Session 4: Hip Hop Cultural Origins of Hip Hop Cultural precedents for rapping and hip hop can be found in the Griots of West Africa (a group of traveling singers and poets) whose vocal style, dating back hundreds of years, is similar to that off rappers, and also resembles the Jamaican tradition of “toasting” (boasting, impromptu poetry and sayings over music). The Griots and Jamaicans are really archetypes for rapping. Like Jazz, the roots of hip hop are found in African American music. Hip Hop is a cultural movement developed in New York City in the 1970’s primarily among Black and Latino Americans. When the historic aftershocks or urban renewal, resegregation, and capital flight settled, a new social and economic order had emerged in America. In the wake of massive shifts, the gulf between America’s cities populated increasingly by black and brown bodies, and the s uburbs, whiter and more affluent, grew wider and more severe. In the midst of the volatile surge of social and economic change an exuberant youth culture started to take shape. What began in basements, on street corners in public parks and throughout the still of the night would furnish young people fertile spaces for crafting new identities, explosive art forms, and later whole industries. Hip hop culture extends far beyond the purview of music and lyrics, and there are numerous key cultural and technical elements associated with this culture that have branched off and taken on a life of their own. In the formative years of Hip Hop these came to include: Technical Elements: • Rapping/ MCing • DJing (Including Sampling / Beat Making) • Beat Boxing Cultural Elements: • Graffiti • Breaking (B- boyin’/ B - girlin’) Rapping/ MCing The rhythmic spoken delivery of rhymes and wordplay delivered over a beat or without accompaniment. • Developed during DJ Kool Here’s street parties in the Bronx during the 1970s.
• Can be traced back to hundreds of years to the Griots (folk poets) of West Africa and later the Jamaican tradition of “toasting” • Rap developed both inside and outside of hip hop culture MCing is the further refinement of rapping that is metamorphically and more rhythmically advanced than rap, and is often performed over complex, multi layered beats. The work of MC such as Melle Mel, Grandmaster Flash, Rakim, Chuck D, & KRS-One match up to help hip hop be taken seriously as a matter art form rather than as a novelty. The term “MC: derived from “Master of Ceremonies.” DJing: Sampling/ Beat Making Of equal importance to the Rapper or MC in Hip Hop is that of the DJ(Disc Jockey), however, in Hip Hop , the DJ is responsible for sampling, making beats and producing, and essentially is the one in control of the musical being made.
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- Winter '11
- Hip hop music