Hip hop  

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"See I am Wonder Mike and I like to say hello to the black, to the white, the red, and the brown, the purple and yellow" -- "Rapper's Delight" (1979) by Sugarhill Gang

"Aside from funk, early hip hop was both rooted in disco, and a backlash against it. According to Kurtis Blow, the early days of hip-hop were characterized by divisions between fans and detractors of disco music. Either way, it is indisputable that disco had an effect on hip-hop music and culture." --Sholem Stein

Keep on Steppin' (1974) - The Fatback Band

Major elements: breakdancing - DJing - graffiti art - MCing - scratching - turntablism

Related: African American - African music - afrobeat - black music - black pride - proto disco - electro - electro funk - Enjoy! Records - freestyle - funk - gay hip hop - hip hop - hip hop timeline - house - Jamaica - jazz - Miami bass - Martin Luther King, Jr. - New York City music - P-Funk - popular music - P&P Records - r&b - rare groove - reggae - seventies - soul music - Ultimate Breaks and Beats

Musical elements: beat - break - mix - rhyme - rhythm - sample - sound system - version - vinyl

Artists: Afrika Bambaataa - Arthur Baker - Kurtis Blow - Peter Brown - Chic - Fatback Band - George Clinton - Grandmaster Flash - Spoonie Gee - Kenny 'Dope' Gonzalez - Gil Scott Heron - Kraftwerk - The Last Poets - Lil Kim - Madlib - Public Enemy - John Robie - Sylvia Robinson - Todd Terry - Paul Winley

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Hip hop is both a music genre and a cultural movement developed in urban communities starting in the 1970s, predominantly by African Americans and Latinos. Coinage of the term hip hop is often credited to Keith Cowboy, a rapper with Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five. Today, it is a popular urban culture, associated with rap music, breakdancing, black music.

Since first emerging in New York City in the 1970s, hip hop has grown to encompass an entire lifestyle that consistently incorporates diverse elements of ethnicity, technology, art and urban life. There are four fundamental elements in hip hop:


Hip hop is the combination of two separate slang terms—"hip", used in African American English as early as 1898, meaning current or in the now, and "hop", for the hopping movement.

Keith "Cowboy" Wiggins, a member of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, has been credited with coining the term in 1978 while teasing a friend who had just joined the US Army, by scat singing the words "hip/hop/hip/hop" in a way that mimicked the rhythmic cadence of marching soldiers. Cowboy later worked the "hip hop" cadence into his stage performance. The group frequently performed with disco artists who would refer to this new type of music by calling them "hip hoppers". The name was originally meant as a sign of disrespect, but soon came to identify this new music and culture.

The song "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang, released in 1979, begins with the scat phrase, "I said a hip, hop the hippie the hippie to the hip hip hop, a you don't stop." Lovebug Starski, a Bronx DJ who put out a single called "The Positive Life" in 1981, and DJ Hollywood then began using the term when referring to this new disco rap music. Hip hop pioneer and South Bronx community leader Afrika Bambaataa also credits Lovebug Starski as the first to use the term "Hip Hop", as it relates to the culture. Bambaataa, former leader of the Black Spades gang, also did much to further popularize the term. The words "hip hop" first appeared in print on September 21, 1981, in the Village Voice in a profile of Bambaataa written by Steven Hager, who also published the first comprehensive history of the culture with St. Martins' Press.

Hip hop feuds

East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry, Roxanne Wars

A hip hop feud, also known as beef, is a controversy in which multiple rappers defame and confront each other in a number of ways.

Hip hop feuds have existed since soon after hip hop music began. Such rivalries originate with gang rivalries, drug gang wars, and the culture of competitiveness in hip hop itself. Originally, at block parties, DJs would play records and isolate the percussion breaks for the dancing masses. Soon, MCs began speaking over the beats, usually simply to keep the audience dancing. Eventually, MCs began incorporating more varied and stylistic speech and focused on introducing themselves, shouting out to friends in the audience, boasting about their own skills, and criticizing their rivals. This was often done in good humor, but several deaths introduced a fear that lyrical rivalries may develop into offstage feuds that become violent. There is speculation that the murders of rappers The Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac may have been linked to their rivalry with one another. Some have claimed that the media feed on such rivalries for headlines and blow situations out of proportion, and cite as an example the infamous East Coast–West Coast rivalry of the 1990s. Opponents to this view point to the Roxanne Wars. U.T.F.O. recorded the 1980s hit "Roxanne, Roxanne" and sparked several hundred "answer records" in response, some of which were quite bitter and abusive. At the time, there was little media response to the record. The rivalry never made it onto the streets. Additionally, a 2001 high-profile beef between Nas and Jay-Z was carried out without threatening to become violent.

One of the most common ways rap rivals clash is through "diss tracks," music tracks that contain lyrical insults directed at the artist's rival(s). Feuds are also fueled by rivals placing targeted insults in the press and confronting one another at public events. In some cases, feuds intermingle. This can lead to violent results, as happened in the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry of the early and mid nineties.

Throughout his career, rapper M.C. Hammer has dissed hip hop DJs and rappers in general beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s. Since his debut album in 1987, Feel My Power (claiming he was "...second to none, from Doug E. Fresh, LL Cool J or DJ Run" on the single "Let's Get It Started"), Hammer has had "fueds" with several rappers. In fact, Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em was an effort to avoid disrespecting others on wax and becoming more "pop". Nevertheless, Hammer has created, responded to, attacked and/or participated in rap battles with MC Serch of 3rd Bass and LL Cool J (including a feud with other rappers on Mama Said Knock You Out and the remix of "I Shot Ya"), Dres of Black Sheep, Rodney O, A Tribe Called Quest (Q-Tip), Redman and Run DMC (on the track "Break 'Em Off Somethin' Proper" from The Funky Headhunter), Eminem and Busta Rhymes from Full Blast (title track with music video) and most recently "Better Run Run" in response to a comment Jay-Z made about him on the single "So Appalled" in 2010.

See also

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