Hip Hop and Rap Culture

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These days, we are surrounded by Hip Hop and Rap everywhere. Hip Hop was created by African Americans in the 1970s in the Bronx, New York City. The word ‘Hip Hop’ is multifaceted because it includes music, dance, fashion, art, and many others. Rap is how an artist emote their emotions and feelings towards his/her audience by their lyrics. The lyrics has a story the artist wants state. Both Hip Hop and Rap brings people from different countries together by agreeing to an artists for expressing their perspective view of society. I chose this topic ‘Hip Hop and Rap Culture’ to express my understanding about the history of Hip Hop and Rap because music has its own meaning in many different styles.

The term ‘Hip Hop’ is not only a genre of music but also a subculture to the black community. It was first recognized by a DJ (disc jockey) named Kool Herc. Herc is the most important figure not only for being a ‘Founding Father of Hip Hop’ and ‘Father of Hip Hop’, but also for his DJ-ing skills. For example, switching a song to another song as a flow of one record. Hip Hop has offered rappers a stage to express their views and thoughts about society for several decades. There are four main elements of Hip Hop – DJ-ing, MC-ing, Graffiti Drawing, and B-boying. DJ-ing is when a person plays a record by mixing one track to the other.

The turntablism is a well-known movement to the DJs for being able to mix a record with another record was a continued music. An MC (master of ceremony) is known as a rapper, but also a person who upholds entertainment to his audience. MCs are positioned to help the DJs for entertainment to the audience. Graffiti Drawing is seen as a form of art expression made by the hip hop crews. Graffiti was first created in Philadelphia by the writers painting it on the walls. There are various types of graffiti drawings, for example, 3D, wild style, blockbuster, throw-up (tag), and many more. B-boying referred to as breakdancing is a type of dance with breaks in the music.

Music lets people to feel agreement or attachment within the artist. As one of the most popular genre, Rap is a delivery style, where an artist delivers their message to their audience. Rap was considered one of the protesting method for the black community. The black community hunted for social injustice towards the white community. The music is also known for having negative judgement made by parents or adults for the usage of explicit offensive languages. Rap was first started by African Americans in New York City. The group Sugar Hill Gang’s record ‘Rapper’s Delight’ in 1979 was the first international hit hop music to sell more than two million copies.

There have been many misconceptions about the differences between Hip Hop and Rap. To address these misunderstandings, what exactly is Hip Hop and what is Rap? Both Hip Hop and Rap has different meaning. Hip Hop and Rap both originated in the New York City. In ‘Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap’ Ice-T’s interview, he said, ‘Rap is a vocal delivery. The weather man can rap. It doesn’t mean you know hip-hop. I think now you have all these people rapping, but they’re not really hip-hop. … Everyone who raps isn’t hip-hop. To be hip-hop, you’ve got to know the culture. You got to know the history.’ Hip Hop music focuses in the fast or slow pace, but the rap music goes in a serious style of long, fast beat.

The positive and negative views can be seen in Hip Hop. In a positive view of Hip Hop, it will be the courage that gave to the African Americans to speak for themselves in a music. In 1970s, racism was still an issue and I believe racism will always be there wherever we go. By African Americans writing about the women’s right, discrimination, and social injustices issue brought a huge issue. For the negative views, it will be the inappropriate usage of words, for example, drug, alcohol, physical violence, sex, and etc. The parents of a child would not want their child to listening to a song that is improper use of verbiage to be heard.

Hip Hop music has a lot of different rap style. The rap style I favor the most is the free style because it specifies how an artist is able to make up a lyric right in the spot. Some other types of rap styles are the old school (known as the early days rap), gangsta rap (violent style), Boom Bap (rapping by the beat of the drum), and many more styles. The four styles above are the well-known subgenres of rap.

