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Hip hop is born at a birthday party in the Bronx

Hip hop is born at a birthday party in the Bronx


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Like any style of music, hip hop has roots in other forms, and its evolution was shaped by many different artists, but there’s a case to be made that it came to life precisely on August 11, 1973, at a birthday party in the recreation room of an apartment building in the west Bronx, New York City. The location of that birthplace was 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, and the man who presided over that historic party was the birthday girl’s brother, Clive Campbell—better known to history as DJ Kool Herc, founding father of hip hop.

LISTEN ON APPLE PODCASTS: The Birth of Hip Hop

Born and raised to the age of 10 in Kingston, Jamaica, DJ Kool Herc began spinning records at parties and between sets his father’s band played while he was a teenager in the Bronx in the early 1970s. Herc often emulated the style of Jamaican “selectors” (DJs) by “toasting” (i.e., talking) over the records he spun, but his historical significance has nothing to do with rapping. Kool Herc’s contribution to hip hop was even more fundamental.

DJ Kool Herc’s signature innovation came from observing how the crowds would react to different parts of whatever record he happened to be playing: “I was noticing people used to wait for particular parts of the record to dance, maybe [to] do their specialty move.” Those moments tended to occur at the drum breaks—the moments in a record when the vocals and other instruments would drop out completely for a measure or two of pure rhythm. What Kool Herc decided to do was to use the two turntables in a typical DJ setup not as a way to make a smooth transition between two records, but as a way to switch back and forth repeatedly between two copies of the same record, extending the short drum break that the crowd most wanted to hear. He called his trick the Merry Go-Round. Today, it is known as the “break beat.”

By the summer of 1973, DJ Kool Herc had been using and refining his break-beat style for the better part of a year. His sister’s party on August 11, however, put him before his biggest crowd ever and with the most powerful sound system he’d ever worked. It was the success of that party that would begin a grassroots musical revolution, fully six years before the term “hip hop” even entered the popular vocabulary.


Hip hop is born at a birthday party in the Bronx - HISTORY

Like any style of music, hip hop has roots in other forms, and its evolution was shaped by many different artists, but there's a case to be made that it came to life precisely on this day in 1973, at a birthday party in the recreation room of an apartment building in the west Bronx, New York City. The location of that birthplace was 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, and the man who presided over that historic party was the birthday girl's brother, Clive Campbell—better known to history as DJ Kool Herc, founding father of hip hop.

Born and raised to the age of 10 in Kingston, Jamaica, DJ Kool Herc began spinning records at parties and between sets his father's band played while he was a teenager in the Bronx in the early 1970s. Herc often emulated the style of Jamaican "selectors" (DJs) by "toasting" (i.e., talking) over the records he spun, but his historical significance has nothing to do with rapping. Kool Herc's contribution to hip hop was even more fundamental.

DJ Kool Herc's signature innovation came from observing how the crowds would react to different parts of whatever record he happened to be playing: "I was noticing people used to wait for particular parts of the record to dance, maybe [to] do their specialty move." Those moments tended to occur at the drum breaks—the moments in a record when the vocals and other instruments would drop out completely for a measure or two of pure rhythm. What Kool Herc decided to do was to use the two turntables in a typical DJ setup not as a way to make a smooth transition between two records, but as a way to switch back and forth repeatedly between two copies of the same record, extending the short drum break that the crowd most wanted to hear. He called his trick the Merry Go-Round. Today, it is known as the "break beat."
By the summer of 1973, DJ Kool Herc had been using and refining his break-beat style for the better part of a year. His sister's party on August 11, however, put him before his biggest crowd ever and with the most powerful sound system he'd ever worked. It was the success of that party that would begin a grassroots musical revolution, fully six years before the term "hip hop" even entered the popular vocabulary.


11 AUGUST

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2006 Singer/talk show host Mike Douglas dies suddenly on his 86th birthday after a bout of dehydration in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

2004 Vanessa Williams and her basketball-player husband Rick Fox get divorced.

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1999 Kiss are awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1997 Sonny West, Red West, Lamar Fike and Marty Lacker, four of the biggest members of Elvis' "Memphis Mafia," recall the King in a one-time-only webchat.

