NYC's Hip-Hop History

Aug 23, 2022

NYC has always attracted individuals from various places around the globe uniting them all in the same city and thus becoming a melting pot of cultures. These exact cultures have created the city's diverse outlook. However, besides sheltering various cultures, NYC was the origin of one and a very important one too- Hip-Hop.

On the contrary of what many people think, hip-hop is not merely a form of music, but rather a way in which people dance, sing, talk, dress and approach life in general. For a big number of people, hip-hop is their whole life, giving it purpose, meaning and direction. Originating in the tough streets of South Bronx, Hip-hop has grown worldwide as a culture, touching many souls throughout its international journey.

Even though most people wouldn't think that Hip-Hop would have a specific place of origin, this is well-documented, having the records show that in the early 1970s, Hip-hop started in the Bronx area of NYC. Its originators were the African American and the Latino communities. During that time, South Bronx wasn't a friendly place for living. With the disappearance of manufacturing jobs, the neighbourhood left many people unemployed. These social conditions were one of the main triggers behind the birth of the movement. During that tough time, Jamaica-born DJ Kool Hec (or as per his passport name Clive Campbell) moved to 1520 Sedgwick Avenue apartment with the later being the deemed Hip-Hop birthplace.

The local residents of the building wanted to gather and party, but had not specific place for that. Dj Kool Herc decided to take the matter in his own hands, organizing block parties for all the residents. The party area was called 'The Rec Room.' The latter started gaining popularity and the block parties started to become a monthly thing. Whilst playing music at the parties, DJ Kool Herc started noticing that the people were waiting for a specific part of the song, where it would 'break,' making him realize that people just wanted to groove, rather than pay much attention to the melody or chorus.

The DJ started incorporating that sound in his mixes, giving birth to something we now call 'breaking.' He then moved to incorporate scratches and other creative manipulations of the vinyc records. MCs later on started rhyming on top of the beats,so people coudl dance and sing at the same time.

In the 1970s and mid 80s many other talents started joining tha Hip-hop space, adding up to its creativity and culture. Rap groups were forming, making music for the discos and sharing a message through their songs. The music began bringing people together with its beats together with its lyrics that were often anti-drug related, as well as very political. It gave people a way to approach their problems through a creative and positive spectre, which changed it all.

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