The Evolution of Hip Hop

Hip Hop is a culture that originated from the streets of the United States. The term “Hip Hop” has been used since the 1970s, the start of rap music. The name is an impersonation of the music. The name puts the beat and sounds from the songs into words like scat. Rap music originated from jazz but a different style. Scat is a wordless vocal that is often used in jazz, then turned into rap. Many groups of people progressed this style across the globe, and now it is a part of many people’s lives today.

DJ stands for Disc Jockey, and the person uses records to create their own sound from skipping the record.. Dj Kool Herc is said to be the pioneer for hip hop culture. He introduced the music through his career of being a DJ. His little sister’s birthday party was Herc’s first engagement with other people and this new style of music he discovered. He then started to do gigs as a living and gained fame from this new art. He inspired many artists after him like. Not only did he inspire people, but he brought competition in the music industry.

Afrika Bambaataa was a rival to Dj Kool Her and the first to use the name Hip Hop to describe the music and culture that was growing. In the mid 1970s Bambaataa ran away from the violent gangs he was associated with in the Bronx and formed the music organization called Zulu Nation. The goal of this group is to show how hip hop shows love, peace, and unity. Later it became a group represented by all cultures and not just the Hip Hop communities.

Rock used to be the top of the music industry until recently. Along with jazz, rock music also influenced many artists that make rap music. Run DMC is a group that was found in Queens, New York in the 1980s. From a business interest, their label decided to integrate rock music into their own style. Rap wasn’t prominent in the music industry, but rock was; therefore they tried to use its style as a boost to put their music more out there. The Sugarhill Gang’s song “Rapper’s Delight” came out in 1979. This song was the first rap song to became popular globally. This paved a path for all rap music in the following centuries.

The 1980s was the start in hip hop cultures growth. The late 1970s kickoffed the idea of rap music being heard by groups of people. Mostly Black and Hispanic communities lived in a hip hop culture, but it slowly progressed through all races. A few of the most popular rappers during the 1980s were: Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Big Daddy Kane, Ice-T, Eric B. & Rakim, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Run DMC. There was also a group of rappers called NWA that consisted of people who were from the East Coast. In 1981 the first rap video was produced and put on MTV, a music television network, “Rapture” by Blondie.

The Golden Age of Hip Hop was the 1990s. It was fresh and at its peak of popularity at the time. More people went into the business and more songs were produced. Rap was a bit too intense and real for the mainstream audience, so there was a problem with songs being able to be heard since they were not played on the radio. Censorship became one of the major issues with music of all kinds, especially rap. It was far more explicit than the average song from any other genre of music. To this day there is still a fight over censorship, and radios do censor songs that have explicit language.

Hip hop is said to be the most listened genre, according to Spotify, a media that provides over millions of songs to users. Rap music today can be found everywhere in a large majority of people’s lives. It expresses the artists thoughts and feelings through a new lyrical and instrumental approach.  

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