Hip hop

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hip-Hop (even hiphop ) is a genre with roots in the African-American radio - and soul - music . The rap (chanting), which originated from the Jamaican tradition of toasting , the sampling and the scratching are further characteristics of this music from the African American ghettos of the USA . The term hip-hop goes back (depending on the source) either to Lovebug Starski or DJ Hollywood , both pioneers of the form.

In addition to the genre of music, hip-hop also describes the hip-hop subculture with the elements rap ( MCing ), DJing , breakdance , graffiti writing and beatboxing .



1520 Sedgwick Avenue , Bronx , this building is often referred to as the birthplace of hip hop because it was where hip hop pioneer Kool Herc worked
DJ Kool Herc , one of the first hip hop artists

Generally speaking, hip-hop originated in the 1970s. Kool DJ Herc began in 1973 as the first DJ to only repeat the beat of a funk , soul or disco piece instead of playing the whole piece and assembling two different beats (so-called beat juggling ). At his block parties , the first B-boys appear for the new breakdancing . Afrika Bambaataa was one of the first DJs to be inspired by Kool DJ Herc. In 1976 he hosted his first party, he called his accompanying "crew" from "Breakers" Zulu Kings and Zulu Queens, from which the Zulu Nation later emerged. From 1976, Grandmaster Flash developed other new DJ techniques such as cutting (playing songs in parallel to the beat), backspinning (where the record is rotated quickly backwards to repeat a certain section) and phasing (in which the Speed ​​of one of the two turntables creates a phase effect). The Grand Wizard Theodore , discovered by Grandmaster Flash, concludes the time of inventing elementary DJ techniques shortly afterwards with the invention of the most famous technique, scratching .

The rapping cannot be clearly demonstrated. In 1970 the Last Poets ' first album was released , whose political rap was influenced by the language of Malcolm X and the poet Amiri Baraka ; they are generally considered the fathers of rap . The actual "black horse", but developed independently of the so-called MCs , the " M asters of C eremony" (literally "master of ceremonies") in the late 1960s and early 1970s accompanied the DJs him and himself presented (the so-called " shouting out ”), asked the audience to dance between the pieces or in the transitions, made jokes, greeted visitors and, as it were, cheered the crowd on to celebrate as“ animators ”. The model for this was the deejays of the Jamaican sound systems .

Hip-hop of the earliest times is largely without sound documents, as it was the time of the DJs and records on which records were played were considered to have no chance in the music industry. It was only later that so-called mixtapes emerged after the consolidation of hip-hop as its own style with its own techniques . The first hip-hop record did not appear until 1979, when the disco band Fatback Band released the single King Tim III (Personality Jock) . A week later, the famous rapper's Delight by the Sugarhill Gang was also released , which, to the surprise of everyone involved, was a huge success and sold over 8 million copies worldwide. The first big rap star, however, was Kurtis Blow , who was already successful worldwide with his first single Christmas Rappin ' and remained so with his following albums until the mid- 80s .


After Rapper's Delight it became clear that there was money to be made in hip-hop, and the interest of the music industry turned to rap (the term "hip-hop" was still uncommon at the time). Even the song Rapture by Blondie , who in the United States a No. 1 hit was and is regarded as one of the first rap songs of a white artist or an artist, contained a long rap sequence and helped to that hip -Hop was able to establish itself in the music industry.

In autumn 1981 the single Der Kommissar des Austrian Falco came on the market and caused a sensation in the pop scene. It reached number 1 in almost all of Europe, and an English-language cover version of the band After the Fire reached number 4 in the US charts in 1983. With the artificial language he developed and his spoken song, Falco is sometimes referred to as "the first white rapper".

Hip-hop (on the wall)

In particular, the Sugarhill label, which had already published Rapper's Delight , quickly followed suit and signed Grandmaster Flash, who had been working with the rap group The Furious Five since 1977 . On the debut album The Adventures Of The Wheels Of Steel (1980), which was also the first hip-hop album ever, the focus was primarily on the DJ, and for the first time this skill could also be heard outside the New York block parties especially in the theme song of the same name , where Grandmaster Flash used his DJ techniques.

In 1982 and 1983 the group released the singles The Message and White Lines (Don't Do It) and opened up a new dimension to hip-hop in terms of content: Instead of party and nonsense texts, the songs formulated socially critical content and for the first time reflected life in the ghetto . Shortly afterwards, the group fell out, the follow-up projects remained insignificant.

In the same year as The Message , the second single from another veteran DJ of the block party era, Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa, was released . The international hit paraphrased Kraftwerk "Trans Europa Express" and was the first hip-hop piece to be produced with synthesizers. The successor, Looking For The Perfect Beat , technically improved and introduced sampling . Hip-hop and rap then increasingly oriented themselves towards a naturalistic sound aesthetic, not least because of the new possibilities that sampling offered. Bambaataa's fast drum computer beats and machine synthesizer riffs and arpeggios, on the other hand, shaped the style of the electro funk genre , which gradually split off from hip-hop and experienced a revival in the techno sector in the late 1990s .

