Hip Hop: Origins

Many famous rappers say that hip-hop is a response to the dominance of monotonous disco music in America of the seventies. In fact, hip-hop has direct and significant sources in this particular dance style. For more than a decade, until the advent of their own compositions, hip-hop DJs played disco. Hip-hop is primarily the music of DJs, as it was originally created using two turntables and a microphone. It appeared as a synthesis of disco and a number of original techniques for working with Technics vinyl record players of 1200 young Bronx DJs (New York region), who independently learned the phenomenal formation skills.

Music genres. Hip-hop. Photo from the site http://kamey-tlt.ru

The most attentive DJs of those years understood that many club visitors began to move more expressively, not only to certain music, but also to certain parts of it. Further, and in accordance with DJ law number one - to support such bursts of energy in every possible way - they repeated only these individual pieces again and again. Thus a completely new style of “live” music was born. Despite the fact that hip-hop as a style, in arranging compositions compiled from fragments of other areas of music (now it is a technology for sampling individual sounds and loops), it qualitatively influenced ideas about modern music and its creativity, it also significantly changed sound recording technologies and copyright laws. It is known that sampling, copying and recording cover versions were born long before hip-hop, but the world of the music business has not yet met with the large-scale and frank impudence of hip-hop DJs, who mixed everything and read recitative over their mix. Digital sampling, introduced in the eighties, made this process elementary. The founders of hip-hop today are universally recognized three great figures: Clive Campbell (aka Kul Herk), who invented breakbeat (repeating breaks), Grandmaster Flash, the great master of club madness and Africa Bambaataa - a musical polyglot and wizard of sound.

Hip-hop: subculture


Simplified - recitative, superimposed on a bit. In the homeland of hip-hop it is called “rapping,” in Russia it is called “reading.” It was hip-hop that made the reader energetic, attractive, and massive.

While listening to dub toasting, Cool Hurk made his MCs “activators” of the crowd; he opened a new era for MC. Hip-hop borrowed the already known form of recitative, but developed it anew. Thanks to the combination of clockwork rhythm and the expressive work of MS, this form quickly gained popularity. The first known MCs (translated as “microfon controller - mic head”) were Covboy (partner of Grandmaster Flash), Melle Mel, Africa Bambaataa, later - rapper LL Cool.


The first source of breakdance is the simple Haskle dance borrowed from disco dancers. The second source is the manifestation of male withdrawal in the convulsive, robot-like movements of funk dancers and dance-like convulsions of the funk star James Brown.

Breakdance was also influenced by such styles as tap and lindy, as well as some sports movements from kung fu. “Break” in the name of the dance is a jazz term for a segment of a composition with a drummer’s solo play. In the early seventies of the last century, breakdance included only “up-rocking” (fast circular steps and other leg movements preceding acrobatic elements). Later, "power movements" (for example, rotation on the head or back), and a number of other specific elements of the dance appeared. Dancing break began to be called b-boys (b-boys). The letter “b” meant “break”, but it can also be understood as “Bronx”. The harsh “b-boy stand” (arms folded on the chest, head tilted down), beloved by rappers today, was not only a demonstration of readiness for aggression, but also a characteristic pose of a dancer preparing for a break.


“Hands fly from one plate to another, having time to touch the crossfader with lightning speed, the shoulders barely notice, without interfering with the clarity of actions, they rise and fall to the beat of the rhythm, finger movements are verified with millimeter accuracy, each flick, slide or slave is measured“ as in a pharmacy, ”and a powerful beat bears from the columns, strewn with scribbles and scratches; the bare skeleton of a song repeats over and over again, and suddenly explodes with the culmination of a new track ”- this is how they wrote about the most complex and most revered art of a DJ to work miracles with sound and vinyl at the same time. This made a strong impression. But at first there was scratching. Having mastered it, the DJ could shred records so finely that he could create compositions by manipulating sounds (individual notes, beats or noises), as any other musician does! In the development of this form of DJing, whole ensembles appeared, playing on several turntables, where each of the DJs-musicians was responsible for their own layer of the song - the bass line, rhythmic part or melody. Soon, even a whole system of musical writing for tour-players was developed. Finally, a method has emerged in which the basic scratch can be stratified by the cunning manipulations of the mixer crossfader. He was given the name "transformation". The method made scratching absolutely flexible and more effective, allowing the DJ to precisely control the sound. Today, a simple scratch is a rarity. A true travel table is able to explain to you the whole difference between such techniques as chirp, tweak, scribble, air, steb transform, hydroplane, flare, orbit, tweedle and crab.


Verbal sparring, an intricate poetic boast about oneself beloved and their “awesome” DJ, and on the contrary - humiliation and pouring mud of the enemy. Buttles are another part of the hip hop subculture. They took place frequently, are popular in our time, but were not based on any rules, but simply on agreements on when, who and for how long should speak. The battles were not held because of anything more serious, except for the desire of rappers to beat each other. The winner of the battle only increased his authority and acquired new fans of his next show

Hip hop genre today

The eighties and early nineties hip hop fully exploited its past. Numerous rappers sought to appear poorer, meaner, and even "blacker" than others, forgetting undeniable historical facts. The discoverers of the Hirk or Flash, although revered as respected ancestors, were already of little interest to them, unlike the new-fashioned MTV-ishnyh heroes. For similar reasons, the history of the musical origins of the genre, the role of disco, DJs and the musical context of the era began to correspond. So, in those years when the main theme was life in the ghetto, and rappers gossiped about crime and politics, musical culture lost its entertainment and sense of celebration, but gave birth to true heroes, but there are not many of them in hip-hop: Three 6 Mafia, Run -DMC, NWA, Public Enemy, Wu-Tang Clan and others. The commercialization of the subculture that followed in the nineties virtually destroyed the true essence of hip-hop and made it look like pop music. This was manifested in the arrangements that became electronic and intricate in sound, and in the refrains of rapping, which became more restrained and simplified, and in the disappearance of most of the essential elements of the culture of the harsh guys. The epochs of pop culture, such as Eminem, Travis Scott, as well as Post Malone, Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z, led the era of hip hop profanation.

As an illustration, we suggest you take a look at the 24-hour video channel of the “lofi hip hop radio 7/XNUMX” radio station of the “Chillhop Music” account on YouTube

Photos in the top: https://www.ruspeach.com