A Brief History Of Hip Hop

By Todd S. Braun

Hip Hop music has its roots in the black funk and soul music of the 70's. Rap originated from the R&B tradition of which is complemented by the sampling and scratching which began in black ghettos of the United States. Hip Hop refers to not only a musical genre, but also the youth culture characterized by elements of rap (MCing), DJing, breakdancing, graffiti writing and beatboxing.

Two years earlier, a young MC named Schooly D launched his career. Although it was rather unspectacular, he earned a reputation with his innovative lyrics. At the same time, Gangsta Rap was accused of glorifying violence, rather than constructively tackling it. The group defended themselves mostly with the argument that they only simulated the conditions in ghettos.

Afrika Bambaataa was one of the DJs that were inspired by DJ Kool Herc. In 1976 he organized his first party, accompanied by a crew of breakers he called the Zulu Kings and Zulu Queens, and later the Zulu nation emerged from these crews. From 1976, Grandmaster Flash developed other important DJ techniques such as Cutting, back spinning and phasing (where the disk is spun backwards to repeat a specific section). This action resulted in a slight speed reduction generated by the velocity of two turntables, known as the phase effect.

Also worth mentioning is British Hip Hop, which produced its own brand of Britcore, as well as Brazilian Hip Hop, it introduced its own style, influenced by the Bass Music Rio Funk. In Africa, a diverse scene developed in the meantime, often in its search for American role models but also produces independent varieties of African Hip Hop. Hip Hop music can indeed take many forms: either limited to beats of DJs, in which case the term rap is not appropriate. The term rap, let alone Hip Hop, cannot be applied to slam.

A possible origin of the term Hip Hop could be from a member of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Cowboy, who allegedly used for the first time the term Hip Hop while teasing a friend who had just joined the U. S. Army. In fact, he used a onomatopoeia consisting the words "hip / hop / hip / hop" in a jerky way to mimic the rhythmic cadence of military marches performed by soldiers. But, these are only legends and stories.

The mid-1990s witnessed a kind of proxy war between 2Pac (West Coast) and Notorious BIG (East Coast) escalate. Eventually, 2Pac and Notorious BIG were shot. In the same year, various rappers from both coasts declared at a joint meeting that the confrontation had ended. Some notable releases by 2Pac include All Eyez on Me and California Love (Tupac Shakur feat Dr. Dre.).

In the fall of 1981, the single "Der Kommissar" by the Austrian Falco created a sensation in the pop scene. It reached No. 1 in almost all of Europe. With his development, Falco was sometimes referred to as the first white rapper. In particular, the label Sugar Hill, which had already released Rapper's Delight, quickly moved to secure Grandmaster Flash under contract, who worked with the rap group The Furious Five since 1977.

In the same year as The Message and the second single of another DJ veterans of Block Party era, Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa appeared. The international hit "Trans Europe Express" was first produced with synthesizers. Fast drum machine beats and machine synthesizer riffs and arpeggios by Bambaataa, on the other hand, seemed influential for the genre of electro funk that gradually broke away from Hip Hop producers and experienced a revival in the late 1990s at the Technopark area.

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