HIP HOP: THE CULTURE


HIP HOP CULTURE


I define culture as the collaboration of morals, traditions, religious beliefs, values, fashion and music within a set race. While I have a very diverse set of colleagues and peers, I identify with the African American culture the best. Music is a huge part of the African American culture, specifically hip-hop. The music genre "hip-hop" - has been not only been able to cultivate the masses with rhythmic beats and gritty stories, but also breaking into niche markets, such as fashion and engraving that into African American history. Brands like F.U.B.U, Sean John and Roca Wear are prime examples of how hip-hop artists, have engraved an important role into the African American culture. This article explores the birth of hip hop, and how it brands acts as an important catalyst to black society.



THE BEGINNINGS


Many categorize hip-hop, as a music genre. For those who really love “hip-hop”, its described more as a lifestyle. Hip-hop has been said to be founded in the late 1970’s, starting with locals and residents, making beats with their hands and mouths, rapping in the halls and stairways of urban project communities. “Rapping”, as defined by the Oxford dictionary is also known as, a strike - with a series of rapid audible blows, especially in order to attract attention, usually placed over a melodic beat. One significant social factor that made an impact on the hip hop culture, its unique style. The more unique the rap flow, the more attention it gains. Whether rapping fast or slow, people were actually rapping about their real life experiences growing up in poor neighborhoods of New York City, aka “The Concrete Jungle”. Some early rap stories talked about parties, sex, drugs and gang activity. All social factors that give us deeper insight into African American Culture.



HIP HOP REVOLUTION


As hip hop grew traction in the mid 70’s, a disc Jockey (DJ), by the name of DJ Kool Herc is known as the “Father of Hip-Hop” made his mark on African American culture. DJ Kool Herc would spin and mix records on turntables at parties, blaring over loud speaker systems, mixing raps over various African drum beats. It is believed that at this time, Hip-hop was truly derived. DJ Kool Herc set way for decades to come, by using various samples from other music genres (classic, rock, jazz, etc.) and looping them to make his own sound. This was a crucial time in music, as other hip-hop greats were on the rise. Big names such as Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow and The Sugar Hill Gang, hit mainstream success with records they were producing.


INFLUENCES/HIP HOP ARTISTS


Like DJ Kool Herc, Bronx native DJ Grand Wizard, is another key individual who made a huge impact on the development of hip-hop. By the late 70’s hip hop was well on its way. With DJ’s striving to push the bar, whether by outdoing their last production, or competing with other fellow DJ’s, disc jockeys were always looking for that “new sound”. Research states, in 1977 DJ Grand Wizard created a “new sound”, by accidentally dropping the needle on a playing record, which made a scratching noise against the vinyl. “The Needle Drop” is a term coined by hip hop lovers to describe the newfound breakthrough for hip hop music at the time. Grandmaster Flash has also been named as hip-hop royalty. In fact, DJ Grand Wizard often studied as a mentee to Grandmaster Flash’s technique and style to incorporate to make his own style.



THE FUTURE OF HIP HOP


Hip-hop has been able to transform from topics of hard times, to an array of party music which attracts an even bigger and diverse crowd. A few key milestones in the development of the hip-hop genre would include social and economic factors, freedom of speech in addition to racial issues. Without the likes of hip-hop legends DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and DJ Grand Wizard, I often wonder how would the African American culture be affected. Over the years rappers like Jay Z, who started out rapping, is now an entrepreneur and capital venturist. Like his other hip-hop predecessors, Jay Z created and released his hip-hop clothing line RocaWear in 1999, as a way to promote a specific lifestyle to the culture.


Haus of Blog Post by Jovon Pavielle | Director HausHill Media


Sources:

*Hip Hop “Music & Cultural Movement” - https://www.britannica.com/art/hip-hop

*“Who Started Rap? A Brief Summary On The History of Rap and Hip Hip” - http://www.fouroverfour.jukely.com/culture/history-of-rap-hip-hop/

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