Page 1


HOP Hip Hop

Hip Hop More Than Words Deeper Than Rap

HIP H Brando “Rynel” Lopez

Copyright Š 2012 by Brando Rynel Lopez

HOP All rights reserved.

Cover design by Rynel Book design by Rynel

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review. Printed in the United States of America

HIP H Dedicated to all the Hip Hop Heads of all Shapes, Sizes, and Color

HOP Hip Hop

1979 - First Rap Hit Record “Rapper’s Delight” By The Sugar Hill Gang

Hip-hop music, also called hip-hop or rap music, is a music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip-hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing, DJing, graffiti writing, and b-boying. While often used to refer to rapping, “hip hop” more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip-hop music is sosmetimes used synonymously with the term rap music even though rapping is not a required component of hip-hop music. Hip hop as music and culture formed during the 1970s when block parties became increasingly popular in New York City, particularly among African American and Latino youth residing in the Bronx. Block parties incorporated DJs who played popular genres of music, especially funk and soul music. Due to the positive reception, DJs began isolating the percussive breaks of popular songs. This technique was then common in Jamaican dub music, and was largely introduced into New York by immigrants from Jamaica and elsewhere in the Caribbean, including DJ Kool Herc, who is generally considered the father of hip hop. Because the percussive breaks in funk, soul and disco records were generally short, Herc and other DJs began using two turntables to extend the breaks. Turntablist techniques - such as scratching (attributed to Grand Wizzard Theodore), beat mixing, beat matching, and beat juggling eventually developed with the breaks, creating a base that could be rapped over, in a manner similar to signifying. Hip hop music in its infancy has be described as an outlet and a “voice” for the disenfranchised youth of low-economic areas, as the culture reflected the social, economic and political realities of their lives.

MC’ing MCing, rapping, spitting, or just rhyming refers to “spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics with a strong rhythmic accompaniment”. It can be broken down into different components, such as “content”, “flow”, rhythm and rhyme, and “delivery”. Rapping is distinct from spoken word poetry in that is it performed in time to the beat of the music. The use of the word “rap” to describe quick and slangy speech or repartee long predates the musical form. MCing is a form of expression that is embedded within ancient African culture and oral tradition as throughout history verbal acrobatics or jousting involving rhymes were common within the Afro-American community.

DJing Turntablism is the technique of manipulating sounds and creating music using phonograph turntables and a DJ mixer. One of the few first hip-hop DJ’s was Kool DJ Herc, who created hip hop through the isolation of “breaks”. In addition to developing Herc’s techniques, DJs Grandmaster Flowers, Grandmaster Flash, Grand Wizard Theodore, and Grandmaster Caz made further innovations with the introduction of scratching. Traditionally, a DJ will use two turntables simultaneously. These are connected to a DJ mixer, an amplifier, speakers, and various other pieces of electronic music equipment. The DJ will then perform various tricks between the two albums currently in rotation using the above listed methods. The result is a unique sound created by the seemingly combined sound of two separate songs into one song. Although there is considerable overlap between the two roles, a DJ is not the same as a producer of a music track. In the early years of hip hop, the DJs were the stars, but that has been taken by MCs since 1978, thanks largely to Melle Mel of Grandmaster Flash’s crew, the Furious Five. However, a number of DJs have gained stardom nonetheless in recent years. Famous DJs include Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, Mr. Magic, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Scratch from EPMD, DJ Premier from Gang Starr, DJ Scott La Rock from Boogie Down Productions, DJ Pete Rock of Pete Rock & CL Smooth, DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill, Jam Master Jay from Run-DMC, Eric B., DJ Screw from the Screwed Up Click and the inventor of the Chopped & Screwed style of mixing music, Funkmaster Flex, Tony Touch, DJ Clue, and DJ Q-Bert. The underground movement of turntablism has also emerged to focus on the skills of the DJ. Mixtape DJs have also emerged creating mixtapes with different artists and getting exclusive songs and putting them on one disc.



Graffiti In America around the late 1960s, graffiti was used as a form of expression by political activists, and also by gangs such as the Savage Skulls, La Familia, and Savage Nomads to mark territory. Towards the end of the 1960s, the signatures—tags—of Philadelphia graffiti writers Top Cat, Cool Earl and Cornbread started to appear. Around 1970–71, the center of graffiti innovation moved to New York City where writers following in the wake of TAKI 183 and Tracy 168 would add their street number to their nickname, “bomb” a train with their work, and let the subway take it—and their fame, if it was impressive, or simply pervasive, enough—”all city”. Bubble lettering held sway initially among writers from the Bronx, though the elaborate Brooklyn style Tracy 168 dubbed “wildstyle” would come to define the art. The early trendsetters were joined in the 70s by artists like Dondi, Futura 2000, Daze, Blade, Lee, Fab Five Freddy, Zephyr, Rammellzee, Crash, Kel, NOC 167 and Lady Pink. The relationship between graffiti and hip hop culture arises both from early graffiti artists engaging in other aspects of hip hop culture, Graffiti is understood as a visual expression of rap music. The 1983 film “Wild Style” is widely regarded as the first hip hop motion picture, which featured prominent figures within the New York graffiti scene during the said period. The book Subway Art and documentary Style Wars were also among the first ways the mainstream public were introduced to hip hop graffiti. Graffiti remains part of hip hop, while crossing into the mainstream art world with renowned exhibits in galleries throughout the world.

