The term hip hop was coined by a rapper known as Keith Cowboy who was a group member of the Grandmaster flash and the Furious five band. He did this when he was teasing a friend who had joined the U.S. army by singing these words i.e. hip hop hip hop in a manner that imitated the rhythm of marching soldiers. He then used the hip hop rhythm in a part of his performance on stage from where other artistes picked. The word first appeared in print form in a book titled Village Voice that was authored by Steven Hager.
Hip hop music is a music genre that is comprised of two major components, which are, rapping which is also referred to as MCing or it also goes by the name DJing. and record scratching. Rapping utilizes vocals where the performer speaks rhythmically to supportive beats which are in most cases generated from some bits of other songs.
The history of hip hop has it that it has evolved through two main eras. the era of old school hip hop that ranged from the year 1970 and lasted till the year 1985. The new age or golden era of the hip hop school began in 1985 and lasted till the year 1993
Rappers are also known to recite poems in the course of making the hip hop performance. The other components include graffiti which is usually made on the clothing wore by the performers, and break dancing. Some instrumentals played in the version or trend that depicts hip hop are also categorized into this group hence regarded as hip hop. It is worth noting that hip hop music is part of the larger hip hop culture that comprises of fashion, music and art.
Hip hop is characterized with a drum beat that regularly takes up the 4/4 time signature. It might be accompanied with vocal bit of the music which might also be ignored. The hip hop music might be presented by a live band or as produced music
Roots of hip hop lyricism
The roots of hip hop can be dated back to the 1970’s. They can be found in music that was played by the West African and African Americans that were living in this era. These West African hip hops fore fathers also known as the griots played songs and made poems that had a musical style that was suggestive of hip hop music. They were composed of a group of singers and poets and they were engaged in much traveling and singing as their career. This group of singers also forms part of an oral tradition that existed hundreds of years past (Flores 2000P24).
The other fore fathers of rap were found in the New York City who made their performances in a similar manner as the griots. They gave performances of a poetic nature as well as music that suggested hip hop. They held the traditions known as talking blues. signifying the dozens and jazz poetry- all of which makes part of oral tradition.
Some other groups of people who made great contributions to the roots of hip hop include a group popular for poetry and that was known as the last poets, and a poet known by the name Jalal Mansur Nurridin who was vocal even in the 1960s
The popularization of the block parties in the New York City during the 1970s led to the greatest development of the hip hop music. This can be attributed to the fact that music especially of the funk and soul music nature was often played heavily in these parties. Frequent playing of this music led to the discovery of a means of playing the percussion breaks in songs that had formed part of the most popular hits during those days. This was after it was realized that the parts that were isolated were the most danceable parts that entertained crowds the most.