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Stories

The Genesis of Hip-Hop & it’s impact over the years by VOFO.


The Genesis of Hip-Hop & it’s impact over the years by VOFO.





Like any style of music, hip hop has roots in other forms, and its evolution was shaped by many different artists, but there's a case to be made that it came to life precisely on August 11, 1973, at a birthday party in the recreation room of an apartment building in the west Bronx, New York City.

The location of that birthplace was 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, and the man who presided over that historic party was the birthday girl’s brother, Clive Campbell —better known to history as DJ Kool Herc, founding father of hip hop.

On August 11, 1973 DJ Kool Herc was the DJ at his sister's back-to-school party. He extended the beat of a record by using two record players, isolating the percussion "breaks" by using a mixer to switch between the two records. Kool Herc's sister, Cindy Campbell, produced and funded the Back to School Party that became the "Birth of Hip Hop". According to local sources, at a Sedgwick Avenue party on August 11, 1973, Herc introduced an original turntablist style – known as "breakbeat" – that later became an essential element of modern hip hop. According to Peter Shapiro, while Herc's innovation "laid the foundations for hip hop ... it was another DJ, Grandwizard Theodore, who created its signature flourish in 1977 or 1978" – "scratching".

Hip hop or hip-hop is a culture and art movement that was created by African Americans, Latino Americans and Caribbean Americans in the Bronx, New York City.
Hip hop is characterized by four key elements: "rapping" (also called MCing or emceeing), a rhythmic vocal rhyming style (orality); DJing (and turntablism), which is making music with record players and DJ mixers (aural/sound and music creation); b-boying/b-girling/breakdancing (movement/dance); and graffiti. Other elements are: hip hop culture and historical knowledge of the movement (intellectual/philosophical); beatboxing, a percussive vocal style; street entrepreneurship; hip hop language; and hip hop fashion and style, among others. The fifth element, although debated, is commonly considered either street knowledge, hip hop fashion, or beatboxing.

By 1979 hip hop music had become a mainstream genre. It spread across the world in the 1990s with controversial "gangsta" rap.

By the late 1990s hip-hop was artistically dominated by the Wu-Tang Clan, from New York City’s Staten Island, whose combination of street credibility, neo-Islamic mysticism, and kung fu lore made them one of the most complex groups in the history of rap; by Diddy (also known by a variety of other names, including Sean “Puffy” Combs and Puff Daddy), performer, producer, and president of Bad Boy Records, who was responsible for a series of innovative music videos; and by the Fugees, who mixed pop music hooks with politics and launched the solo careers of Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill.

Hip Hop was accessible. A kid with little means and hard work could transform their turntable into a powerful instrument of expression (also illustrating hip hop’s technical innovation).

Hip Hop was also rebellion against several norms of the time, including the overwhelming popularity of disco, which many in the community felt had unjustly overshadowed the recent groundbreaking works of James Brown and other soul impresarios from the 60’s.

It should be noted that early Hip Hop stood against the violence and drug culture that pervaded the time. Kurtis Blow once said “On one side of the street, big buildings would be burning down…while kids on the other side would be putting up graffiti messages like, 'Up with Hope. Down with Dope,' 'I Will Survive' and 'Lord, Show Me the Way!’”. The messages of resilience unified a community of people and were the backdrop of hip hop’s beginnings.

As the century turned, the music industry entered into a crisis, brought on by the advent of digital downloading. Hip-hop suffered at least as severely as or worse than other genres, with sales tumbling throughout the decade. Simultaneously, though, it solidified its standing as the dominant influence on global youth culture.

In the 21st century the music—born from the sonic creations of the deejay—saw its greatest innovations in the work of such studio wizards as Timbaland, Swizz Beatz, and the Neptunes. The focus on producers as both a creative and a commercial force was concurrent with a widespread sense that the verbal dexterity and poetry of hip-hop was waning.

The dissatisfaction with the state of mainstream hip-hop was sufficiently common that in 2006 Nas released an album titled Hip Hop Is Dead.



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