Hip-hop is a musical art form, created by African-Americans and Latino-Americans in the mid seventies. Its conception came from a young generation of African-Americans in the Bronx, who created a beautiful, prideful expression of music, art and dance from a backdrop of poverty. Since that ignition in a New York City borough, it has inspired people from all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds all across the world. When hip-hop is discussed as an art form and not just as rap, it usually is meant to include the four elements: the DJ, the emcee, graffiti writing, and break dancing. Some of these were around before the words "hip-hop" were uttered, but they reestablished their identities within hip-hop.
In the late 1970’s a new, popular form of urban youth culture emerged in the Bronx, New York that changed the face of popular music and American culture. Throughout its development, hip-hop has become a vastly commercialized, inextricable component of popular American culture; however, it took the efforts of many pioneers and innovators to shape modern hip-hop culture and music. By exploring hip-hop’s origins, one can better understand its evolution and its positive influence on different social groups throughout the United States.
There are many misconceptions about what the term hip-hop entails. Many believe hip-hop is synonymous for rap music; however, hip-hop encompasses all the cultural elements of surrounding rap. In its beginning, the hip-hop subculture included dee-jaying, emceeing, graffiti, and break dancing. These elements contributed greatly to hip-hop, and therefore must be considered when examining the evolution of hip-hop into the major cultural force it has become.
Hip hop’s origins begin much farther back than the 1970’s. According to Black Arts literary critic Addison Gayle, Jr., Black Art has always been based on the anger felt by African Americans. Thus, he draws a connection between the Black Arts Movement of the ‘60s and hip hop...