Hip Hop: A Culture

hip hop

Ever watched Step Up? And while watching Step Up movie, you can never really get enough of all the grooves and the crazy dance steps. Even if the guys and the girls invading your television screen are just cranky and crazy teenagers wearing baggy pants and caps, still, you can’t seem to get enough of those oozing and totally moving steps they all got. Truly, Step Up and its main element are never dead after all.

Tried watching Stomp the Yard? Well, this may be a little bit close to how Step Up was but it takes all the music and dancing a step higher. With all those crumping, air moves, tumbles and air lifts, not to mention death-defying stunts in the air, hip hop has indeed gone into a whole new level. Hip hop, more than just a kind of music, has indeed become a trend setter for all these years.

Well, this is not a promotional article or a review of Step Up and Stomp the Yard, nor is this all about how wonderful it is to have dancing as your passion. In fact, Step Up and Stomp the Yard are just movie preludes to what the main element is all this time.

Looking at Step Up and Stomp the Yard, you might really wonder what common element they both have. What makes the movie unique and quite appealing? To tell you, it is not all about those well-choreographed dance numbers or all about those jaw dropping and even astounding air stunts. It is all about the primary element it has, a work of art and a modern way of expression, in music, moves and even clothing. Practically to describe it all, a culture.

While most people always have the misconceptions that Hip Hop is all about the music, well, truth is, Hip Hop is way more than that. Hip Hop, as it is described as a culture involves music (rap), fashion sense (jerseys and pants), art (graffiti) and even expression (breakdancing). And as it appeals to the modern times right now, with a lot of youngsters and even a great number of adults get hooked to this kind of culture, this form of self-expression has and even more colorful history, the one that is more vibrant and dynamic than what it known today by most people who are ever involved with Hip Hop.

Where Did Hip Hop Come From?

hip hop history

Care to know about Hip Hop history? Before it evolved into the kind of couture it is right now, it has gone through series of transformations and changes all throughout the years before it finally boiled down to the unique kind of culture it is right now. Believed to have been originated from South Bronx during the 1970s, when during those times, house parties were so prominent among teenagers and at one time and DJs do all the mixing of songs for the house parties. Dj Kool Herc turned the tables and started what is now commonly known to many as break dancing. Since the Bronx is a relatively “sad” community, the kids in the neighborhood used Hip Hop to make it all colorful. They spray painted cardboards with bright colors and staged breakdances in the streets. Ever since, there has been popular staging of break dancing among teenagers in the neighborhood and Hip Hop became a positive way of expression.

Kool Herc’s efforts, among other Hip Hop pioneers, had given great effort to transform the Bronx community and soon enough, this transformation became more than just a means of recreation but a culture and an identity.

The term “Hip Hop” has been coined as inspired by the way of marching armies that is alike with the movement of the dance. Soon enough, the term found its way to people’s ears and soon, to people’s mouths and it has ever since been used as the term to describe the culture.

As a music genre, it started out as old school rapping until the album “raising Hell” was released. Since it is a new flavor to people’s ears, it easily made it way to popularity and soon, started off the golden age of Hip Hop.

As this music genre was used to relay social problems, it poses a very cultural and highly political side of the music industry. The Bling Era started, as it is called Bling era because rappers are fond of wearing silver bling that make them look cool. Modern Hip Hop and rap started as Eminem got in to the limelight and started to change the way Hip hop is seen. Even until today, the dynamics and the evolution of Hip hop highly contribute to the changes in the music industry and culture of the people.

Hip Hop as a Movement

hip hop movement

As popular hip hop artist Talib Kwelli puts it, “hip hop is a vehicle”. Indeed, it is. Hip hop stands as a vehicle of ideas and sentiments in whatever is happening all around the society. Since it is a vehicle, it allows the travel of ideas to ideas, opinions to opinions, expression to expression, among others. As it is geared towards creating an impact and a statement through clothes worn, music made and released, even art forms created, Hip hop is a movement. It is a movement of self-expression and allows people to freely express what they want to say through creative forms- from mode and fashion sense, to music and ever at artworks.

Though some may be disgusted of the idea of wearing baggy pants, jerseys and bling, it provides a statement of the personality of a person. With the music, especially rap music, sometimes exposing the problems of society through rap, it creates an avenue for awareness and if the people just start to realize that Hip hop is way more than just music and all, then the movement that comes with Hip Hop will always remain.

So the next time you watch Step Up or even Stomp the Yard or maybe other kinds of movies that will soon evolve, you may realize how wonderful Hip Hop is. And more than a means of expression, Hip Hop is a culture and an identity.

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