An Introduction to Hip-Hop Culture

Culture is defined in the Webster’s Dictionary as “the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group.”

Hip-Hop is a way of life for a certain group of people. It has unique rules and customs that are observed. As such, hip-hop is clearly a cultural movement.

Rap and hip-hop are not the same thing. Rap is the music. Hip-hop is the name of the culture that is built around the music. Krs-One, legendary hip-hop artist put it best, “Rap is something you do. Hip-hop is something that you live.”

There are four elements to hip-hop.

1)Djing
2)Emceeing (rapping)
3)break dancing
4)graffiti art

All of these artistic elements are related and form the basis of hip-hop culture. I will be covering these elements in detail in my upcoming series of posts, A Brief History of Hip-Hop.

These four elements of the culture are universally accepted. Many people have tried to add to this list, but there is quite a debate about what is and should be included. Some will argue that fashion is an element. Some would say that beatboxing needs to be added. Others argue that skateboarding is a part of the culture as well. I believe that hip-hop is a diverse culture that needs to include the main four elements. The other elements that can be suggested are complementary and not completely necessary to define this culture.

A lot of people don’t understand what hip-hop is all about. I hope that my serial will help educate those who wish to learn about this great culture. I may even make a presentation to accompany these posts. Stay tuned to Silent Cacophony for more.