For those of you are unversed in the world of Hip-Hop music, this blog post will hopefully clarify some of the unknown facts about the truly unique art form. Created in the streets of the Bronx in 1970’s through the use of sampling and cutting up old records, Hip-Hop created a rich music environment, with freedom for creative expression, often used to voice the opinion of the lowest common denominator.
Its rise to the top was something traditional musicians could never understand and soon Hip-Hop had become not only a new genre, it had become the voice of the people. Much the same way as Dylan was the voice for white America, Hip-Hop artists such as DJ Kool Herc & Coke La Rock were the voice for the African American. By the end of the 1970’s many artists saw hip hop as more than merely a platform- a way of life and a microphone for voicing their opinions. Hip-Hop had given the voiceless a megaphone and there was nothing or nobody in the way to turn it off. The spread of the Hip-Hop sound was imminent. From New York, to Paris, Tokyo, Sydney and localities in between, hip-hop cultures are Diaspora spanning ethnic, linguistic, and geographic boundaries (Motley 2008).
One key element to the culture of Hip-Hop is the ‘breaks’ dance style. How many of you would have guessed that Samoans’ were some of the first break-dancers in the world? In a reading by Henderson he examines the connection between Hip-Hop culture and the influence that the geographical positioning of Samoa and American culture. For the Samoan culture, dance had become a way to tell a story; just the same as an MC would ‘spit’ a rhymes or DJ manipulates a beat or takes you on a journey during a DJ set.
Fast-forward to the current day and the Diaspora of Hip-Hop culture is very much alive and well. With more than 50 million hip-hop fans in the United States and 100 million worldwide consume some form of hip-hop, making hip-hop consumers a lucrative market to understand (Motley 2008). Making Hip-Hop a truly global force to be reckoned with.
Here is a video I made in my first year – A minute and half look at the Diaspora of Hip-Hop Culture
Henderson, A.K. (2006). Dancing Between Islands: Hip-Hop and Samoan Diaspora. The Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip-Hop and the Globalisation of Black Popular Culture. D. Basu and S. J. Lemelle. London, Pluto Press: 180 – 199, accessed 21st May 2014, Summons Database.
Motley, C (2008). The global hip-hop Diaspora: Understanding the culture. The Journal of Business Research. Vol 61, No 3, pp.243-253, accessed 21st May 2014, Summons Database.