Let’s Get Back To the Basics: Rocka's Break Down of the Elements of Hip Hop 

Hip Hop started with music and became a street culture of young African and Caribbean Americans in urban communities post the Civil Rights Movement. With the initial start a mystery but much credit due to Kool Herc following a creative exhibition of DeeJaying  breakbeat creation on turntables in NYC 1973, other pioneers of Hip Hop include Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambataa. It all started with the deejays. There are definitely more pioneering members of the cultural movement but the three or the “Holy Trinity” is most often made mention of. 

I often love to break down the elements of Hip Hop. We need to make sure people understand we have history, and this is a subculture of a nation, derived from the conscious mindset, and self awareness, and on to financial freedom. Hip Hop is making billionaires! 

The main elements of hip hop are often debated, but I will attempt to go over them here. The main pillars of hip hop are  deejaying, rhyming, graffiti painting, and break dancing. Deejaying, or turn tabling consists of making music with record players and DJ mixers. Kool Herc played at a party hosted by his sister Cindy Campbell who put friends together and had an after school party. He became know for playing the same album on two turntables and extending the drum section (the art of the breakbeat). Rhyming, also known as emceeing, rapping is the art of prolific poetry with a dope flow and delivery. It was created by conscious minds speaking their spoken word  or telling a story in rhythmic melodies like DJ breakbeats. Coke La Rock was noted as on elf the first officially recognized emcees. Graffiti or tagging, which is the art of writing or painting on walls in urban cities. 

Before the foundation of the music form, there was a young African American troubled boy named Darryl McCray, who wrote the word cornbread on the walls where he resided for a period in a Youth Development Center. And last but not least, breakdancing, Called b-boying or b-girling was influenced by the mood of the break beats with a unique hip hop style, attitude and body language, or postural semantics as Dr. Cornel West describes it. Another element often mentioned are beatboxing which is vocal technique using parts of the mouth and teeth to manipulate the sounds of air, and Dougie Fresh stood out for this style among others. 

I take it personal when folks don’t put the respect on our hip hop culture, we more than just designer hoes and trap stars, that part is a farce. The culture is partly responsible for bringing about the element of a unique street culture and opportunity for financial freedom which brought us to love. Because of Hip Hop we see each others differences and embrace that oneness thru the similarities in street language,  music and fashion and street culture. I want to see a change in our youth of today soaring for greatness with real authentic ideals and values, accepting nothing but the best in life. In Hip Hop we see past lines of color. 

This focused on the elements of hip hop as a subculture. The next blog will bring us to the elements of the Hip Hop Movement. Thank you for visiting my page. 

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