1997 Backstreet Boys release their second album, Backstreet's Back, in international markets. It tops the charts in several countries, including Canada, Spain and Germany. In America, some of the songs appear on their next album, Millennium, in 1999.


The DJ, His Music, And His Imagination

Clive Campbell moved to the Bronx with his family from Jamaica in 1967. His father already had a music career, serving as a technician for a band. The vast record collection and easy access to sound equipment made it quite easy for Clive to start performing as the DJ at local parties.

Nicknamed “Hercules,” or “Herc” for short because of his size, when Campbell started working at local events, it gave him an opportunity to work with the sound equipment and add his own technical and creative ideas.

He paid attention to how the crowds responded and had an idea to take his DJ capabilities to the next level. He already discovered how to make his DJ set-up louder than set-ups of other DJs. In addition, he discovered that he could use two turntables and a mixer to switch between records.

History Detectives explains that on the night of the back-to-school party, DJ Kool Herc decided to extend an instrumental beat, referred to as breaking or scratching, which allowed partygoers to dance longer. While doing this, he began talking or MC’ing over the music throughout the extended break dancing. It is known in Jamaican culture as “toasting. ”

From there hip hop was born.

Before The Bronx Party

PBS refers to Campbell as the “Father of hip hop” and goes on to provide details of the hip hop timeline. As DJ Kool Herc continued his hip hop style, the new genre of music took off, with others emulating him and creating their own hip hop music.

In 1974, Grandmaster Flash and Grandmaster Caz, two other hip hop pioneers, also began DJ’ing at parties throughout the Bronx. Other MCs joined in the new musical phenomenon spreading across the Bronx and by 1977, hip hop spread beyond the Bronx to other areas.

The year 1979 saw the first hip hop record release, which exposed mainstream America to the genre for the first time. Hip hop quickly transcended the generations, races, cultures, and economic groups to dominate the music industry.

Preserving The Sedgwick Avenue House

Celebrations occurred across the U.S. and other countries in 2013 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the birth of hip hop. The Official DJ Kool Herc site states that over the past 40 years, in addition to other fame, hip hop went from the Sedgwick Avenue House to the White House.

Plans to sell the Sedgwick House to developers resulted in a 2007 campaign to prevent the action. DJ Kool Herc himself stepped in to support the campaign. The campaign proved successful, with the NYC Housing Preservation officially recognizing the recreation room of the building as the “Birthplace of hip hop.”


Hip hop is born at a birthday party in the Bronx - HISTORY

On a hot August night in 1973, Clive Campbell, known as DJ Kool Herc, and his sister Cindy put on a ‘back to school jam’ in the recreation room of their apartment block at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the west Bronx. Entrance cost 25c for ‘ladies’ and 50c for ‘fellas’.

The party wasn’t special for its size – the rec room could only hold a few hundred people. Its venue and location weren’t particularly auspicious. Yet it marked a turning point – a spark which would ignite an international movement that is still with us today. As Kool Herc said in a recent statement: “This first hip-hop party would change the world.”

The legend is a simple one – but the factors leading to the creation of a hip hop culture were a fusion of social, musical and political influences as diverse and complex as the sound itself.

In his award-winning book, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, the journalist and academic Jeff Chang locates the foundations of hip hop in the social policies of ‘urban renewal’ pioneered by Robert Moses and the ‘benign neglect’ of Nixon’s administration. The building of New York’s Cross Bronx Expressway razed through many of the city’s ethnic neighbourhoods, destroying homes and jobs and displacing poor black and Hispanic communities in veritable wastelands like east Brooklyn and the South Bronx, while the government turned a blind eye to those affected.

“Hip hop did not start as a political movement,” Chang tells BBC Culture. “There was no manifesto. The kids who started it were simply trying to find ways to pass the time, they were trying to have fun. But they grew up under the politics of abandonment and because of this, their pastimes contained the seeds for a kind of mass cultural renewal.”

