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Music 101: Hip-Hop

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Hip-Hop popularly known as rap is a genre with stylized rhythmic music which in its early days was considered to be the sound of the youth from low economic areas. Hip-Hop brought with it a culture which had rapping, DJing (scratching), break dancing, graffiti writing and beat boxing. Hip hop music was started by DJ Kool Herc in the early 1970s which is why he is considered as the Father of hip-hop genre.  But, this genre was not known as hip-hop then as the print media first mentioned it as ‘The Village Voice’. This music became very popular when the Bronx parties in New York came into being, mainly among the American-African community.

In the 1980s, diversification took place in the genre and it produced complex styles of hip-hop and as 80’s was the time of rock music, it was obvious to see the fusion of hip-hop and rock music. Also along with the music, the lyrics evolved as well and it transformed from street art into a mature art. In 1982, the single ‘The Message’ by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five is widely recognized as the pioneer force of conscious rap.

The golden age of the hip hop music is said to be from the mid 80s to the early 90s because it was the period when hip-hop music was characterized by its diversity, quality, innovation and influence. The artists associated with this era are Public Enemy, Gang Starr, Big Daddy Kane, Jungle Brothers etc. Later, the sales of this genre dipped a bit but again the rise of the artists like Eminem, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Dr Dre, Fort Minor helped put this genre under the limelight.

India’s rap music can be said to be still in its infancy stage, although Yo Yo Honey Singh is a very popular name especially in North India but we can say that his genre is not purely hip-hop. Apart from that, Borkung Hrangkhawl from Tripura is very popular among the youth; his single ‘Power’ which was about drug abuse went on to be a big hit.

Popular hip-hop songs to listen to –

Not Afraid by Eminem – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPwbWlEZd_g

Remember The Name by Fort Minor – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDvr08sCPOc

Thrift Shop by Macklemore – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK8mJJJvaes

Superbass by Nicki Manaj – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ0oKGlYLis

The Roots by Borkung Hrangkhawl – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naJRnaSzG3k

Words: Jadeed Hussain

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