Hip hop music today is a widely varied genre of music, much like its rock and country counterparts it has splintered to become many things to many people.

The beginnings of this musical styling was also a musical and social movement starting in the New York Bronx nearly 30 years ago. Three people are really credited with taking hip-hop and propelling it into the mainstream; they are Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash. Each of these people played a significant role in the development of this sub culture.

Kool Herc

Kool Herc is credited with being influential during the pioneer days of Hip Hop music. He moved to the Bronx at the ripe old age of 13 bringing with him his Jamaican heritage. The blueprint for hip-hop music came from the Jamaican tradition of toasting, which is the act of talking, or chanting over the music, many times the words are impromptu lyrics thought up on the fly by the deejay. He and Cale Nossak are also known for developing break beat deejaying where a certain section of music, most often the part that was best for dancing, was isolated and repeated creating an all night dance party.

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007 and was the first rap/ hip-hop artist to receive this honor. Grandmaster Flash and other DJ's such as Jazzy Jay further refined break beats to include scratching and cutting. It wasn't long before other DJ's were copying the style and creating a whole new sound. Flash practiced and developed three specific techniques that are still considered standard for any deejay.
Punch Phrasing
Afrika Bambaataa

While the pioneering and development credits tend to go to Grandmaster Flash and Cool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa is credited with improving and modifying the hip-hop sound and taking it first to downtown white audiences and then the world. Using synthesizers and the rapidly improving drum machine Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force released "Planet Rock" an electro funk kind of sound that audiences immediately loved.

Afrika Bambaataa also looked at hip-hop as an agent for social change, as a former warlord of the South Bronx gang the Black Spades he had influence in his territory. In the beginning, he focused on expanding the turf of his gang by going into rival territory and forging relationships and by increasing membership. This led to the Black Spades being the largest gang in the city. A trip to Africa would drastically change his perspective, outlook and his name! Born Kevin Donovan he became Afrika Bambaataa after visiting many communities in Africa that inspired him to try and make a change at home.

When he returned, he began hosting block parties to try to lure the kids out of the gangs and into the newly developing world of hip-hop. By 1982, he and a group of talented individuals, singers, dancers and artists went on tour outside the United States and the long growing process of hip-hop culminated in an introduction to the rest of the world.The SugarHill Gang get props also.



07/10/2016 3:18am

Your way of telling all in this paragraph is genuinely fastidious, every one be able to simply be aware of it, Thanks a lot.

07/01/2017 1:25am

I like how hip hop is now being more recognized and appreciated by many people. Before, people don’t really like hip hop music because it is often associated with hip hop dancing, but you can do hip hop dancing even without using hip hop music and you can sing hip hop songs without associating it with hip hop dancing. Hip hop music is kind of like a combination of rap music and rhythm and blues (r&b) songs. It’s got that edgy sound, but at the same time it delivers a good message through its lyrics the same way r&b does. It’s important that we get to know the idea behind music genres before we associate them with things we are not sure of. We have to appreciate all music genres because they all have their own interpretations.


Please, continue to share such posts about the history of hip hop music. That's pretty interesting.


Everything started in New York! Hard core too! NY is a perfect place to start ;)




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    March 2014