Break with the past

Hip hop signaled a profound shift at the beginning of the 1970s, following the FBI’s suppression of late ‘60s radical black groups and the waning of gang wars. Rather than taking political action, a new generation expressed itself through DJing, MCing, b-boying/b-girling (breakdancing), and graffiti, the ‘four elements’ of hip hop. Artist Fab 5 Freddy, who coined this term, argued that the looping interactivity of the ‘four elements’ proved hip hop went beyond a purely musical or artistic movement – it was an entire culture.

Marcyliena Morgan is Professor of African American Studies and director of the Hip Hop Archive at Harvard University. She asserts the importance of celebrating the positive narratives generated by the hip hop generation.

“Hip hoppers literally mapped onto the consciousness of the world a place and an identity for themselves as the originators of an exciting new art form” she tells BBC Culture. “They created value out of races and places that had seemed to offer only devastation.”

Kool Herc, along with Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash, is one of the ‘three kings’, the ‘holy trinity’ of hip hop’s early days. But Herc’s story, insists Chang, is where it all started: “Without DJ Kool Herc, we wouldn't be talking about [hip hop] now, 40 years later, all around the world” he says.

Clive Campbell was born in Jamaica, moved to New York in 1967, and picked up the nickname ‘Hercules’, (shortened to ‘Herc’) for his impressive stature. His father, Keith had a diverse record collection, and as the technician for a local band – and importantly for Herc’s burgeoning DJ career – access to sound equipment. Herc began DJing at house parties where he developed some important technical innovations. He found a way to make his set-up the loudest around, using two turntables and a mixer to switch between records (with the labels soaked off, Jamaican-style, to protect his secrets). Inspired by a youth spent watching rival sound systems in Kingston, Herc brought Jamaican culture with him to the Bronx – the booming bass and dub sound, and the custom of ‘toasting’ or talking over records, which his friend Coke La Roc used to powerful effect at the Sedgwick Avenue party.

Even more importantly, Herc observed that the b-boys and b-girls were going wild for the instrumental breaks in the records, and he began searching for the tracks – and the breaks – to please the dancers. His most famous musical discoveries – Bongo Rock and Apache by The Incredible Bongo Band, were purely instrumental: the bongo and conga beats kept the crowd dancing for longer. It was a simple observation– but the creation of the ‘breakbeat’ would be one of the key innovations in contemporary dance music.

Such was the popularity of his block parties, that by the end of 1973, Herc could no longer DJ in spaces as small as the Sedgwick Avenue rec room. He moved into bigger clubs and the Bronx’s Cedar Park, and for a few years – with his crew the Herculoids – was the ultimate draw in the area’s music scene. But by 1977, his star had waned and other rival New York DJs, notably the South Bronx’s Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash were waiting in the wings.

And what happened to 1520 Sedgwick Avenue? In 2007, Kool Herc was involved in a campaign to stop the block being sold to developers. The recreation room at 1520 Sedgwick was officially recognised by NYC Housing Preservation as “the birthplace of hip-hop”. This weekend, 40 years after hip hop’s birth, the normally reclusive Herc will be DJing alongside Coke La Roc at events around New York City.

Creation myths

The story of hip hop’s genesis is a legend as much shrouded in mythology as that of punk and the Sex Pistols’ gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester three years later. That gig has become legendary as the birth of post-punk, indie and the entire Manchester scene. Thousands have since claimed they were there – although the actual number that attended is better estimated at between 40 and 100. What makes these tales so important?

“Every culture needs a creation myth” says Chang. “These stories tell us about the kinds of values we want to transmit. I think the story of Herc and Cindy's party, in ways we perhaps don't realise, speaks to the need for joy amidst turmoil, the power of creativity against destruction, the ‘started from the bottom’ ethic that youth will always find a way to express itself.”

Remembering and preserving the legacy of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, DJ Kool Herc and the night of 11 August 1973 is a way to keep these positive values alive. “The Bronx won the rights to the DJ history through constant repetition of the first time DJ Kool Herc connected his sound system and mixed records” Professor Morgan says, and hip hop’s pioneers transformed “the land of the ghetto into the land of myth and the future.”

