Hip hop is considered to be born somewhere around 1970s, in Bronx, New York. During the first years, minority groups are noted to be pioneers for its rapid growth and rich culture.
Every country, region or even hood has its different take on hip hop - but we will stick with the US. After all, US is the birthplace of this movement and its culture still has a significant affect on the rest of the world.
Back then when there was no social media, people were discussing their problems and struggles at public gatherings or parties. Hip hop is known to be born out of these gatherings, thanks to the minorities - also the DJs and the MCs - who used to express their experiences in unorthodox ways.
What is an MC?
An MC, or “Mic Controller”, is a person who controls the microphone in a live performance. A typical MC shows up before a show to get the crowd going for the upcoming entertainment.
After a certain period of time, DJing and MCing became a ‘thing’ and iconic duos started to appear. With new techniques and emerging ideas, these duos experimented more and more with phonograph records and eventually invented the famous ’scratching’ technique.
Up until 1979, hip hop was only being performed live. When the year 1979 came, so did the first ever hip hop record, Rapper’s Delight by The Sugarhill Gang.
The album gained immense popularity in a relatively short period of time and inspired other artists to talk more about social problems like poverty, hunger, injustice and violence.
With the 80s, a new wave of experimental approach changed the hip hop sound drastically. LL Cool J and Beastie Boys were two of the most influential figures with having rock-y elements in their songs like electric guitar and loud vocals.
They were not only important for the genre of hip hop but also so loved by the world, Raising Hell by LL Cool J became the first hip hop album that took place on global charts’ top 10.
With the invention of drum machines towards 90s, electronic music production started to become a bigger part of hip hop. Bands like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest were notable with the jazz samples they used and their hybrid style.
Hip hop has never been only about music - but it stepped on a new level with the tension between East and West coasts of US.
Concepts like brutality, violence, threatening the other and gang life became a significant element of 90s hip hop songs.
Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Puff Daddy, The Notorious B.I.G, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre were the names that arose during these years and stayed on the top of their game.
If you’re interested in the history of hip hop, the movie Straight Outta Compton is something you should definitely check out .
With the Millennium, a new wave of hip hop singers became popular. These singers were neither from West nor East - although the general idea was one had to be from one or the other. Mid-West hip hoppers like Eminem and Kanye West gained popularity and influence in a short amount of time with their bold and unique styles.
They’re both known to be coming from a poor childhood and telling the stories from the streets.
Nowadays, hip hop sound is highly influenced by electronic elements and the are many sub-genres like Trap, Chicago Trap, Underground Rap, etc.
Making music is all about telling stories and hip hop is one of the purest ways it.
There are no rules in telling your feelings but there are some when it comes to music production. To get a sense on how music theory and its fundamentals work, is always a good idea - no matter how which genre of music you are in to make.
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