What is hip hop all about? What is this rave? Is it to come and go? I heard hip hop is of the devil. I just don’t like hip hop. What is hip hop?. Do these questions sound familiar?
Hip hop is both culture and art. It began circa 1970 in the United States. It began as a movement for the neglected, unheard and underrepresented black minority. Thus, you see rappers who speak out against social injustice, against matters of high importance.
Hip hop challenges the status quo and discusses taboos. It brings public attention to matters which would rather be spoken in hushed tones, or swept under the carpet. Hip-hop is a voice. It is an art that cannot be ignored. And since it originated in the poor black ghettos of US, where the minority lives, it is seen as a black people thing.
Hip-hop culture has 4 basic elements, let explore;
3. Disk Jockeying
So lets talk about rap right now.
Rap is the spoken aspect of hip hop. We at HipHopHead read dictionaries, I’ll give the Merriam Webster definition then go ahead. It says;
“A rhythmic chanting often in unison of usually rhymed couplets to a musical accompaniment.
Let’s look at it like an acronym: rhythm, attitude, poetry.”
Words are spoken in a strong, regular pattern in time to music. They are called bars. Depending on the length of the piece, they could be 4 bars, 8 bars. They are also repeated.
You might have seen videos that made you ask “bros, why so angry?”. A rapper has something to say. And his words come from a place of experience. He is an authority for the masses. Take DaGrin and ZDoggMD for example, nuff said.
A rapper is a poet. Rap lyrics are not like any song. They are not thoughtless string of words. They are deliberate and written to address an issue. When he writes bars, he carefully puts them down in a way that would make Shakespeare shiver. Filled with innuendos, assonance and other figures of speech; good rap inspires repeated listening. Take Deo for example, nuff said.
Ah, I can see your eyes widen. Let’s take a break, shall we? And return for subsequent parts.
About the author
Glory Yesuf is a rap enthusiast and a medical doctor, who is in love with words. She’s the girl next door and a lover of the color green.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of HipHopHead