Jeff Chang agrees. For him, looking back to hip hop’s early days is also a way of looking forward.

“I'm not a purist or a nostalgist” he says. “But I believe in the values that have sustained hip hop from the beginning: inclusion, recognition, creativity, and transformation. In the end, hip hop is about teenagers, it's about youth. And as long as they are taking those values forward, hip hop won't die.”

If you would like to comment on this story or anything else you have seen on BBC Culture, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter.


Hip hop is born at a birthday party in the Bronx

Like any style of music, hip hop has roots in other forms, and its evolution was shaped by many different artists, but there’s a case to be made that it came to life precisely on August 11, 1973, at a birthday party in the recreation room of an apartment building in the west Bronx, New York City. The location of that birthplace was 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, and the man who presided over that historic party was the birthday girl’s brother, Clive Campbell—better known to history as DJ Kool Herc, founding father of hip hop. …

DJ Kool Herc’s signature innovation but as a way to switch back and forth repeatedly between two copies of the same record, extending the short drum break that the crowd most wanted to hear. He called his trick the Merry Go-Round. Today, it is known as the “break beat.” came from observing how the crowds would react to different parts of whatever record he happened to be playing: “I was noticing people used to wait for particular parts of the record to dance, maybe [to] do their specialty move.” Those moments tended to occur at the drum breaks—the moments in a record when the vocals and other instruments would drop out completely for a measure or two of pure rhythm. What Kool Herc decided to do was to use the two turntables in a typical DJ setup not as a way to make a smooth transition between two records,


On this day: Hip-hop is born in the Bronx

THE BRONX — The Boogie Down Bronx is celebrating a big one today: Aug. 11 is the birthday of hip-hop.

The genre was born at a party in the Bronx in 1973. Hip-hop legend DJ Kool Herc spun the basics of it at a turntable in the Bronx.

DJ Kool Herc and his sister Cindy Campbell hosted back to school parties in the basement of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in Morris Heights.

“This is the home of hip-hop and it’s home to a lot of people who were here in the good times and in the times when things got bad,” Herc said about the building in 2013.

Herc came up with breaks, or breakbeats, to give people at his Sedgewick Avenue parties more time to dance.

Part of the street was recently renamed Hip-Hop Boulevard.

Herc is known as the innovator of hip-hop, but other elements of the genre also came from the Bronx.

Grand Wizzard Theodore is credited with coming up with scratching a few neighborhoods over. He came up with it when he was just 12-years-old.

“It’s about peace, love, unity and having unity at the end of the day,” he said before the renaming of Sedgewick Avenue.

Google shared a history of hip-hop’s birth Friday.


Today&rsquos Hip-Hop Park Jams

Throughout the 70s and 80s, and as hip-hop spread through the city, parks like Crotona Park and Behagen Playground in the Bronx and Queensbridge Park in Queens, to name a few, became the go-to venues for park jams.

Today, you can get a taste of the &lsquo70s/&rsquo80s park jam scene at the True School NYC Summer Park Jam Series at Crotona Park in the Bronx, and St. Nicholas Park and Poor Richard&rsquos Playground in Manhattan. These free, nostalgic, old-school hip-hop jams are hosted by some of NYC&rsquos most iconic hip-hop DJs and feature DJ battles, breakdancing, and showcases.


KRS-One aka "Hip-Hop Teacha" performing at SummerStage at Coffey Park in Brooklyn in 2017. (Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks)

In the summertime, CityParks Foundation&rsquos SummerStage hosts free hip-hop concerts in parks across the city. The series, NYC's largest free outdoor performing arts festival, has been around since 1986 and has featured notable hip-hop artists, such as Prodigy performing at Queensbridge Park, Naughty by Nature at Mahoney Playground on Staten Island, Nas at Central Park in Manhattan, KRS-One at Coffey Park in Brooklyn, and Jadakiss at Crotona Park in the Bronx.


44 years ago, hip-hop was born — 7 things you never knew about hip-hop’s history in America

Forty-four years ago today, an 18-year-old New York DJ and his emcee friend kickstarted the hip-hop genre.

