rap music does not contain any sampling or DJing, however; for example, none of the members of the Sugarhill Gang were actually involved in the DJing scene in the Bronx and thus couldn't have done any, which explains the session player remake of "Good Times".

MCing

Main articles: Master of Ceremonies and Rapping.

Battling

Battling (originated on the west coast)is the term in hip hop used when two MCs conduct verbal combat against each other. The purpose of battling is for both MCs to try to diminish each other's lyrical skills and gain the favor of the crowd or audience. The level of crowd impression with a particular lyricist is determined by various forms of lyrical delivery, skill, insults and their ability to "move the crowd". The crowd meanwhile reacts with gestures such as "oohs" and "aahs", response to the lyricist's "requests", or an ovation at the end of a battling session. The crowd then determines who is the better lyricist, thus giving the lyricist recognition and increased confidence to engage in and win more battles.

Most "true" battles occur in various underground hip hop clubs, or even in a simple place such as a street corner; these events are usually fixed contests. More well-known "battle" MCs such as Canibus may go public with a battle on the radio or produce a "diss" record and call out their potential opponent. This can be done by disrespecting their opponent's lyrical skill, subject matter, or just plain not liking the person. Most public battles are publicity events used to gain exposure and acquire more fans. Unfortunately, some lyricists cross a personal line when battling and what was once fun leads to physical confrontation.

There are some who feel that, at present, this personal line is crossed frequently and with a great amount of cruelty. Many argue that this part of hip hop has "gone too far" and that, as the rapper Nas said, "No women and children [should be] involved". Others feel that this is all a part of hip hop. When one MC battles another, he wants to say anything that will make the crowd react. It should be noted that though it may not be something personal that one MC has against the other, with both simply trying to win the battle, verbal assaults on an opponent's family, spouse/lover, or friends can easily lead to flaring tempers.

While less common than rap battles (in which only emcees participate) DJ battles, bboy battles, and beatbox battles are also conducted, with audience response and participation (and, occasionally, panel judging) as the metric by which a victor is judged.

Beatboxing

Main article: Beatboxing

Beatboxing, considered by many to be the 'fifth element,' 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.

Beatboxing is hip hop's vocal percussion whose early pioneers include Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie, and Buffy from the Fat Boys. The term 'beatboxing' is derived from the mimicry of the first generation of drum machines, then known as beatboxes.

The art form enjoyed a strong presence in the 80s. Beatboxing declined in popularity along with breakdancing 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 Rahzel's "Make the Music 2000." The internet has greatly aided the rebirth of modern beatboxing—on a global level never seen before—with thousands of beatboxers from over a dozen countries interacting on UK's Humanbeatbox.com.

The art form has radically evolved, extending its reach to include physical theater routines, and has integrated itself into hip hop (and other forms of theater). Vocal percussion is a standby of several a capella groups, as well.


Graffiti art

Main article: Graffiti

Graffiti art
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Graffiti art
One of the earliest and most important graffiti crews was the Savage Seven (later, as they increased in number, the Black Spades), who included future old school rap star Afrika Bambaataa. The Black Spades were followed by many other crews, and graffiti art arose to mark boundaries between them, among other purposes. Graffiti as an urban art form had been known since at least the 1950s, but began developing in earnest in 1969 and flourished during the 1970s. Among several rumours of the emergence of graffiti as an artform, and of "bombing" (drawing graffiti in unconventional, difficult-to-reach, and easily-seen places) as an activity, the most frequently cited is that of Taki 183, a teenager from 183rd Street. In the late 1960s, or early 1970s, his "tag" (stylised image of his chosen graffiti nickname) began to be viewed all around the city, spreading outwards from his neighborhood. Being seen around the entire city, as Taki 183's tag was, quickly became the goal of graf writers such as Phase 2: to become known All City.

Originality was very important for graffiti artists; for example, in 1972, one well-respected graffiti artist called Super Kool replaced the dispersion cap on his spray paint with a wider one, found on a can of oven cleaner. This is still a common practice. By 1976, graffiti artists like Lee Quinones began panting whole murals using advanced techniques. Some of the most memorable of Quinones' work were political in nature, calling for an end to the arms race, for example.

External links

  • Hip Hop Directo (http://hhdirecto.webcindario.com) - All about hip hop culture, graffiti, breakdance, rap
  • Rap Dictionary (http://www.westlord.com/rapdictionary/) - big collection of RAP and HIPHOP words, ultimate resource for looking up hip-hop slang.
  • Davey D's Hip-Hop Corner (http://www.daveyd.com/) - a lot of pertinent info from a true hip hop lover
  • hiphopmusic.com (http://www.hiphopmusic.com/) - number one hip hop blog on the internet
  • How Hip-Hop music is slowly transcending its circular culture (http://www.popmatters.com/music/features/040728-hiphop.shtml) - essay from PopMatters
  • Old School Hip Hop Party Flyers (http://toledohiphop.org/images/old_school_source_code/)
  • Hop hop violinists (http://www.theviolinsite.com/hip-hop_violin.html) - Learn about hip hop string players
  • AccessHipHop.com (http://www.accesshiphop.com/) - dedicated to underground hip hop
  • MemphisRap.com (http://www.memphisrap.com/) - Memphis' premier rap music site & hip hop community
  • Tyte Squeeze Productions (http://www.tytesqueezeproductions.com/) - Music production company/record label deeply rooted in hip hop throughout the ages
  • Top Shelf Studio (http://oldschool103.tripod.com//) - Legendary New York Recording Studio
  • [1] (http://www.bboyworld.com) - the best breakdancing site out there

Famous celebrity DJ agency Gremlin UK

Hip hop
Breakdance - Turntablism - Graffiti - MCing - Hip-Hop Music - Hip hop collaborations - List of Rappers
Fashion - Feuds - Urban slang - Timeline
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