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An Examination of Hip-Hop in Popular Culture

An Examination of Hip-Hop in Popular Culture - 1 Brittanie...

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1 Brittanie Langford Pop culture in 20 th Cent. April 13, 2010 An Examination of Hip-Hop in Popular Culture Hip Hop culture can be divided into four elements, rapping graffiti, djing, and break-dancing i . These four elements are an integral part of how hip-hop has come to be defined and how it is prevalent in present day culture. When reviewing hip-hop I will look at the history of these four elements, how they developed, and how they are a part of popular culture. The rapping element of this culture is born out of the modernization and combination of music styles like jazz, funk, and blues ii . The art of rapping began with simple rhyming schemes produced over beats. It evolved into sending messages to the listener, some messages were political as with artists like Grandmaster flash and ‘The Message” a chilling tale about inner city life. Rapping was also an outlet to show fun times as illustrated by early artist such as ‘Rappers Delight’ by the Sugar Hill Gang. Rapping was made popular through avenues such as TV, and Radio. A monumental step in introducing rap into popular culture was the show Yo! MTV Raps . This show was significant because it was the first avenue to feature hip-hop culture on a major music
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2 network. Thus far, hip-hop had been secluded to urban areas and underground. The development of record pressing in hip-hop allowed for wide distribution, but the immediate affect of hip- hop on pop culture is seen with this movement from the street to the television screen. Hip-hop also created a new genre of radio style that is now known as urban radio. This crossover into mainstream has seen a new success for rapping and hip-hop culture. Rap artists are now an important part of the modern day music industry. Graffiti, a painting technique using elaborate decorations to spell out words, was first introduced into hip-hop culture in the late 1960s. Graffiti had been around for a long but during the 60s graffiti art was mostly used for political activism in communities. Artists like Cornbread and Cool Earl dominated the urban cities of Philadelphia, a place seen as the birthplace of graffiti art in hip-hop culture. The center for graffiti
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