To commemorate the 44th anniversary of hip-hop, Google debuted an interactive Google Doodle narrated by Fab 5 Freddy on its homepage, where you can play DJ as you scratch, mix your own breaks and earn trophies that unlock new facts about hip-hop.

7 things to know about hip-hop’s history

This day, 44 years ago, in NY’s West Bronx, DJ Kool Herc’s Back To School Jam spawned the culture that we now know as Hip-Hop pic.twitter.com/Zkk3y1OzVY

— EMCEE (@emceenetwork) August 11, 2017

The birth of hip hop is believed to date back to Aug. 11, 1973, where DJ Kool Herc, real name Clive Campbell, and his friend hosted a back-to-school party in Bronx, New York.

Eighteen-year-old Campbell and his friend Coke La Rock are often referred to as the fathers of hip-hop.

But according to NPR, "hip-hop has a number of fathers based on your understanding and knowledge of it." There's DJ Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa, the two South Bronx men known for throwing parties around town.

Bambaataa also led Universal Zulu Nation (called “Organization” in the 1970s), a hip-hop organization meant to unite all facets of the hip-hop culture.

DJ Kool Herc, Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash are also recognized as hip-hop's founding "holy trinity," according to The Guardian.

And there’s also Pete DJ Jones, who was popular in the club scene.

In 1979, Sugarhill Gang rappers produced hip-hop's first commercially successful hit, "Rapper's Delight," according to Rap Genius.

Where and how did hip-hop begin?

The two Bronx kids decided to try something a little different while entertaining guests at their sister's back-to-school bash. According to NPR, Campbell threw his party inside the 1520 Sedgwick Avenue building in the South Bronx.

Instead of playing the songs in full, the Jamaican-American DJ isolated their instrumentals (or “breaks”), during which he noticed the crowd went wild.

Before this time, emcees typically introduced the DJ, the music and was responsible for hyping up the crowds with jokes and stories.

At the Aug. 11, 1973 bash, emcee Coke La Rock grabbed the microphone to do just that during Herc's innovative instrumental spins, adding words to the beats and with that, as Google wrote, hip-hop was born.

What are the four original elements of hip-hop culture?

Aside from DJYou ding and emceeing (or rapping), the other iconic original elements of the genre are graffiti and b-boying (or breakdancing).

All four of these elements already existed in August 1973, but they were recognized as separate entities by the mainstream media, NPR reported.

What were hip-hop music’s original themes?

Much of pre-1980s “hip-hop,” often encompassed party themes, but social and political issues are often recognized as the main propellers of the birth and original direction of hip-hop, according to

To get an idea of original themes associated with the genre’s birth, it’s important to understand its historical context.

Hip-hop was birthed in black and Latino urban communities in New York, where street cultures were left isolated from white neighborhoods.

During this post-industrial pre-Reagan era, when political discourse was rampant in the U.S., the black and Latino residents in New York were written off as marginalized communities.

After President Ronald Reagan's election in 1981, conditions in those communities worsened, the Grio reported. Intensifying social issues related to police brutality, poverty, incarceration, oppression and unemployment became the prime influencers of hip-hop's birth.

One of the first hits in socially-conscious rap was Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message,” released in 1982.

The track described the circumstances and stresses of inner city poverty.

Where did “hip-hop” get its name?

Keith "Cowboy" Wiggins, one of the emcees with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, is credited in the hip-hop community with coining the term "hip-hop" (and it was by accident).

While teasing one of his friends who had just joined the U.S. Army, Wiggins used the phrase “hip-hop” to imitate sounds made by the cadence of marching soldiers.

Somehow, some way, that term made its way to Wiggins’ stage performances.

Later, Afrika Bambaataa said DJ Lovebug Starski used the term hip-hop to describe the culture in its entirety.

The first time the term “hip-hop” made it to print newspapers

In January 1982, the "East Village Eye," a cultural magazine that focused on the New York neighborhood's art scene, published writer and filmmaker Michael Holman's interview with Afrika Bambaataa, a DJ from South Bronx.

