What is Hip-Hop?

A lot of people have very different opinions of what Hip-Hop and Rap are. When I tell people that Gangnam style is a chart topping RAP song people make weird faces at me. Lots of folks use the term “Real Rap”, and like to say Hip-Hop is the better and Rap is basically trash Hip-Hop. Well, what I learned is very different so I’m gonna touch on that.

The way I learned it is that Hip-Hop is not just a genre of music, it’s a culture. When you go back and listen to Boom Bap records or modern imitations you get the vibe of the music. It’s not just what you’re listening to. When Hip-Hop was just flourishing they had a lot of other stuff going with it. They had big parties and whatnot, you got the DJ pumping up the crowd, DJ probably got some name like “DJ (name)y (name)”, got da crowd doing some type of chant like “When I say you say”. The MC comes out the shadows onto the stage with that old-school flow. People breakdancing on cardboard, got graffiti on the walls in the background. THAT is what I know to be Hip-Hop, the whole culture that surrounds modern Rap. While Rap of course is the music, but Rap has sort of evolved on its own as a music, you got alternative styles of rap that sort of stray from Hip-Hop culture. There’s the pop stuff, the crunk stuff, trap stuff, alternative, experimental, sort of punk style rap, etc. To define it more than just the music of Hip-Hop though, Rap is rhythm and poetry (see the acronym?). It’s not just talking in a rhythm, but there’s a sort of poetic undertone to it. If you study poetry, however, you’ll notice most rap isn’t that poetic, but there’s still more to it than just rhythm even in those cases.

If ya’ll ever wonder where the hell my name came from or just thought I was a crazy mufucka, this is what I got it from. Old school Masta Ace song. If you guys haven’t listened to him I suggest you get to it, especially his albums A Long Hot Summer and Disposable Arts.


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