Over the years hip hop has transformed into a diverse global popular culture, with many individuals putting their own spin on the style. The hip hop culture originated in New York amongst Hispanic and African American communities during the late 1960’s. It is believed that the real birthplace of it is considered to be the South Bronx – the ghettos of New York, one of the poorest boroughs. In the early 1980’s the dynamic culture was identified as “hip-hop” by DJ Africa Bambaataa.
Hip hop is characterised for its four main components, which include MCing (rapping), DJing, Graffiti and Breaking. Others believe there is a fifth element, Beat-Boxing. The Hip Hop culture has been internationally recognized and is a vehicle for identification. Many societies around the world contribute to the development of the cultural movement. Hip Hop dance can be divided into two categories old school and new school. The old school hip hop styles include locking, popping and break dancing emerged from the USA in the 1970’s. It was not until the late 80’s that new school hip hop styles emerged. The well-known Filipino-American dance group Jabbawockeez received the Living Legend of Hip Hop Award at the World Hip Hop Dance Championship Finals 2012 for their contribution to the world of hip hop culture.
Over the years hip hop has been linked to as being gangsta oriented. The youth of the world were exposed to music videos and film’s portraying gruesome crimes, pimps, hustlers and hoes. The video below clearly indicates hip hop will never die, “Ghetto Gospel” was released by Interscope Records in 2005 nine years after 2Pac’s death. He was notorious for his lyrics stating, “It’s music, it’s hip-hop, it’s ground breaking. When I do it, it’s war.” Regardless of his absence, 2Pac is known as America’s most successful MCs and remains the greatest rapper of all time. Tupac holds the title of the highest selling hip hop artist, selling a total of 67 million records worldwide after his death.
The Hip Hop culture holds great importance for individuals and groups throughout the world. According to Henderson (2006, p.193), “For many other Maori and Pacific Islander dancers, DJs, MCs, and graffiti artists, elements of cultural nationalism and cultural pride transferred through American hip hop forms frequently prompted a similar turn to local languages, local history… of symbolic representation.”
The hip hop culture is constantly evolving and the wicked beats show no sign of slowing down.
Henderson, A 2006’Dancing Between Islands: Hip Hop and the Samoan Diaspora’ The Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture Basu, Dipannita and Sidney J.Lemelle, eds. London: Pluto Press.