There had been lots of events that occurred in the history of Hip Hop and Rap from the 1970s to the recent years. In this paper, I would like to talk about the changes that happened in the last four decades. Like how Rap style changes as time goes and who was the well-known rapper at that time being. How and when white community got involved with Hip Hop and Rap society. I would like to mention about the fashion that was a trend at the year, and how much it builds a cultural movement to the Hip Hop it represents. In the mid of 1970s, it is a year where Hip Hop was recognized as a music genre, appreciations to DJ Kool Herc. The Universal Zulu Nation was discovered by Afrika Bambaataa, which gathered b-boying, DJs, MCs, and Graffiti drawers. Hip Hop teams were established, the first record label was released in a success by a rap group called Sugar Hill Gang and by first female rapper Sweet Tee.

In 1980s, Hip Hop was aired in several shows out of the country. The MTV show did an important role for increasing Hip Hop knowledge out of the state. The Hip Hop show ‘Wild Style’ was released, the movie addresses the four elements of Hip Hop – DJ-ing, MC-ing, B-boying, and Graffiti drawing. Many artists released a great amount of albums this year and they were mostly all in success.

From the 1990s, I recognize some of the rappers because their albums are still being heard from people. It is a total opposite than the 1980s, it is a year where there are a lot of issues with harsh usage of languages and East Coast vs. West Coast movement. It is year where a lot of famous artist were developed and died by gun shots.

The latest decade of Hip Hop is the 2000s, it is a year fashion brands became a top issue from street fashion. Commercials are now a common short film that Hip Hop and Rap music’s are used as the background music. TV shows just focusing on Rap are shown, but in a bet of money, for example, the winner gets a prize of an amount of $100,000 (depends on the show).

The Hip Hop evolution has happened in the last four decades. I’m genuinely a big fan of new school rap rather than old school rap. The start of Hip Hop was to express their emotions of how much they are struggling by rapping at the streets. But a decade later Hip Hop altered to an environment where the lyrics involve violence, sex, women, alcohol and more. These days, Rap music’s are mixed with everything. There are many types of different topics, for example, the rap music contains a EDM but the lyric might have the opposite mood.

A fashion is important to everyone because how you are dressed up is how much you give love or respect to yourself. People view you first by your outside appearance, and it is your identity. As it comes to fashion, Hip Hop artist are known for their trendy fashion sense. The Hip Hop style landscape has changed several times in shoe apparel, clothing, and accessories. In the 1970s, sweat suit were common thing that the rappers used to wear in their live performances. In the 1980s, all black was a trend with a Adidas shoes, a gold chain, and a fishing hat. In the 1990s, colorful hoodies or a sweatshirt was concept with a beanie or a snapback cover on top. In the 2000s, the common style is a normal hoodie with a Yankee snapback or a baggy pants showing the type of underwear an individual was wearing. Now, the fashion has changed in a totally different way. The brands Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Adidas, Nike, and etc., are the common brands that the artists holds or wears.

I will be looking at the difference of the Hip Hop and Rap groups between the East Coast and the West Coast. How they were different in music style wise and what caused the two opposite coast to become rivals in the 1990s. I would like to talk about the famous rappers who were involved in the conflict of the East Coast vs. the West Coast, which are Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. Why the East Coast vs. West Coast issue was big that the whole nation knew about it? What happen to the two rival rappers in a current view. What caused that situation to happen?

In the 1990s, there was the East Coast vs. West Coast Hip Hop movement that was a massive issue to the fans between the two famous rappers called Tupac Shakur (2PAC) and Notorious B.I.G. (Biggie) The two rappers had similar backgrounds, for example, having a single mother and starting music in a young age. Tupac and Biggie was famous for mentioning black discrimination and women rights as their rap lyrics. The East Coast originated at New York City is based on an old school which is a responding rap style.

The West Coast is known for gangsta rap, and it was brought from New York City to California. In November 30, 1994, Tupac was shot and robbed by an unknown gunman in Times Square. It made Tupac consider that Biggie and Sean Combs was the one who sent the gunman. After this incidence, Notorious B.I.G. released a track ‘Who Shot Ya’ to inform Tupac that it he wasn’t involved in the incident. But Tupac did not believe in Notorious B.I.G., and that was the main problem the two rappers has fallen apart from being a friend.


Cite this paper

Hip Hop and Rap Culture. (2021, Jul 21). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/hip-hop-and-rap-culture/

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