Hip hop is a cultural movement which developed in New York City in the early 1970s primarily among African Americans and Latin Americans. Hip hop's four main elements are MCing (often called rapping), DJing, graffiti writing, and breakdancing. Other elements include beatboxing, hip hop fashion, and slang. Since first emerging in the Bronx, the lifestyle of hip hop culture has spread around the world.Hip hop is a cultural movement which developed in New York City in the early 1970s primarily among African Americans and Latin Americans.
When hip hop music began to emerge, it was based around disc jockeys who created rhythmic beats by looping breaks (small portions of songs emphasizing a percussive pattern) on two turntables. This was later accompanied by "rapping" (a rhythmic style of chanting) and beatboxing, a vocal technique mainly used to imitate percussive elements of the music and various technical effects of hip hop DJs. An original form of dancing and particular styles of dress arose among followers of this new music. These elements experienced considerable refinement and development over the course of the history of the culture.
The relationship between graffiti and hip hop culture arises from the appearance of new and increasingly elaborate and pervasive forms of the practice in areas where other elements of hip hop were evolving as art forms, with a heavy overlap between those who wrote graffiti and those who practiced other elements of the culture.
Jamaican born DJ Clive "Kool Herc" Campbell is credited as being highly influential in the pioneering stage of hip hop music, in the Bronx, after moving to New York at the age of thirteen. Herc created the blueprint for hip hop music and culture by building upon the Jamaican tradition of toasting – or boasting impromptu poetry and sayings over music – which he witnessed as a youth in Jamaica.
Herc and other DJs would tap into the power lines to connect their equipment and perform at venues such as public basketball courts and at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, Bronx, New York, a historic building "where hip hop was born". Their equipment was composed of numerous speakers, turntables, and one or more microphones. In late 1979, Debbie Harry of Blondie took Nile Rodgers of Chic to such an event, as the main backing track used was the break from Chic's Good Times.
Herc was also the developer of break-beat DJing, where the breaks of funk songs—the part most suited to dance, usually percussion-based—were isolated and repeated for the purpose of all-night dance parties. This breakbeat DJing, using hard funk, rock, and records with Latin percussion, formed the basis of hip hop music. Campbell's announcements and exhortations to dancers would lead to the syncopated, rhymed spoken accompaniment now known as rapping. He dubbed his dancers break-boys and break-girls, or simply b-boys and b-girls. According to Herc, "breaking" was also street slang for "getting excited" and "acting energetically". Herc's terms b-boy, b-girl and breaking became part of the lexicon of hip hop culture, before that culture itself had developed a name.
Later DJs such as Grand Wizard Theodore, Grandmaster Flash and Jazzy Jay refined and developed the use of breakbeats, including cutting and scratching. The approach used by Herc was soon widely copied, and by the late 1970s DJs were releasing 12" records where they would rap to the beat. Popular tunes included Kurtis Blow's "The Breaks", and The Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight".
Emceeing is the rhythmic spoken delivery of rhymes and wordplay, delivered over a beat or without accompaniment. Rapping is derived from the griots (folk poets) of West Africa, and Jamaican-style toasting. Rap developed both inside and outside of hip hop culture, and began with the street parties thrown in the Bronx neighborhood of New York in the 1970s by Kool Herc and others. It originated as MCs would talk over the music to promote their DJ, promote other dance parties, take light-hearted jabs at other lyricists, or talk about problems in their areas and issues facing the community as a whole. Melle Mel, a rapper/lyricist with The Furious Five, is often credited with being the first rap lyricist to call himself an "MC".
By the late 1970s, the culture had gained media attention, with Billboard magazine printing an article titled "B Beats Bombarding Bronx", commenting on the local phenomenon and mentioning influential figures such as Kool Herc.
Hip hop as a culture was further defined in 1982, when Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force released the seminal electro-funk track "Planet Rock". Instead of simply rapping over disco beats, Bambaataa created an electronic sound, taking advantage of the rapidly improving drum machine, synthesizer technology as well as sampling from Kraftwerk.
The appearance of music videos changed entertainment: they often glorified urban neighborhoods. The music video for "Planet Rock" showcased the subculture of hip hop musicians, graffiti artists and breakdancers. Many hip hop-related films were released between 1982 and 1985, among them Wild Style, Beat Street, Krush Groove, Breakin, and the documentary Style Wars. These films expanded the appeal of hip hop beyond the boundaries of New York. By 1985, youth worldwide were embracing the hip hop culture. The hip hop artwork and "slang" of US urban communities quickly found its way to Europe and Asia, as the culture's global appeal took root.
The 1980s also saw many artists make social statements through hip hop. In 1982, Melle Mel and Duke Bootee recorded "The Message" (officially credited to Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five), a song that foreshadowed the socially conscious statements of Run-DMC's "It's like That" and Public Enemy's "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos".
During the 1980s, hip hop also embraced the creation of rhythm by using the human body, via the vocal percussion technique of beatboxing. Pioneers such as Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie and Buffy from the Fat Boys made beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using their mouth, lips, tongue, voice, and other body parts. "Human Beatbox" artists would also sing or imitate turntablism scratching or other instrument sounds.
Hip hop has a distinctive slang. Due to hip hop's commercial success in the late nineties and early 21st century, many of these words have been assimilated into many different dialects across America and the world and even to non-hip hop fans (the word dis for example is remarkably prolific). There are also words like homie which predate hip hop but are often associated with it.
Sometimes, terms like what the dilly, and yo are popularized by a single song (in this case, "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See" by Busta Rhymes) and are only used briefly. One particular example is the rule-based slang of Snoop Dogg and E-40, who add -izz to the middle of words. This practice, with origins in Frankie Smith's nonsensical language from his 1980 single "Double Dutch Bus", has spread to even non-hip hop fans, who may be unaware of its derivation. As a genre of music popular all over the world, World hip hop, in which African-American English is not the dialect used, is as prevalent as ever.
Having its roots from reggae, disco, funk, hip hop has since exponentially expanded into a widely accepted form of representation world wide. It expansion includes events like Afrika Bambaataa releasing "Planet Rock" in 1982 which tried to establish a more global harmony in hip hop. In the 1990s MC Solaar became an international hit that was not from America, the first of his kind. From the 80s onward, television became the major source of widespread outsourcing of hip hop to the global world. From Yo! MTV Raps (a television show that was shown in many countries) to Public Enemy's world tour, hip hop spread further to Latin America and became highly mainstream. Ranging from countries like France, Spain, England, the US and many many other countries world wide, voices want to be heard, and hip hop allows them to do so. As such, hip hop has been cut mixed and changed to the areas that adapt to it.
Hip Hop fashion consists of Hoodies, Baseball caps, Novelty T-shirts, Jeans (sometimes baggy, sometimes not), Gold jewellry, and expensive designer Trainers. Hip hop fashion is sometimes critisozed for glorifying over-indulgence through the value placed on designer clothes in the scene.
Notable subgroups within Hip Hop include MCs (rappers), B-dancers, Nip Hoppers, Wiggers, Gangstas, and to a lesser extent Juggalos and chavs.
Image from Deviantart, info from wikipedia save for the last two paragraphs which are mine.