Hip hop is a subculture and art movement developed by African Americans from the South Bronx in New York City during the late 1970s. While people unfamiliar with hip hop culture often use the expression “hip hop” to refer exclusively to hip hop music (also called “rap”),hip hop is characterized by anywhere from four to nine distinct elements or expressive realms, of which hip hop music is only one element. DJ Afrika Bambaataa of the hip hop collective Zulu Nation outlined the pillars of hip hop culture, coining the terms: “rapping” (also called MCing or emceeing), a rhythmic vocal rhyming style (orality); DJing (and turntablism), which is making music with record players and DJ mixers (aural/sound and music creation); b-boying/b-girling/breakdancing (movement/dance); and graffiti art, which he called “aerosol writin'” (visual art). Other elements of the hip hop subculture and arts movement beyond the main four are: hip hop culture and historical knowledge of the movement (intellectual/philosophical); beatboxing, a percussive vocal style; street entrepreneurship; African-American language and slang; and hip hop fashion and style, among others. hip-hop, cultural movement that attained widespread popularity in the 1980s and ’90s; also, the backing music for rap, the musical style incorporating rhythmic and/or rhyming speech that became the movement’s most lasting and influential art form.
Origin and the old school
Although widely considered a synonym for rap music, the term hip-hop refers to a complex culture comprising four elements: deejaying, or “turntabling”; rapping, also known as “MCing” or “rhyming”; graffiti painting, also known as “graf” or “writing”; and “B-boying,” which encompasses hip-hop dance, style, and attitude, along with the sort of virile body language that philosopher Cornel West described as “postural semantics.” Hip-hop originated in the predominantly African American economically depressed South Bronx section of New York City in the late 1970s. As the hip-hop movement began at society’s margins, its origins are shrouded in myth, enigma, and obfuscation.
Graffiti and break dancing, the aspects of the culture that first caught public attention, had the least lasting effect. Reputedly, the graffiti movement was started about 1972 by a Greek American teenager who signed, or “tagged,” Taki 183 (his name and street, 183rd Street) on walls throughout the New York City subway system. By 1975 youths in the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn were stealing into train yards under cover of darkness to spray-paint colourful mural-size renderings of their names, imagery from underground comics and television, and even Andy Warhol-like Campbell’s soup cans onto the sides of subway cars. Soon, influential art dealers in the United States, Europe, and Japan were displaying graffiti in major galleries. New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority responded with dogs, barbed-wire fences, paint-removing acid baths, and undercover police squads.
The New School
In the mid-1980s the next wave of rappers, the new school, came to prominence. At the forefront was Run-D.M.C., a trio of middle-class African Americans who fused rap with hard rock, defined a new style of hip dress, and became staples on MTV as they brought rap to a mainstream audience. Run-D.M.C. recorded for Profile, one of several new labels that took advantage of the growing market for rap music. Def Jam featured three important innovators: LL Cool J, rap’s first romantic superstar; the Beastie Boys, a white trio who broadened rap’s audience and popularized digital sampling (composing with music and sounds electronically extracted from other recordings); and Public Enemy, who invested rap with radical black political ideology, building on the social consciousness of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message” (1982).
The most significant response to New York hip-hop, though, came from Los Angeles, beginning in 1989 with N.W.A.’s dynamic album Straight Outta Compton. N.W.A. (Niggaz With Attitude) and former members of that group—Ice Cube, Eazy E, and Dr. Dre—led the way as West Coast rap grew in prominence in the early 1990s. Their graphic, frequently violent tales of real life in the inner city, as well as those of Los Angeles rappers such as Ice-T (remembered for his 1992 single “Cop Killer”) and Snoop Dogg and of East Coast counterparts such as Schoolly D, gave rise to the genre known as gangsta rap. As the Los Angeles-based label Death Row Records built an empire around Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and the charismatic, complicated rapper-actor Tupac Shakur, it also entered into a rivalry with New York City’s Bad Boy Records. This developed into a media-fueled hostility between East Coast and West Coast rappers, which culminated in the still-unsolved murders of Shakur and the wildly gifted MC known as the Notorious B.I.G.
Hip-hop scene in India
Desi hip hop is a term for music and culture which combines the influences of hip hop and the Indian subcontinent; the term desi referring to the South Asian diaspora. The term has also come to be used as an alternative for rap music and even pop music which involves rappers of South Asian origins. Creation of the term “Desi Hip Hop” is credited to Bohemia.