Few people were aware of hip-hop music when it originally emerged in the late 1970s. It was formed by African American and Latino teens in New York City’s poorest neighborhoods as part of a hip-hop scene that also generated breakdancing and graffiti art. They’d also DJ at free block parties in their neighborhoods, where they’d play nonstop funk and disco records and enlist the help of a friend as an MC. The DJ would be introduced by the MC, who would encourage everyone to dance and enjoy themselves.
Hip Hop from the past
More DJ and MC duos formed as rapping grew more popular. DJs continued to improve their beats as the competition expanded, employing techniques such as sampling brief drum breaks and scratching. Hip hop music was originally only performed live, but in 1979, The Sugarhill Gang released a hip hop single called Rapper’s Delight, which surprised everyone by becoming an international top ten hit.
The Golden Age of Hip Hop
Rappers like LL Cool J started making hip-hop records with catchy melodic hooks in the mid-80s. Run DMC, a New York duo, mixed hooks with a hard-rock guitar to create rap-rock, and their 1986 album Raising Hell became hip hop’s first top-ten album.
Producers began experimenting with audio editing tools and digital effects in the early 1990s to develop new genres of alternative hip hops, such as jazz rap, which included De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest incorporating jazz and R&B samples into their rhythms. The Fugees mixed elements of reggae and soul to create their own unique sound, while Salt-N-Pepa produced a vibrant new hip-hop pop style.
Hip-Hop in the Twenty-First Century
Hip hop became a very popular music genre in the twenty-first century, Local hip hop scenes arose in several countries, spawning successful musicians such as Dizzee Rascal from the United Kingdom and Drake from Canada. Missy Elliott, Lil’ Kim, Lauren Hill, and Nicki Minaj are just a few of the popular female rappers. Hip hop has had a significant influence on 21st-century pop music, with hip hop characteristics appearing in numerous pop songs.
At the same period, performers from the Midwest grew popular. Marshall Mathers, better known as Eminem, grew up in a disadvantaged Detroit neighborhood surrounded by hip-hop culture. He was one of the first white rappers to win local rapping competitions when he was a youngster.
His natural flow and the honesty and humor of his raps wowed the crowds, but he couldn’t obtain a record deal since he wasn’t a gangsta rapper. He finally landed a record deal after years of struggle. His albums have nearly all topped the charts around the world, and he is currently one of the best-selling artists of all time. You can get the latest hip hop news and news about your favorite artist here.