Once, Holman went to one of Mambaataa’s Zulu Nation parties at the Bronx River Houses in 1982.

"Remember the New Romantic movement with pirates and Indians?" Mr. Holman recalled. "Malcolm was dressed like a pirate, with a puffy blouse and these big pantaloons. I thought, there was no way we could go up there with him dressed like that."

"It was like something out of Joseph Conrad," Mr. Holman said. "There were like 1,000 kids rocking to Bambaataa, and the beats were thumping off the buildings. These were the kids who were too young to go to Studio 54 or a Luther Vandross concert. They were junior high school kids. And Bambaataa had a captive audience."

Around this time, Blondie had released “Rapture,” the second single from their 1980 LP, “Autoamerican.” The track featured Debbie Harry name-dropping hip-hop masters Fab 5 Freddy and DJ Grandmaster Flash.


Power and Swag: 10 Facts about Hip Hop

Hip hop or rap music, which started in home gatherings and street parties, has grown to become the major music and cultural ambassador of the United States. Major artists of the Hip hop genre have gone on to have long and successful careers not only in music but also in film and business. Combining the sounds and melodies of a various genres, Hip hop has redefined how we listen to music.

Here are some facts about hip hop and the artists who have endowed this genre with such power and swag:

DJ Kool | Source: Wikipedia.com

Hip Hop is born in 1973 at a birthday party in the Bronx. With a small step, a major change began for music. DJ Kool Herc started spinning records for parties in the early 1970s. His major innovation was born out of his observation of how crowds reacted to different parts of the record he happened to be playing. Kool used two turntables in a DJ setup to smooth transitions between records, with a way to switch back and forth repeatedly between two copies of the same record, extending the short drum break that the crowd most wanted to hear. He called his trick the Merry Go-Round. Today, it is known as the “break beat.”

Hip hop would have its first hit by 1979. With “Rapper’s Delight,” the Sugar Hill Gang was able to Sample “Good Times” by Chic and bringing rap rhymes and beats to the fore front of popular music. Nile Rodgers of Chic heard the Gang’s version at a party and threatened to sue. Eventually, he settled out of court and allowed 15 minutes of Chic’s song to be used. Sampling is nowadays more carefully used with clearance from the originals’ writers. Regardless, “Rapper’s Delight’s” light tone and bouncy rhythm helped introduce Hip-hop to American Pop culture.

Run D.M.C. was the face of rap in the eighties. They laid down their vision of life in New York City and layered their music with wit and honesty. The urban hard look that became the standard in gangster rap was first perfect by the trio. This paid off and helped them build a reputation as leaders among equals. Run D.M.C. was the first rap group to be featured on Rolling Stone Magazine and the first to receive gold, platinum, and multiplatinum albums. They were also the first rap group to appear on MTV, and sign a major endorsement deal namely with Adidas, which is featured on one their more popular songs.

Beastie Boys | Source: Google.com

Beastie Boys came straight out of the New York scene in the mid-Eighties, performer their hyper raps with wit and wizardry. License to Ill, their first album, was an instant classic and quickly turned them into major stars with their rowdy rhymes, thick beats, and catchy samples. Later, they would embrace direct instrumentation and new layers to their sound. What many aren’t aware of is that the group began in a very different genre. Originally, the group started out as a punk band, embracing their anti-authoritarian stance with guitar riffs and punk aggression.

N.W.A. is by their name alone, Niggas With Attitude, one of the most anti-establishment rap groups to take the mic. Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Easy-E, Arabian Prince, and DJ Yella emerged from Southern California to step all over pubic conformity and indifference. They helped define gangster rap and the attitude that invigorated its rhymes. During the group’s success, N.W.A received a letter from the F.B.I asking them to reconsider their image and topics of rhymes as the director of the agency felt the group was promoting violence and contempt of law enforcement. The group instead considered the letter a great opportunity to promote the group:” Upon receipt, the folks over at Priority Records came up with the brilliant idea of sending the letter to the press, which caused a wave of free publicity that inherently sparked a widespread interest in the album.”

