Hip hop music, also called hip-hop, rap music, or hip-hop music, is a music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling (or synthesis), and beatboxing.
While often used to refer to rapping, “hip hop” more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, and scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks
Origin of the term
Creation of the term hip hop is often credited to Keith Cowboy, rapper with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. However, Lovebug Starski, Keith Cowboy, and DJ Hollywood used the term when the music was still known as disco rap. It is believed that Cowboy created the term while teasing a friend who had just joined the U.S. Army, by scat singing the words “hip/hop/hip/hop” in a way that mimicked the rhythmic cadence of soldiers marching. Cowboy later worked the “hip hop” cadence into a part of his stage performance, which was quickly used by other artists such as The Sugarhill Gang in “Rapper’s Delight”.
Universal Zulu Nation founder Afrika Bambaataa is credited with first using the term to describe the subculture in which the music belonged; although it is also suggested that it was a derogatory term to describe the type of music. The first use of the term in print was in The Village Voice, by Steven Hager, later author of a 1984 history of hip hop.
Golden age hip hop
The 1980s marked the diversification of hip hop as the genre developed more complex styles. Early examples of the diversification process can be identified through such tracks as Grandmaster Flash’s “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel” (1981), a single consisting entirely of sampled tracks as well as Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock” (1982), which signified the fusion of hip hop music with electro. In addition, Rammellzee & K-Rob’s “Beat Bop” (1983) was a ‘slow jam’ which had a dub influence with its use of reverb and echo as texture and playful sound effects. The mid-1980s was marked by the influence of rock music, with the release of such albums as King of Rock and Licensed to Ill.
Heavy usage of the new generation of drum machines such as the Oberheim DMX and Roland 808 models was a characteristic of many 1980s songs. To this day the 808 kickdrum is traditionally used by hip hop producers. Over time sampling technology became more advanced; however earlier producers such as Marley Marl used drum machines to construct their beats from small excerpts of other beats in synchronisation, in his case, triggering 3 Korg sampling-delay units through an 808. Later, samplers such as the E-mu SP-1200 allowed not only more memory but more flexibility for creative production. This allowed the filtration and layering different hits, and with a possibility of re-sequencing them into a single piece.
Rap is the rock ‘n’ roll of the day. Rock ‘n’ roll was about attitude, rebellion, a big beat, sex and, sometimes, social comment. If that’s what you’re looking for now, you’re going to find it here.
In 1990, Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet was a significant success with music critics and consumers. It was highly contributory to hip hop’s mainstream emergence in 1990, dubbed by Billboard editor Paul Grein as “the year that rap exploded”. In a 1990 article on its commercial breakthrough, Janice C. Thompson of Time wrote that hip hop “has grown into the most exciting development in American pop music in more than a decade.” Thompson noted the impact of Public Enemy’s 1989 single “Fight the Power”, rapper Tone Lōc’s single Wild Thing being the best-selling single of 1989, and that at the time of her article, nearly a third of the songs on the Billboard Hot 100 were hip hop songs. In a similar 1990 article, Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times put hip hop music’s commercial emergence into perspective:
It was 10 years ago that the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” became the first rap single to enter the national Top 20. Who ever figured then that the music would even be around in 1990, much less produce attractions that would command as much pop attention as Public Enemy and N.W.A? “Rapper’s Delight” was a novelty record that was considered by much of the pop community simply as a lightweight offshoot of disco—and that image stuck for years. Occasional records—including Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message” in 1982 and Run-DMC’s “It’s Like That” in 1984—won critical approval, but rap, mostly, was dismissed as a passing fancy—too repetitious, too one dimensional. Yet rap didn’t go away, and an explosion of energy and imagination in the late ’80s leaves rap today as arguably the most vital new street-oriented sound in pop since the birth of rock in the ’50s.
However, hip hop was still met with resistance from black radio, including urban contemporary, of which Russell Simmons said in 1990, “Black radio hated rap from the start and there’s still a lot of resistance to it”. Hip hop became a best selling music genre in the mid-1990s and the top selling music genre by 1999 with 81 million CDs sold. By the late 1990s hip hop was artistically dominated by the Wu-Tang Clan, Diddy and the Fugees. The Beastie Boys continued their success throughout the decade crossing color lines and gaining respect from many different artists.
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