ASK ALEX: HIP HOP (old school) … how it began

Contemporary music editor Alex M writes ...

Hip Hop originated in the African American lower class parts of the South Bronx , New York in the late 1970s. The unequal less opportune areas like the South Bronx where ethic minorities lived like African Americans and Hispanics were areas that boomed in expressive arts and sounds from a people trying to escape the “ghetto”.

With such massive drug epidemics all over the lower class parts of these cities, drugs such as crack , cocaine , meth and cannabis being used heavily the creation of Gangs and drug warfare had begun . Hip Hop began as Gangsta rap with the expression of the things going on in these areas and the things the rappers witnessed with the hope of making enough money to become rich and escape poverty.

The musical style itself can be categorised inspired from “deejaying”, rapping or “Mcing”, graffiti and breakdancing also derive from this genre. Raps rhythmic sounds and rhyming words. Pioneers of Hip Hop included artists such as Sugarhill Gang , Grandmaster Flash , Furious Five , Kurtis Blow and Grandmaster Caz.

Artists that helped explode the genre and categories it into “the new school “ and also into international celebrity superstardom included the likes of Tupac Shakur , Notorious B.I.G , Run D.M.C. , Def Jam , NWA all helped evolve the genre and break new boundaries to get to where Rap is today which some of these artists resided from West Coast America in Los Angeles (N.W.A , Ice Cube , Dr Dre , Snoop Dog , Tupac Shakur ).

Raps classic period (1979-93) had artists such as De La Soul- debut album on Tommy Boy , 3 Feet high and rising and the Ghetto Boys.

This Rap genre doesn't include the likes of 50 cent and Eminem Period as that wasn't until the 2000s period and can be categorised as modern hip hop.

With much controversy over the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G which conspiracy theories have let to believe are interlinked or were executed by police officers the Nick Broomfield documentary called “Tupac and Biggie” brings new evidence to the murders and behind the scenes confessions and interviews. Tupac who rapped on behalf of “Death Row Records” one of the biggest Hip Hop record companies of all time owned by Suge Knight who's rival Bad Boy records from East Coast New York intensified Gang warfare and all out war between Crips and Bloods ( blue and red Gangs ).


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