In 1986, two bands from the same “stable” achieved top ten successes with crossover pieces: the Beastie Boys with Fight For Your Right (To Party) and Run-DMC with Walk This Way , a collaboration with Aerosmith . What was new about it was that influences from rock music were integrated for the first time. A special feature of the Beastie Boys was that they were an "all-white" band with Jewish roots.

In 1988 the most important hip-hop record ever made was released: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back by Public Enemy . The highly political lyrics and the incredibly tough production established a new sub-genre, the Conscious Rap , and drew a drastic line under the previous definition of hip-hop, the old school was replaced by the new school .

"I got a letter from the government
The other day
I opened and read it
And said they were suckers
They wanted me for their army or whatever
Picture me given 'a damn - I said never
Here is a land that never gave a damn
About a brother like me and myself. "

“I received a letter from the government
a few days ago.
I opened it and read it
And said they were idiots.
They wanted me in their army or something.
Imagine me, I didn't give a shit - I said: never.
This is a country that didn't give a shit about a
brother like me. "

(Public Enemy, "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos")

Two years earlier, a young MC named Schoolly D started his career in Philadelphia . Although it is rather unspectacular overall, he earned the reputation of being the originator of gangsta rap with his rhymes . In 1988, its most famous representatives, NWA , the Niggaz Wit Attitudes from Los Angeles , specified exactly what Gangsta Rap is . The rhymes on their album Straight Outta Compton portrayed crime and violence, seemingly impassive and without moral positioning. Critics accused them of glorifying violence instead of tackling it constructively. The attacked mostly defended themselves with the argument that they depicted the conditions in the ghettos, and whoever did not like them had to change the conditions.


At the beginning of the 1990s, the term hip-hop , which had previously been rarely used for this music genre, increasingly replaced the term rap used up to now . With the appearance of NWA and Public Enemy, not only did the age of gangsta rap begin. Other so-called West Coast artists like Dr. Dre , Snoop Doggy Dogg and 2Pac suddenly emerged, and for the first time New York (the " East Coast ") was no longer the center of hip hop. The strongest acts of the early 1990s on the East Coast were either intellectual formations, especially the Native Tongues Posse such as De La Soul , A Tribe Called Quest , Black Sheep , the Jungle Brothers or the Fu-Schnickens or political acts such as Public Enemy or KRS -One . The sometimes very experimental or politically decided tones were well received by the critics, but they seemed increasingly far removed from the street. In the 1990s, artists set milestones for rap music with albums such as Nas Illmatic , Mobb Deep with The Infamous or the Wu-Tang Clan with Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and thus shaped the Eastcoast sound.

The gangsta rap of the " Westcoast " had now taken the lead, and the next few years were marked by the feud between the east and west coasts (although the allocation was not always strictly geographical), by the commercial rise of hip-hop in learned in the 1990s, was still promoted.

In the mid-1990s, a sort of proxy war focused on 2Pac (West Coast) and The Notorious BIG (East Coast). When 2Pac and six months later Notorious BIG were shot in September 1996, the "war", which nobody knew what it was all about, collapsed. In the same year rappers from both coasts declared the confrontation over at a joint meeting. Before his death, 2Pac was able to release the double CD All Eyez on Me in 1996 . The album features one of the world's best-selling rap singles: California Love (RMX) (Tupac Shakur feat. Dr. Dre ).

Musically, there were significant innovations in the second half of the 1990s. The beats in particular became more complex, in which one could hear the influence of styles such as reggae and dancehall (Raggamuffin Hiphop), but also the old school hip hop and electro funk of the 1980s. In addition, the style of hip-hop continued to grow together with that of soul and R&B , and around 2000 the influence reached "normal" pop music again. Major albums came in this new aesthetic from Wyclef Jean ( The Carnival , 1997) and Lauryn Hill ( The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill , 1998).


Although neither of the two coasts had officially won, in the following years it became clear through the record market that it was neither political conscious rap nor the intellectual school of the Native Tongues Posse from the east that had prevailed. The hip-hop market was dominated by the gang starappers of the West Coast, their pupils and successors. Since the turn of the millennium, however, the dominance of the West Coast rappers fell sharply, and the East Coast and the Down South had overtaken the West Coast.

Furthermore, one scene in particular attracted attention, namely the one in Detroit . This was largely due to its most famous representative, Eminem , who through his fame had significantly initiated the careers of other artists such as D12 , G Unit , Obie Trice , Stat Quo or 50 Cent . However, Eminem himself is a Dr. Dres, who also runs a branch in New York with Aftermath Records .

In 2003, The Black Eyed Peas reached with their song Where Is the Love? Number one in countless countries. With this song they embodied a crossover between rap and pop music. In addition, they expressed themselves socially and socially critical. At the same time, this music showed parallels to R&B and soul music. One of the most successful pieces of this kind is the song Yeah by Usher , Ludacris and Lil Jon . From 2005, when Eminem took a creative break, the dominance of the Detroit scene declined rapidly, and crossover musicians like Kanye West and Gnarls Barkley enjoyed great success. Here, the race for sales figures in autumn 2007 between West's album Graduation and 50 Cents' Curtis should be noted. In the end, Graduation won the race and proved that innovative rap music can be just as commercially successful as gangsta rap. This was confirmed by chart positions by artists such as K'naan , Kid Cudi , Drake and Nicki Minaj in the following years.

