MCAE_MLA_Hiphop - Lname 1 Fname Lname Professor K Kahn Comm...

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Lname 1 Fname Lname Professor K. Kahn Comm 100W April 21 st , 2008 Hip-Hop Music and Its Impact in America On a warm August day in 1973, with summer ending, two Jamaican-American teenagers who lived in the Bronx wanted to throw a big block party. The party was to be held by sister and brother Cindy and Clive Campbell (DJ Kool Herc) in the recreation room of their government-subsidized building. Inside they had set up huge speakers and powerful amplifiers as well as a set of two turntables. That night during the party, DJ Kool Herc experimented with a new technique. Rather than having a single turntable, he had two which he used to continue the bass-and- drums “break” of one song while the other song faded away. Many tenants and local residents who attended the party went wild for this new style of music. Parties were hosted every weekend thereafter in response to the crowd’s demands for more. Word had spread quickly and to so many, that the little recreation room was not big enough to hold the growing number of party-seekers. Eventually, the parties were moved to nearby parks which could accommodate an even greater number of attendees. New performers known as MCs, made their on-stage debut by rhythmically speaking over the beat; a style similar to one commonly performed in Jamaica. The combination of new turntable techniques and rapping over the beat became its very own form of music. At a time when crack addiction and gangs were on the rise in urban and inner-city areas, this new style of music gave many youths an alternative path away from crime, violence, and self-destruction. Instead, they had the opportunity to groove and dance to music. The motto of peace, love, and
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Lname 2 unity was quickly adopted as these feelings became evident at these events. This would lead up to and mark the birth of hip-hop music. Hip-Hop culture comprises four basic elements that include break-dancing (b- boying), graffiti art, DJ-ing, and MC-ing (rapping). Break-dancing and graffiti art found their way into the culture later, but the original elements of hip-hop lay in DJ- ing and MC-ing. It is the music that has the most profound impact here in the United States. While hip-hop music was gaining some momentum, it was The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” in 1979 that helped give hip-hop culture national attention. This group was the first to display all the elements of hip-hop. Even today, their song is still one of the best-selling hits of all time. Break-dancers across the world, from the U.S. to Japan to the United Kingdom recognize the hit single and have adopted it as the “b-boy” anthem. Hip-Hop music’s content would gradually change. While dancing and grooving provided much enjoyment and kept some individuals away from trouble, it did nothing to actually solve problems. Hip-hop music would shift to a different beat— that of social and political activism. In 1988, rapper Carlton Ridenhour (Chuck D) founded Public Enemy, a rap group that was socially and politically charged. They were the first hip-hop group to speak out about public issues. The focus of groups
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