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What is Hip-Hop?

With Fliptop having just happened, and SpokenHerb about to happen, it’s about time we revisit Hip-Hop

Jul 23, 2010
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Last Saturday, a Fliptop battle was held at Freedom bar and FHM was quite pleasantly surprised at the turn-out. [firstpara]

This Saturday, the annual Spoken Herb—a cultural festival that aims to explore new concepts in music, art, poetry spearheaded by movers and shakers of local hip-hop—will take place at Sarten Cafe in LA (Lower Antipolo, you guys!). 

Perhaps, it's time to revisit this force called Hip-Hop.

What is Hip-Hop?
Many folks will say Hip-Hop is a genre of music, where vocals are uttered in a rhythmic manner commonly called rap, over a bed of borrowed music.

But Hip-hoppers say otherwise. It’s a sub-culture that had its own language (note the slang), its own style of clothing, its art, its attitude, its traditions, its elements. It would be safe to say that music is the gate-way to Hip-Hop.

How did it grow into a culture?

Well, it has four distinct elements as they call it, that helped hip-hop grow. Think of these elements as the four pillars that hold Hip-hop together.

Or, you can think of hip-hop as a universe and these four are its poles. Or hip-hop as air and the four are the directions by which it goes.

There are so many ways you can think of these four but essentially, these are the disciplines that Hip-hoppers twisted and made their own—or again!, four classical art forms that hip-hop creatively and successfully made relevant and current in today’s world: music (dj-ing), dance (breakdancing), poetry (emceeing/rap), visual arts (graffiti).

Elaborate, please.
DJ-ing. First, there was the beat. And the beat came from the DJs. In 1971, at the Bronx borough of New York, DJ Kool Herc created a sound system with two turntables that allowed him to play non-stop music.

He came up with the Merry-Go-Round: playing break parts of a record then mixing it with the record in the other table. Soon, other tricks abound: looping, scratching, sampling.

Next: Breakdancing, graffiti, and rhythm and poetry


WORDS BY: LOU E. ALBANO
IMAGE BY: MIKEY AGULTO

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