Music is a powerful thing; it can start movements, subcultures, art forms and can transform communities for the better. Hip Hop is no different!
Hip Hop: A Brief History
But just what is Hip Hop? Hip Hop culture is made up of 4 or 5 pillars. Some include MCing, DJing, Breakdancing, Graffiti and Knowledge as the pillars, other sources replace Breakdancing and Knowledge with ‘B-boying’ – which includes hip hop dance, body posturing, attitude and fashion. Hip Hop utilises “flipping” – drawing inspiration from old cultures and reinventing them for the modern context; for example, Tupac Shakur drew on Shakespeare’s Macbeth in his own work, for example in ‘Something Wicked’.
Did you know:
- Hip Hop originated in South Bronx, NYC in the late 70s, and was strongly shaped by Latin-American and Black American communities
- Hip Hop is often used as a means of imparting wisdom to younger generations, to instil morals and to honour older generations; for example, Lil’ Wayne’s debut album is almost entirely curse free to honour his mother’s wishes
- the first popular Rap song ‘Rapper’s Delight’ being released in 1979
- the first major Hip Hop DJ and father of modern rapping was an 18 year old Jamaican-American, DJ Kool Herc
- Grand Wizard Theodore, Afrika Bambaataa, and Grandmaster Flash were other early pioneers in the DJing scene
- the graffiti movement supposedly began in 1972 by a Greek American teen in the New York City subway
- Grandmaster Flash is credited with creating the ‘Needle dropping’ technique
- artists, especially in the conscious Hip Hop scene drew from civil rights thinkers, as well as the poetry of Amiri Baraka, Gil Scott-Heron, and the Last Poets, among others
Celebrate Hip Hop History Month with Us!
So how will you be enjoying Hip Hop History Month? At AdTonos, we’ve put together a playlist with some of the best songs that conscious Hip Hop has to offer! We hope you enjoy these beats as much as we do. You can also check out the playlist online.