Bass booming, bodies moving, everybody is jamming to the same tunes, two turn tables and a microphone, a MC rapping over an instrumental with persuasive lyrics explaining that he is the best. Track suites and shell toe shoes with an adidas sign placed on his chest. These are my early visualizations of hip hop. Hip hop is an art form that has immensely affected my life in a positive way and has been globally accepted since its inception. Most hip hop artists give us inspiration because they arise out of poverty to do something positive with their lives. The history of hip hop dates back to ancient times and has been a respected entity of music since 1977.
Hip hop is a form of music that is comprised of four elements which include rapping, djing, graffiti, and break-dancing. Hip hop takes forms in clothing, language, and a mindset in general. Rap is believed to be rooted within ancient African culture and oral traditions. Hip hop was birthed in Bronx, New York by a Jamaican Dee jay named Kool Herc. Hercs’ djing involved reciting rhymes over instrumentals. At house parties Kool Herc would rap into a microphone using in house references.
The Popularization of hip hop began in the middle 1980’s, in my opinion this was attributed to the rap group Run Dmc’s song titled walk this way which featured world renowned rock band Aerosmith. By the 1990’s hip hop became a world wide phenomenon. The growth that was created in this time period transitioned hip hop into a multimillion dollar business.
Unlike any other genre of music, the majority of the artists in hip hop come from low financial and poverty stricken environments. The harsh realities that these musicians arise from are horrific, However when they catapult their way to success it truly builds a strong connection between hip hop fans and themselves. This connection can be supported by the large number of fans who embrace hip hop related events world wide.
I can recall the first that I listened to a hip hop song. It was a snowy Christmas day in the year of 1995. My older cousin Matthew had received a boom box with large speakers for the holiday. At that point in my life I exceedingly admired my cousin. I remember following Matthew to his room to see how the boom box operated. I was really intrigued by the large rectangular machinery. He instructed me to have a seat while placing a tape in the stereo. The song that he played forever changed my life. As soon as the Notorious B.I.G’s song “juicy” hit my ears I felt a since of happiness and excitement that I never had garnered up to that point in my life. The rhythmic beat and chorus of the song immediately grabbed my attention. In the song the Notorious B.I.G depicted a story of a young man struggling to find himself in a horrendous environment. The man in the song led a life of crime until he discovered his God giving ability to rap. His gift allowed him to lead a positive life. Since Christmas day of 1995 I have been a strong believer in the positivity that hip hop offers to our society.
Hip hop continues to inspire individuals of all cultural backgrounds. The art form of rap is not just music, in all actuality it is a way of life. Hip hop is reflected through the way people talk, dress, and a positive state of mind in general. I challenge all listeners to try and fully grasp hip hop now that I have given you a brief description of my culture.
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