There is Nothing Like Hip Hop Music

nothing like hip hop music

Hip hop music stands apart from all others as something truly unique. More than just rapping, hip hop is a culture which has evolved from its Bronx roots into an international movement.

Artists that endorse violence or endorse vendettas damage the genre’s image – which can only have adverse repercussions for its young fans.

What is Hip Hop?

Hip hop’s impact has pervaded all aspects of society since its inception, from musical hits by Lauryn Hill and Kendrick Lamar to iconic dance moves (such as moonwalking) and fashion trends. But now, fifty years after it began, it can be difficult to define exactly what hip hop entails.

Hip hop music originated in urban and economically depressed neighborhoods of New York City; however, hip hop is more than a genre; it encompasses four basic components of culture: deejaying (turntablism); MCing or rapping; graffiti writing or b-boying; and sampling.

Hip hop’s roots date back to the 1970s in the Bronx, when African Americans and Caribbean immigrants from different backgrounds joined together to form a popular musical style that combined their experiences and cultures. Born out of street culture, it soon evolved with elements of disco, soul, and rock permeating both its music and its culture.

Initial hip hop was founded on deejays (DJs), who mixed tracks together and created a beat, then emcees began rapping over top of this mix, creating an lyrical style of MCing. Hip hop eventually entered mainstream culture when Debbie Harry of Blondie brought Nile Rodgers from Chic to a block party where it spread like wildfire.

Hip hop’s four pillars – rapping, deejaying, b-boying and graffiti art – have had a global influence. From Israel to Portugal, hip hop has spread its cultural wings. Today its four elements remain key indicators of its presence; lyrics provide insight into various experiences and perspectives which makes hip hop such an influential cultural force in contemporary society.


Hip hop music’s origins remain uncertain and controversial, though one contributor suggests its birth occurred at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx in New York City during 1973 at a back-to-school party hosted by DJ Kool Herc for students attending City Tech. At that party he experimented with expanding instrumental beats so people could dance (break dancing) while simultaneously adding vocals – rapping. This is considered to be the beginning of hip hop music.

As the genre grew, pioneering rappers such as Run-DMC and Public Enemy told their urban stories and political viewpoints in an authentic voice that resonated with listeners. Soon enough, rap music evolved to incorporate elements of art, style and dance; eventually becoming a full-on cultural movement.

At the height of hip hop’s “golden age”, artists like The Pharcyde, Public Enemy, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest introduced jazz and funk influences into their work while adopting more aggressive, taunting styles with sociopolitical commentaries in an assertive manner.

Hip hop has become a global phenomenon with tremendous influence in the entertainment industry. Its work-with-what-you-have spirit pervades every corner of society; from DJs spinning in Sao Paulo to MCs spitting rhymes in Arabic; its sounds, styles, fashions can be found from DJs spinning records in Sao Paulo to hopeful poetry visual art and social activism; its dance party scene that originated in Bronx has expanded into an industry worth billions and world culture that inspires new leaders and artists who speak a universal language shared by all humanity; its popularity shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.


Rappers, producers and DJs may be at the center of hip hop culture; however, its diversity encompasses far more aspects. DJing, MCing (aka rapping or MCing), breakdancing and graffiti art all comprise four pillars that support hip hop’s existence as a culture.

A strong rhythmic beat provides the basis of any song and vocal performance. Typically consisting of drum machines, bass guitars and keyboards – though anything from synthesizer sounds to chopped samples could serve as the beat – it’s essential for hip hop culture!

Hip hop culture holds special appreciation for MCs who can freestyle, or improvise rhymes spontaneously. While skilled MCs may craft complex rhyme schemes, most are built upon a stable rhythm known as meter; and top rappers can delight audiences by employing syncopation and other off-beat techniques to surprise audiences with fresh performances. Hip hop also celebrates words themselves through writers such as LL Cool J and Tupac Shakur whose poetry and prose address urban life through poetry and prose.

Hip hop rapidly expanded across America in the 1980s and 90s. Gangsta rap, reflecting street violence, was increasingly popular, while groups such as Fugees, De La Soul, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and Grandmaster Flash’s Furious Five used different musical sources to explore an array of topics such as middle-class upbringings, anti-Black racism, corporatism as well as personal narratives in their lyrics.

Hip hop’s rise during the digital era since 2000 and to modern day has reached new markets and fans, opening it up to new audiences and styles – leading to cross-pollination of styles within hip hop genre and giving birth to various subgenres such as G-Funk, bounce music, crunk rap mumble rap and Latin hip hop.


Hip hop music draws its inspiration from diverse styles like disco, R&B, soul music, jazz and rock. As a powerful musical expression that allows artists to showcase their creativity and social commentary through sound waves such as beats and rhythm, hip hop has evolved beyond simply being a genre of music into something much larger.

Early hip hop emerged as a response to the watered down, Europeanized and overly commercialized disco music sweeping America in the early to mid seventies. It emerged at block parties where DJs would perform percussive breaks from popular songs using two turntables and a mixer while an MC would rap over them with both vocals and beat – this became known as disco rap.

As sampling technology and drum machines were introduced, its development continued apace. A “new school” of rap emerged with artists such as Rakim, Eric B. and the Roots that focused less on dance floor themes than on street themes and social criticism; production included real sounds from inner city life such as gunshots, sirens and street cries while MCs developed personas, boasted about their skills and often thanked their DJ. From being sideshow to main event and culture was born.

Hip hop soon spread beyond New York to cities across the U.S. and world. Record labels were happy to embrace this emerging genre, leading to widespread global acceptance of it during the 1990s when iconic acts like Wu-Tang Clan, Diddy and the Beastie Boys reached mainstream success.


Hip hop culture has seen many transformations over time and continues to push boundaries and develop. Drawing influences from disco, rock and jazz music as well as others such as electronica to craft its own genre of music that stands apart. Hip Hop has also served as an influence for fashion, language and social activism within its culture.

Starting out, hip hop emerged through rap groups like Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five and Kool Herc. They hosted rap battles where MC’s took turns rhyming over drum beats; these events provided artists an opportunity to showcase their talents while increasing local fame.

Later on, rappers like MF DOOM and J Dilla became known for their distinctive production styles. MF DOOM was an exceptional lyricist renowned for weaving intricate rhymes into captivating stories; J Dilla became known for his off-kilter yet slightly swung drum production that became associated with Jazz rap.

Hip hop has long been associated with its gangster culture, a style heavily influenced by New Orleans and Bounce music in particular. Bounce was more playful and relaxed than the hard-hitting sounds used by New York rappers.

Today’s hip hop is dominated by the Trap genre of music. Although this subgenre encompasses various subgenres, its main purpose is creating fast paced beats that emphasize snare drum and hi-hat cymbals.

An emerging trend within hip hop music is a return to old school hip hop sounds from the early 90s when artists such as Freestyle Fellowship and Tha Alkaholiks were popular. Artists such as Yeat, Destroy Lonely and Sofaygo have taken this movement forward by mixing traditional sounds with more synth-based productions.