This chapter examines the cultural origins of hip-hop and the shift in the belief of who created it. This chapter gives many sources on both side of the debate throughout. It debates the perceived origin of hip-hop from African American, South Bronx origin in the 1980s to a multicultural, multiracial, multilingual, and global creation of hip-hop in the present. The whole chapter debates back and forth whether hip-hop is an exclusive African American expressive form. This chapter discusses the literature, articles and write-ups and how they have changed and been molded throughout the years.
The early accounts of who created hip-hop was written from the point of view that it was solely based off of African American culture and lifestyle, specifically in the South Bronx, and that other races, such as Puerto Ricans, joined after African Americans created it, and then other cities followed suit. For a while, it was perceived that Puerto Ricans and African Americans were the only races involved in hip-hop, but now it is realized that you cannot define hip-hop to only two races for that is too static.
Later in the chapter, the point was made that African American history is transnational and intercultural, therefor so is hip-hop. But hip-hop also is based off of jazz, which is created by African Americans. It is also stated how hip-hop is very individualized and different in all cultures. Hip-hop is a global phenomenon, not just in the USA, or in South Bronx. This is an example of when the chapter gives sources with different point of views and varying opinions. As the chapter continues, the main idea comes into the picture that hip-hop isn’t completely synonymous with blackness, but African Americans have influenced hip-hop greatly, more so than other cultures. Other cultures, such as Asian and Central American ones, changed and molded hip-hop to be their own.
This chapter examines the basic narratives that talk about the history of hip-hop and documents the different parameters of hip-hop history through an analysis of written works on hip-hop. It follows the evolution of the perceived singular source of hip-hop from “black” or “African American” in the 1980s to “multicultural” and “global” in the present, and explores the what is affected by this shift, and how it is affected. More specifically, this chapter questions whether or not hip-hop is an exclusively African American expressive form. While at one point hip-hop was seen unquestionably as such, that is no longer the case. Instead, the emphasis in the current works has been that hip-hop has complex genealogies and course that far exceed the bounds of blackness. An emergent theme is that it can no longer be assumed that hip-hop is an exclusively African American dominated music genre, although it remains the greatest influence in that domain.
As a whole, this chapter seems to say that originally hip-hop was perceived as only an African American source of music, and although it may have seemed to start out like that, hip-hop is a multicultural source of music. It is now understood that hip-hop is very multicultural and multinational. I believe music is a human form of self-expression and while African Americans might have had a great influence of starting hip-hop, or jazz; all music is for all people and is not defined to any race, culture, or language.