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Hip Hop History: The Colorful Cultural Mix


Hip hop music history is filled with fascinating mixing of styles and culture. Mixing up Latin, Hispanic, and African-American cultures, the inner city sprouted hip hop into a hard driving, exhilirating beat, that included practices of record scratching, rapping, graffiti and break dancing.

Rapping is derived from the 1960s slang which meant to have conversation for the sake of enlightenment. Enlightenment can be considered a central thread all through out hip hop music history, as early hip hop music adresses real life situations on some of the most dangerous cities in the US. The art of being a DJ brought the scratching and thumping beat of new rhythms to the spoken rap cultural poetry. Latter versions of hip hop music would adapt these styles and fuse it with a more fundamental background.

Hip hop music history started from African American and West African music. Jalai Mansur Nurriddin and Gil Scott-Heron were two poet-artists who were big influences to the music in the 1960s. From the Bronx came a blend of hip hop and soul combined with funkadelic beats that led to the creation of some of the best street music ever heard. And finally, add a rise in Jamaican immigrants, and we get the perfect blend to start what is to be known as the American hip hop culture.

The disc jockey began to emerge as an important part of the industry during the 1970s and 80s. Everywhere from dance clubs to recording studios, a defining moment for hip hop music history began. Combining spoken lyrics with a pulsing back beat led to another sub-culture developing: break dancing. Awesome performances by lively and dynamic dancers sprout out every corner street in every city in America. Armed with boom boxes playing mixed tapes of rap and hip hop, the break dancers brought the music to the forefront with their mesmerizing displays of impossible moves, amazing crowds with their freestyle antics.

A new chapter in hip hop music history began, as the separation of rap and hip hop begins in the 1990s. An outburst of violent lyrics began, rap advocated violence among peers, against law enforcement, and against practically anyone one doesn’t agree with. People looking to express dissatisfaction with life would turn to the music as a source of somewhat guilty pleasure. The driving beats stayed, while the lyrics became more poetic, freestyle competitions became widespread all through out the city. The noise from within the city is making a blast, and those who hear it seem to like it, even if the moms and dads don’t.

After 2000, the hardcore rappers were gone, grown older and using their popularity to try their hands at new careers, like acting. Now, new successors to hip hop use their notoriety to get fans rebuilding their cities instead of tearing it down, they use softer and more romantic language and develop their own style. Where hip hop music leads to from here would be indefinite, but its certain that the new generation of artists would be interesting to watch.


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