Breaking In 1925, Earl Tucker, a.k.a. Snake Hips, a performer at the Cotton Club created a dance style which would later inspire an element of hip hop culture known as b-boying. Breaking, also called B-boying or breakdancing, is a dynamic style of dance which developed as part of the hip hop culture. Breaking is one of the major elements of hip-hop culture. Like many aspects of hip hop culture, breakdance borrows heavily from many cultures, including 1930s-era street dancing, Afro-Brazilian and Asian Martial arts, Russian folk dance, and the dance moves of James Brown, Michael Jackson, and California Funk styles. Breaking took form in the South Bronx alongside the other elements of hip-hop. According to the documentary film The Freshest Kids: A History of the BBoy, DJ Kool Herc describes the “B” in B-boy as short for breaking which at the time was slang for “going off”, also one of the original names for the dance. However, early on the dance was known as the sound, “boing”. Dancers at DJ Kool Herc’s parties, who saved their best dance moves for the break section of the song, getting in front of the audience to dance in a distinctive, frenetic style. The “B” in B-boy also stands simply for break, as in break-boy (or girl). Breaking was documented in Style Wars, and was later given more focus in fictional films such as Wild Style and Beat Street. Early acts include the Rock Steady Crew and New York City Breakers.

Hip Hop has come a long way since the 1970s. From its complicated musical patterns to its intricate lyrics. Nevertheless, not only did Hip Hop evolve through rhythm and flow but also in the business aspect of the game. It came down to be a huge income-earner. According to and, hip-hop’s top 20 earners brought in $415 million between 2011-2012. That’s alot of great business!

Hip-Hop’s Top 20 Cash Kings

20. Akon ($6 million, tie)

19. Mac Miller ($6.5 million)

16. Young Jeezy ($7 million, tie)

16. Pharrell Williams ($7 million, tie)

16. Swizz Beatz ($7 million, tie)

15. 50 Cent ($7.5 million)

14. Snoop Lion ($8.5 million)

12. Wiz Khalifa ($9 million, tie)

12. Rick Ross ($9 million, tie)

11. Armando “Pitbull” Christian Pérez ($9.5 million)

10. Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges ($12 million)

9. Marshall “Eminem” Mathers ($15 million)

8. Nicki Minaj ($15.5 million)

7. Bryan “Birdman” Williams ($20 million)

6. Aubrey Drake Graham ($20.5 million)

5. Dwayne “Lil Wayne” Carter ($27 million)

4. Kanye West ($35 million)

3. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter ($38 million)

2. Sean “Diddy” Combs ($45 million) It’s been 15 years since his creative opus, No Way Out, but Diddy still continues to earn from a variety of nonmusical deals—namely ta share of profits from Diageo’s Ciroc vodka.

1. Andre “Dr. Dre” Young ($110 million) His long-awaited album, Detox, is still on the shelf, but Dre still rakes in cash from old albums, production and the occasional concert. And then there’s that headphone line.

Legacy Having its roots in reggae, disco and funk, hip hop has since exponentially expanded into a widely accepted form of representation world wide. It expansion includes events like Afrika Bambaataa releasing “Planet Rock” in 1982, which tried to establish a more global harmony in hip hop. In the 1980s, the British Slick Rick became the first international hit hip hop artist not native to America. From the 1980s onward, television became the major source of widespread outsourcing of hip hop to the global world. From Yo! MTV Raps to Public Enemy’s world tour, hip hop spread further to Latin America and became a mainstream culture within the given context. As follows, hip hop has been cut mixed and changed to the areas that adapt to it. Early hip hop has often been credited with helping to reduce inner-city gang violence by replacing physical violence with hip hop battles of dance and artwork. However, with the emergence of commercial and crime-related rap during the early 1990s, an emphasis on violence was incorporated, with many rappers boasting about drugs, weapons, misogyny, and violence. While hip hop music now appeals to a broader demographic, media critics argue that socially and politically conscious hip hop has long been disregarded by mainstream America in favor of its media-baiting sibling, gangsta rap. Many artists are now considered to be alternative/underground hip hop when they attempt to reflect what they believe to be the original elements of the culture. Artists/groups such as Wale, Lupe Fiasco, J. Cole, The Roots, Shing02, Jay Electronica, Nas, Common, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Dilated Peoples, Dead Prez, Blackalicious, Joe Budden, Jurassic 5, Kendrick Lamar, Gangstarr, KRS-One, XV and hundreds more emphasize messages of verbal skill,

Authenticity Authenticity is often a serious debate within hip hop culture. Dating back to its origins in the 1970s in the Bronx, hip hop revolved around a culture of protest and freedom of expression in the wake of oppression suffered by African-Americans. As hip hop has become less of an underground culture, it is subject to debate whether or not the spirit of hip hop is embodied in protest, or whether it can evolve to exist in a marketable integrated version. In “Authenticity Within Hip Hop and Other Cultures Threatened with Assimilation”, Commentator Kembrew McLeod argues that hip hop culture is actually threatened with assimilation by a larger, mainstream culture. Believing that hip hop should be utilized as a voice for social justice, Tate points out that in the marketable version of hip hop, there isn’t a role for this evolved genre in context of the original theme hip hop originated from (freedom from oppression). The problem with Black progressive political organizing isn’t hip hop, but that the No. 1 issue on the table needs to be poverty, and nobody knows how to make poverty sexy. Tate discusses how the dynamic of progressive Black politics cannot apply to the genre of hip hop in the current state today due to the genre’s heavy involvement in the market. In his article he discusses hip hop’s 30th birthday and how its evolution has become more of a devolution due to its capitalistic endeavors. Both Tate and McLeod argue that hip hop has lost its authenticity due to its losing sight of the revolutionary theme and humble “folksy” beginnings the music originated from. “This is the first time artists from around the world will be performing in an international context. The ones that are coming are considered to be the key members of the contemporary underground hip hop movement.” This is how the music landscape has broadened around the world over the last ten years. The maturation of hip hop has gotten older with the genres age, but the initial reasoning of why hip hop has started will always be intact.



Hip Hop - More Than Words  
Hip Hop - More Than Words  

A brief history of Hip Hop.