The Hip Hop Story

Many people enjoy hip hop but only a small number of those fans know how hip hop originated or where it came from. Rap has been around for a while now and it’s safe to say that it has changed since the early days. If you sit back and really look at it, you can actually see how the changes happened and how they changed hip hop. While rap is different now, it still has a lot of characteristics from back in the day.

Some people still argue about the real roots of hip hop but most agree with one location. I would say this uncertainty is due to the fact that you really can’t be sure where people started rapping. People could have already been rapping with friends before anyone else but no one ever found out. It’s a little complicated but this is the way I see it. Alright, well here’s a little history about rap and how it came to be.

The Beginning

Hip hop originated in African-American communities during the late 1970’s in New York City. DJ Clive “Kool Herc” Campbell is credited as being highly influential in the early stage of hip hop. He created the blue print for hip hop by taking ideas from the Jamaican tradition of poetry and speech over music. Many believe hip hop was born in the historic building in 1520 Sedwick Avenue, Bronx, New York. This is where DJ Kool Herc and other DJs would perfom.

He also developed “break beat deejaying” where the breaks of funk songs were repeated and isolated to be used and go with all-night dance parties. Herc would make announcements to dancers which would lead to rhyme spoken accompaniment now known as rapping. This formed the basis of hip hop music.

In the late 1970s, other DJs such as Grandmaster Flash would later develop 12″ records where they would rap to the beat. An example of this is demonstrated with The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight”.

Rap developed as a result of Herc and other DJs throwing street parties in the Bronx neighborhoods of New York. Emceeing originated from “MCs” that would talk over the music to promote their DJ, promote other parties, or talk about their problems and other things.

As a result of this an urban movement known as “hip hop” began to develop in the South Bronx area of New York City. This movement included rap music, bboying, graffiti, and fashion.

Hip hop was further defined as a result of Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force’s release of the electro-funk track “Planet Rock”. Instead of rapping over disco beats, they created an electronic sound using the synthesizer.

Cultural Pillars

The cultural pillars are the four main components of the movement known as hip hop. They each are a part of the rap culture in their own way.

While there are other components that go with the beginning of hip hop, these four are the main ones. These are basically “the roots” of hip hop. DJ Afrika Bambaataa outlined the four pillars of hip hop culture and they are:


  • DJing

  • MCing

  • Graffiti

  • Breaking


This is basically what hip hop is and what it brought since its origins from the 1970s. These four combined make hip hop and all that it is. Hip hop isn’t just rap, it’s a movement that brought along a whole new era and culture.

Many people are the way they are because of hip hop and while the main component of hip hop is music, you can’t forget about the lifestyle that accompanies hip hop. I guess its safe to say that hip hop is a way of life. I don’t know, what do you think?


In the earlier days of hip hop the DJs were the stars. They developed what was known as turntablism, which extended the boundaries and techniques of original DJing. As I said before DJ Kool Herc is credited for creating hip hop and although it was all about the DJs at first, their limelight was taken by MCs. Despite this, DJs such as Grandmaster Flash, Mr. Magic and others, were stiil able to reach stardom.


Rapping which is also known as emceeing, is basically spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics. The different components include content, flow, and delivery. Rapping is different from word poetry because it is performed in time to the beat of the music. This would be how one flows with the beat. MCing is the main component of hip hop today and the MCs are the stars.


Graffiti has been around before hip hop started but it still was influenced greatly by it. Graffiti and hip hop are tied due to the fact that graffiti artists were involved with other aspects of hip hop as well as it being practiced in areas where hip hop was developing. It is seen as a visual expression of rap music.


Just how graffiti is the visual expression of rap music, breaking is the physical expression. It’s a style of dance which developed within the hip hop culture. Break dancing began in the South Bronx along with other elements of hip hop. This form of dance became highly popular and is normally performed with hip hop beats.


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One Response to “The Hip Hop Story”

  1. Hip hop fashion is forever!
    As the music changes the styles will change.
    Always us! Always on top!