featured1 - The Origin and Evolution of Hip Hop Music: A Timeline
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Music is really diverse. It has different genres of distinct styles and features. Among these genres, hip hop music dominates the list. Yes, surpassing even pop music. According to Nielsen Music, 2017 is the year for hip hop. The first time for hip hop to dominate the music scene. Hip hop music has come a long way. It has evolved over the years. In this article, let us take a look back at hip hop’s origin and evolution.


Hip hop’s Inspiration

The inspiration of hip hop music started as early as the 1920s. Earl Tucker, a prominent club performer popularized a dance style similar to today’s hip hop dance styles. In 1940, Thomas Wong incorporated booming sound system in playing music. He started the craze of hip American music, delighting the audience and beating music competitors. During the late 1960s, James Brown recorded two songs – Sex Machines and Funky Dreamer – that influenced the drumming styles of today’s rap music.


The Origin of Hip hop

The birth of hip hop music really started in 1970. DJ U-Roy dominated Jamaican pop charts with his records using a style called “toasting”. From Jamaica, Clive Campbell who was popularly known as “DJ Kool Herc” brought their style of music to South Bronx. He was regarded as one of the founders of hip hop music. DJ Kool Herc began DJ-ing for parties. Soon, he became an MC (master of ceremony). He combined MC-ing and DJ-ing, playing music while announcing some rhythmic text. This gave birth to “rap”. Around this time, AfrikaBambaataa and other DJs and MCs began referring their culture as “hip hop”.


Hip hop’s Golden Age

Soon after the discovery of hip hop, various rappers entered the music scene in the 1980s. LL Cool J released hip hop songs with catchy melodic hooks. Kurtis Blow was the first rapper to appear on national TV promoting his record. This introduced hip hop to a larger audience and made Blow’s record sell more than a million copies. In 1981, The Funky 4 became the first hip hop group to appear on TV. In the late 1980s, hip hop beats have been recorded inside the studio with drum machines and synthesizers. In the early 90s, producers re-created new styles of hip hop music such as alternative hip hop and jazz rap, among others.


Hardcore and Gangsta Rap

The turning point of hip hop music was in the 90s. Hardcore rap of New York and Gangsta rap of Los Angeles dominated the airwaves. Wu-Tang Clan created one of the first hardcore rap records, singing about the gangster life. This era created the names of 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Puff Daddy, and The Notorious B.I.G. On the other hand, gangsta rap was developed by rappers Ice-T and NWA. Other famous names include Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre.


21st Century Hip hop

Hip hop music continually evolved in the 21st century. Female rappers like Missy Elliot, Lil’ Kim, and Nicki Minaj have started creating hip hop music as well. Before, New styles of hip hop also gained popularity. This includes R&B, country rap, and pop-rap, among others. More and more hip hop artists are dominating the music charts.

info1 1 - The Origin and Evolution of Hip Hop Music: A Timeline
Infographic by: visual.ly