2010 – present

Iggy Azalea live at Irving Plaza

The West Coast regained popularity in the 2010s. Rappers like Kid Ink , Tyga and Kendrick Lamar achieved worldwide success. Snoop Dogg returned to public interest with the song Sweat . This piece is also based on the principles of electro house music, and a number of other songs followed this pattern in subsequent years. Examples are the songs Open Wide by Calvin Harris and Big Sean , Delirious by Steve Aoki and Kid Ink or Get Up by the Bingo Players and Far East Movement .

Also at the beginning of the decade, the style was firmly established in airplay by rappers like Flo Rida and Pitbull . Both reached the top 10 in numerous countries with commercially oriented albums. In the middle of the decade, Latin American music had a huge impact. Female rappers were also considered less and less extraordinary. Names like Nicki Minaj , Elliphant or Iggy Azalea became permanent fixtures on the scene.

On August 11, 2017, Google Inc. put a doodle on the search engine page on the occasion of the 44th birthday of hip-hop music . You can see the logo of the US company in graffiti style on a brick wall. The date chosen refers to the first hip-hop party, which, according to Google, took place in New York City on August 11, 1973 .

International hip-hop

Hip-hop has spread internationally since the early 1990s. Typical styles of the individual countries have emerged, but all in all the interpreters from the USA remain leading. In Europe, hip-hop fell on fertile soil in the French banlieues of Paris and Marseille as early as the 1980s . MC Solaar and IAM in particular achieved international renown in the early and mid-1990s .

Hip-hop scenes also exist in other countries (e.g. German hip-hop , Polish hip-hop , Belgian hip-hop , Arabic hip-hop , Russian hip-hop ). Also worth mentioning is British hip-hop, which produced its own variant of Britcore , and Brazilian hip-hop, which also produced its own sub-style, Rio Funk , which was influenced by bass music .

In Africa, too, a diverse scene has now developed that often strives for American role models, but also produces independent varieties of African hip-hop .


See also



  • David Dufresne: Rap Revolution. History - Groups - Movement (= Series Music 8360). Atlantis-Musikbuch-Verlag, Zurich / Mainz 1997, ISBN 3-254-8360-1 .
  • Nelson George : XXX - three decades of hip hop. Orange Press, Freiburg (Breisgau) 2002, ISBN 3-936086-03-6 .
  • Jan Kage : American Rap. Explicit lyrics. US hip hop and identity. 2nd Edition. Ventil-Verlag, Mainz 2004, ISBN 3-930559-92-7 (At the same time: Berlin, University, diploma thesis 1999: HipHop - discursive culture and the construction of collective Afro-American identity. ).
  • Sebastian Krekow, Jens Steiner, Mathias Taupitz: The Hip Hop Lexicon. Lexikon-Imprint-Verlag, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-89602-205-9 .
  • Sebastian Krekow, Jens Steiner: We can do a lot. The German hip-hop scene. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-89602-329-2 .
  • Alan Light (Ed.): The VIBE History of Hip Hop. Three Rivers Press, New York NY 1999, ISBN 0-609-80503-7 .
  • Hannes Loh with Murat Güngör: Fear Of A Kanak Planet - HipHop between world culture and Nazi rap . Hannibal Verlag, Höfen 2002, ISBN 978-3-85445-210-2
  • Klaus Miehling : Violent Music. Popular music and decline in values. Epubli, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86931-605-5 .
  • Dorit Rode: Breaking. Popping. Locking. Dance forms of hip-hop culture. Tectum-Verlag, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-8288-8350-8 (2nd, unchanged edition, ibid 2006, ISBN 3-8288-9151-9 ).
  • Tricia Rose: The Hip Hop Wars. What we talk about when we talk about Hip Hop and why it matters. BasicCivitas, New York NY 2008, ISBN 978-0-465-00897-1 .
  • Tricia Rose: Black Noise. Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Wesleyan University Press, Hanover NH u. a. 1994, ISBN 0-8195-6275-0 .
  • David Toop : Rap Attack. African Jive to Global Hip Hop. Extended 3rd edition. Hannibal-Verlag, St. Andrä-Wölker 2000, ISBN 3-85445-076-1 .
  • Sascha Verlan, Hannes Loh: 20 years of HipHop in Germany. Hannibal, Höfen 2002, ISBN 3-85445-184-9 .


Web links

Wiktionary: Hip-Hop  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Duden, keyword hip-hop.
  2. jackson.ch: The Origin of Hip-Hop, accessed on October 5, 2014
  3. Book review on Caspar Battegay: “Judentum und Popkultur”  ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) accessed on December 23, 2012@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.ardmediathek.de
  4. Jüdische Allgemeine: Der coole Nerd , from May 10, 2012, accessed on December 23, 2012
  5. Ice Cube produces NWA biopic
  6. How Google is celebrating the history of hip-hop , t-online.de, August 11, 2017, accessed on April 19, 2018.