What is Hip-Hop?
Hip-hop is a form of popular music that's comprised mainly of four elements: emceeing, deejaying, graffiti and breakdancing. As hip-hop evolves into big business, new elements are constantly being added to the culture. Today, hip-hop is also a cultural lifestyle that impacts fashion trends, lingo, trends, and attitudes.
Rap Vs. Hip-Hop:
Rap is a form of music that originated from hip-hop culture. Hip-hop is a lifestyle with its own lingo, dress code, etc. In the words of KRS-One, "hip-hop is something you live, rap is something you do."
Hip-Hop Started in the Bronx:
A product of cross-cultural integration, rap is deeply rooted within ancient African culture and oral tradition. Hip-hop is believed to have originated in the Bronx by a Jamaican DJ named Kool Herc. Herc's style of deejaying involved reciting rhymes over instrumentals. At house parties, Herc would rap with the microphone, using a myriad of in-house references. Duplicates of Herc's house parties soon drifted through Brooklyn, Manhattan. Herc and other block party DJs helped spread the message of hip-hop around town and spawned tons of followers.
Some of the earliest rap songs ever recorded include "King Tim III (Personality Jock)" by Fatback Band and "Rapper’s Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang. The latter reached #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 (a huge feat by 1970's standards), thus demonstrating hip-hop's ability to draw commercial appeal.
Hip-Hop as a Melting Pot:
Hip-hop is a musical melting pot. It's an amalgamation of sounds that includes elements of soul, jazz, gospel, rock and live instrumentation. The likes of De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and, most recently, Kanye West are recognized for championing the "soulful rap" movement. Others like Azealia Banks and Goldlink tend to blend hip-hop with elements of dance music.