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History of Hip Hop

Although the hip hop culture is very popular amongst most people, not many are aware of its origins. Read on to know more about the history of hip hop.
Hip hop has started a culture since the time it originated. Millions of people around the globe have been influenced with it. Hip hop music and dance have rewritten the music and dance trends since the olden days. The music industry has seen the emergence of artists that have caused a rage amongst youngsters. Coolio, Missy Elliot, Puff Daddy, Salt 'N' Pepa, The Fugees, MC Hammer and many such artists have given us chartbusting hip hop tracks that have caused a huge and loyal fan following for this culture.

Have you ever wondered where the hip hop culture actually begun? Here is a look at the history of hip hop and why it is still a rage today.

The hip hop period is divided into two eras - the old school hip hop (1970-1985) and the golden age hip hop (1985-1993). This style is actually very famous and popular in the USA. It involves rapping, break dancing and is also very popular because of the style of dressing. It is believed that hip hop originated in the Bronx by Kool Herc who was a Jamaican DJ. He was amongst the earliest to gain fame. In this music, the singers individually vocalize over the beats. The old school hip hop artists always focused on introducing themselves and even the guests over the music. Later, this presentation got more varied and the approach was more rhythmic with rhyming lyrics from the African-American culture. One also saw the emergence of break dance or b-boying/b-girling, which is a street dance style that has also evolved with time. This formed the base for the hip hop style of dancing as well.

Hip hop music has originated from the African-American and the West African music. There was a lot of funk and soul music being played during the old school hip-hop era. The Djs finally started separating the percussion breaks from hit tracks. They gradually realized that these beats were more entertaining and fun to groove to.

The golden age hip hop era saw rappers such as Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap. The new school of hip hop culture also saw the duo Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince bag the first rap Grammy Award. This was the period that saw the emergence of new styles in this genre. For the first time in the history of hip hop, it was combined with rock, reggae and even techno music. Rap formed a major part of hip hop and also the dance and the clothing styles achieved prominence. The all female group, Salt 'N' Pepa tasted stupendous success with singles such as 'The Show Stoppa'. The interests in the rap music saw a steady rise and there were various messages that were incorporated in this music such as stories on crime, drugs and violence. The street language was passed on to the hip hop culture through rap music.

The hip hop dance gained popularity as it offered a platform to express one's creativity. It gave one a chance to dance freely without adhering to the rules that is required in ballroom and jazz style of dancing. Breakdance formed the base for hip hop dance. This appeared in the early 1960s in the New York City. The different styles of hip hop dance includes the harlem shake, snap dance, grinding, gangsta walking, soulja boy, krumping, etc. Along with the dance, the style of dressing also gained popularity along the way. The hip hop look was never complete without baggy jeans, loose Tees, chunky jewelry and loads of bling. This is because, hip hop is not just about dance and music but is a culture in itself. This dance can never be complete without the right style of hip-hop clothing. Hip hop fashion has cut across all boundaries since the olden days. Today, apart from the loose attire, women are known to sport fitting skirts with legging and layered tops with gold lockets to make a style statement.

Gangsta rap saw success in the year 1986. This was mainly because of the very popular "6 In The Mornin'" by Ice T. This gangsta rap trend influenced more groups along the way such as Puff Daddy, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Dr. Dre, and The Notorious B.I.G.

Hip hop therefore has generations of fan following. We can see how this music and culture has evolved since the olden days. Many argue that the present style of hip hop may not always reflect the pure form. But despite all the disagreements, one cannot argue with the fact that the hip hop is immensely popular even till date.
By Kashmira Lad
Last Updated: 9/20/2011
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