NWA Niggaz4Life Album | Source: Wikipedia.org

Additionally, in 1991 N.W.A. would attain a new Hip-hop milestone when their record Niggaz4life debuted on Billboard’s Top 200 at number 2 and sold nearly a million copies in its first seven days. It was the first time any rap group would attain that kind of success on Billboards charts and would acted as a major victory for a genre music that started in house parties in the early 1970s. It is especially telling that a hardcore group would attain this milestone first verses more popular Hip-hop act like MC Hammer.

2Pac was a prolific rapper whose work has inspired generations of fans and other rappers. His tragic death has left a legion of fans mourning as his legend grew. What many people may not know is that he maintained an incredible work ethic and wrote a huge amount of rhymes in a short period of time. From 1995 to 1996, 2Pac was constant generating new pieces, completing two albums—one of which was a double disc with 27 songs. Meanwhile, a myriad of other tracks was left behind, some of which wasn’t released until 20 years later.

Dr Dre | Source: Fortune.com

Dr. Dre has built a reputation has a leader in Hip-Hop, both as an artist, a producer, and a mentor. He was a key member of N.W.A. before recording as an individual artist. He founded Aftermath Entertainment, and helped start the careers of artists like Snoop Dog and 50 Cent. In the 2000, he started his own brand of headphones called Beats, which quickly became a major success. The popularity of this brand led to a $3 billion purchase of the brand from Apple. Dr. Dre didn’t stop there. As part of Apple’s acquisition, which was biggest in Apple’s history, Dr. Dre joined Apple in an executive role.

Jay-Z is another artist who made the crossover from rapper to producer to entrepreneur. According to Forbes, he is worth $500 million. His rhymes have both showcased his wit and his depth expression however, many people may not know that he doesn’t write down most of his material. According to Jay: “In my mind, I said, ‘OK, I’m gonna sit down and I’mma just write it and really do this thing a certain way.’ But your natural process is your process. It’s difficult to go back to what you was doing when you was 15, 16 years old. My process is different now. It sounds great on paper, like ‘I’mma sit down, I’m going to write the entire album like I did before.’ But once you get back in the studio and you’ve been doing this process for years and years now, so it just felt natural to do it the way I’ve been doing it: no paper, no pen, just listen to the music.”

Notorious BIG | Source: Billboard.com

Biggie Smalls, AKA Notorious B.I.G. and AKA Christopher Wallace, has been said to be one of the greatest rappers of all time, a legendary rival of 2Pac who died tragically over 19 years ago. Ready to Die, his first album was a huge success and help establish him as a top artist. He ventured into music as a teenager while befriending Sean “Puffy” combs and attending the same high school as Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes. But, according to his mother, Smalls had other ambitious as a youngster. Aspiring to be either a graphic designer or dentist, Smalls made sure to get top grades in school and maintain straight “A”s until his true love with rhymes came into his life.


Choosing Hip-Hop Songs

Just has clothing has changed since the 1970s, hip hop has also changed. That means you have plenty of choices in songs if you decide hip hop is right for you.

According to National Public Radio, the middle of the 1980s is considered the "golden age" of hip hop. The Sugarhill Gang, Public Enemy, Run DMC, and LL Cool J fall into this category. There are also plenty of songs from the 1980s that have a pop feel with a rapper interlude. Those songs, such as "Walk This Way" with Aerosmith and Run DMC could be a good choice.

Modern rap covers a complete spectrum of music, with some songs hewing closely to the person-taking-over-a-beat model, and others moving a little closer to a traditional R&B romantic ballad. For example, Esquire published a list of top hip-hop songs from 2017 that features music from traditionalists like Jay-Z to unconventional artists like Frank Ocean.

In addition, you will need to ensure that you have a license to play the music you choose. The copyright holders of your music will expect to be paid each time you play a song. We can smooth this process for you. Our connections with copyright holders ensures that you are paying for the songs you are using, so you can play without worry. Contact us and we can tell you more.


Watch the video: The Bronx Anthem: Origin of Hip Hop (May 2022).