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The History of Hiphop



The history of hiphop is a colourful one. It is full of intrigues and branded with the sentiments of American youth whose ideals were being rejected by the older generation then. It was not just a kind of music. It was a sub-culture; a way of life for the urban young people who sought after to express themselves in alternative ways that requires slight monetary investment; yet effective enough in providing outlets for their repressed emotions.

Opposing to what most of the people think, hiphop culture is not just rap. It consists of four elements, graffiti art; break dancing; rapping; and Djing. As the time went by, graffiti and break dancing evolved into the distinct forms of expression, and the result was that ‘hiphop’ and ‘rap’ were used interchangeable to signify the recitation of the rhymes in time with music. The history of hiphop therefore became largely a history of the rap music.

Hiphop slowly and steadily became a popular subculture; it afforded the urban youth a new, fresh; and inexpensive means of expression. It was after Kool Herc, who generated the first hiphop beats that he shortly found himself and the other DJs playing in different venues, even acting as back-ups for the famous acts of the time. The DJ methods were later refined by the subsequent DJs, and soon graffiti and break dancing art became well-loved among the hiphop communities of South Bronx, New York. The art of vocal percussion or beat boxing also came into the limelight. People wear designer blouses to certain parties as it is funky and a fusion of the east and west.

Many prominent personalities of the recent times noted the increasing significance of the hiphop, and with that the history of hiphop was further enriched by acknowledgment. Martin Luther King in late 1960s was talking about the impact Black radio DJs were making on the American society. Minister Louis Farrakhon also warned them to be careful in what they are playing over radio, because it was creating awesome effects on their audience.

At the beginning, the culture was successful in preventing wars between rival gangs due to alternative venues it provided for releasing tension among them; the time came when the break dancing groups collided. The history of hiphop has therefore been spoiled by the violent struggles that ensued between these groups. The graffiti art also became to a greater extent offensive to the society’s aesthetic values, even leading people to describe it as a new form of vandalism. The music critics even commented that rapping is not music in itself, but it’s another means of delivering a poorly-prepared speech.

The hiphop history continues to grow as the sub-culture finds its way to other countries. The rap music succeeded in pervading the mainstream record industry, and the rap artists have figured in some of the bestselling albums. Break dancing also enjoys high level of popularity, and beat boxing has been refined in numerous ways to suit various audiences’ fancies. The DJ techniques have also been included in other genres; while graffiti continues to be scorned by some. Undoubtedly, it has achieved higher degrees of popularity among youths who were once repressed but are now able to vent their sentiments through a sub-culture known as hiphop.

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