a brief history of hip hop

  • A Brief History of Hip-Hop Conclusion – Hip Hop is Alive and Well

    Read The Introduction, Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 9 10 11 When Nas came out with Hip Hop is Dead last year it sparked a lot of debate. Some people were angry that he could say such a thing. I understood where he was coming from and agreed with him. It […]

  • A Brief History of Hip-Hop Part 11 – East vs. West

    Read The Introduction, Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 9 10 Since its very beginnings, hip-hop has had distinct regional sounds. The art form was born in the Bronx but even then there were distinct styles in three different sections of the town. In the late 1970’s DJ’s three DJs were representing the sound of their respective neighbourhoods. Kool Herc held down […]

  • A Brief History of Hip-Hop Part 10 – The Production

    Read The Introduction, Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Rap songs started out simply enough. It was what the DJs had available. They had record players and they had plenty of records. That was all that was needed, at the start. DJs could extend the break of the record to make a repetitive loop of one part of a song. In […]

  • A Brief History of Hip-Hop Part 9 – The Turntable as an Instrument

    Read The Introduction, Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Hip-hop started with the DJ. This is a point that I cannot emphasize enough. From the very first block parties, DJs used record players in very creative ways. They didn’t merely play a record for people to dance to. They mixed up two […]

  • A Brief History of Hip-Hop – Rap Gets Political

    Read The Introduction, Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 In the late 1980s, we saw a shift in the lyrical content of rap songs. This new style is referred to as political rap. The emcees started to talk about real life issues. Chuck D, of the legendary group Public Enemy once referred to rap music as “the Black people’s CNN.” His […]

  • A Brief History of Hip-Hop – Part 7 Break Dancing

    Read The Introduction, Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 In 1962 James Brown recorded his historic Live at the Appolo. His sound and performance really introduced a new form of dancing. In 1969 he recorded two songs that have had quite a lasting influence on hip hop culture; Sex Machine and Funky Drummer. His records emphasized the break down, the part […]

  • A Brief History of Hip-Hop – Part 6 A Piece

    Read The Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 Graffiti rose in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s in New York. It went from simply writing a name on the wall or subway car, to painting larger, more complicated designs. This new form of graffiti art was called a piece, […]

  • A Brief History of Hip-Hop – Part 5 Graffiti Art

    Read The Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 To most people, graffiti has a negative connotation. It is often associated with vandalism and crime to those outside of hip-hop culture. It is probably the most misunderstood of the four elements. It is an element that often gets overlooked. It shouldn’t. It is significant and plays an […]

  • A Brief History of Hip-Hop – Part 4 Rap Becomes Popular

    Read The Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 Run-DMC signaled the new era. Their music was able to appeal to a very wide audience. Hip-hop moved beyond the ghetto and white fans gravitated toward the music. Run-DMC released three albums; a self-titled one in 1984, King of Rock in 1985, and the ground breaking Raising Hell in […]

  • A Brief History of Hip-Hop – Part 3 The Shift to the MC

    Read The Introduction, Part 1, and Part 2 In 1978 a subtle shift happened to the culture of hip-hop. The music industry needed a name to call this music and started referring to it as “rap music.” Most people didn’t mind the new term. In fact, people started to call themselves rappers. This term shook […]