The History Of HipHop- The birth of a culture

The legend of HipHop

When talking about the history of hip hop culture, the term “legend” appears to be the most suitable to reflect not only the oral character but also the fragmentary aspect of the data which makes it possible to reconstitute it the historical route. Indeed, it is about a universe where orality prevails, and it There are very few written traces that allow us to date precisely such and such a event that would officially mark his birth or not. 2.1 – Genesis: the “blocks parts” of Kool Herc It all started in Cedar Park in 1971 or 1972, a green space located at middle of the buildings of the Bronx, the constituency of the city of New York where the main communities are of Hispanic and African American descent.

Deejay Kool

DJ kool
DJ kool

There, the deejay Kool Herc invests the premises with a turntable and a system sound amplification quite close to the “sound systems” that made their appearance in Jamaica a few years earlier. He plugs it in by hacking it local public lighting system and broadcasts the records of the leading artists of the era: James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, but also The Last Poets, a pioneering group that combines poetry and music and which was formed in 1968 in the east of Harlem, the black quarter of New York.

Kool Herc thus attracts a population mainly composed of young people who come dance to these songs. According to several sources, the idea would come of his sister who would have suggested that he come and play music for the young people hanging out in the streets, without occupation.

This initiative knows very quickly a great success and leads to what we will soon call the “block parties”, an expression that can be translated as “neighborhood parties”. But Kool Herc does not stop at making a succession of records on a platinum, he develops techniques that will mark the history of “deejaying” nascent.

For example, he throws a disc and when it reaches halfway, it comes back to the beginning: it is the “middle dropping”. It also stops several times from continuation on what is called the “break” of the title. This manipulation will give their name to “break dancers”, in other words “those who dance on the station wagon” and that we will call hereafter “the b boys” and “the b girls” or “fly girls”. The “breakdancing” thus appears well before the creation of the movement. hip hop, just like other styles of dance. All of these dances will become the dances of hip hop culture.

During the time which deejays, rappers, graphic artists and dancers are invited to come and compete, but this time, within the framework artistic jousting. These are the “battles” (literally: “battles”), a term that refers to to the idea of a symbolic use of violence. By federating these three modes expression which are music, graphic art and dance, all from of the street and with each their own history, the movement hip hop was born.Ame Who Struggled

The birth of a culture

Same who struggled in the end of the XIXth century against the English colonists and played an important role in the unification of the different tribes of South Africa. First under the name The Organization then Zulu Nation, Bambataa is followed in this project by some ex-gang members in the company of whom he advocates a motto which will become the watchword of his movement: “peace, love, unity and havin ‘fun “, or” peace, love, unity and fun “. make this pacifist process a reality and achieve a balance of life between oneself and others, the Zulu Nation offers young blacks and Puerto Ricans (the two communities which represent the major part of the population of ghettos), to reinvest their energy in a positive way in the creation artistic. Afrika Bambaataa, who is also a renowned deejay, organizes
ame who struggled in the end of the XIXth century against the English colonists and played an important role in the unification of the different tribes of South Africa. First under the name The Organization then Zulu Nation, Bambataa is followed in this project by some ex-gang members in the company of whom he advocates a motto which will become the watchword of his movement: “peace, love, unity and havin ‘fun “, or” peace, love, unity and fun “. make this pacifist process a reality and achieve a balance of life between oneself and others, the Zulu Nation offers young blacks and Puerto Ricans (the two communities which represent the major part of the population of ghettos), to reinvest their energy in a positive way in the creation artistic. Afrika Bambaataa, who is also a renowned deejay, organizes.

Where it All Began

According to several accounts, the hip hop movement is experiencing its first beginnings in the first half of the seventies, between 1973 and 1975, in the heart of a ghetto in the South Bronx, the South Bronx. His advent takes place around an iconic character, Kevin Donovan (1960), who is a member of the Black Spades (Les As de Pique), a very influential in the Bronx at the time. Tradition reports that it is at the time of the death of a friend that Kevin Donovan makes the decision to leave the Blacks Spades and undertakes to set up an organization which has the ambition to find an alternative to violent behavior which then pushes members gangs to kill each other.

He chooses a federating pseudonym, Afrika Bambaataa, which refers to the Zulu leader of the same name who struggled in the end of the XIXth century against the English colonists and played an important role in the unification of the different tribes of South Africa.

First under the name The Organization then Zulu Nation, Bambataa is followed in this project by some ex-gang members in the company of whom he advocates a motto which will become the watchword of his movement: “peace, love, unity and havin ‘fun “, or” peace, love, unity and fun “. make this pacifist process a reality and achieve a balance of life between oneself and others, the Zulu Nation offers young blacks and Puerto Ricans (the two communities which represent the major part of the population of ghettos), to reinvest their energy in a positive way in the creation artistic. Afrika Bambaataa, who is also a renowned deejay, organizes
The expression “hip-hop dances” designates a set of styles of origins various, which were nourished by influences as varied as salsa, capoeira, martial arts or the gestures of the characters of “cartoons”.

They all appeared before the advent hip-hop culture and became an expression of it, when young people who already practiced them adhered to the ideals developed by this new movement. All of these dances originated in the United States, and, in what concerns jazz rock, in Europe and in France. Today, there are still three different schools: – that of “b boying” also called “breaking” or “breakdancing”, – that of the so-called “standing” dances which group together “locking”, “popping” and “jazz rock”, – the “new style”.

The Dances Of HipHop

The “standing” dances of hip hop The “godfather” of these dances is James Brown. Since the beginning of the years sixty, he stands out from other black American singers in his era. More than a singer, he is one of those rare artists who seduce both with the black and white population and it creates the event in each of his concerts and television shows. Behind his success hides a recipe: with each new “hit”, James Brown combines a dance step of his own invention. This is how it goes follow steps such as the “funky chicken”, the “mashed potatoes”, and the “pop corn”.

By striving to reproduce them, fans of the “Godfather of soul” contribute to making them enter into the cultural heritage of “black music”: the rhythm’n’blues, soul music, then funk. We even note the development of some collective dances like the “hustle” and the “bus stop”.

Dr dre
Dr dre

Soul Train

The Soul Train television program, which is broadcast only in the Chicago area, from 1971 onwards nationwide and very quickly gained a great success with the public and he will have a key role in the spread of hip hop dances. Its concept is to receive the stars of black American music of the time, against the backdrop of a dance competition open to all. The original idea was that this “train of the soul “is a traveling program that crisscrosses the United States. arrived in Los Angeles, its creator Don Cornelius realizes that the dancers of the city is of such importance that he decides to implant definitely his show on the west coast.

The pioneers of hip dances hop say “standing” thus obtain a first visibility. We discover the L.A. Lockers and their frontman Don Campbell, father of a dance style called “lock” or “locking”, as well as the Electric Boogaloo which were formed by Boogaloo Sam, the inventor of the “pop” or “popping” style.

These two dance styles, which will subsequently be associated with the hip movement hop, are mediated by this program, and more widely still by the media that will be used a few years later to promote hip arts hop to a large audience: cinema and video clips. The movie “Saturday Night Fever ”, starring John Travolta, is choreographed by Deney Terrio, one of the members of the L.A Lockers. In Mickael Jackson’s clips, we meets Skeeter Rabbit from Electric Boogaloo.

And on stage, the coach particular of the star is none other than Pop’n Taco, another member of Electric Boogaloo, and several sources claim that it is originally of the famous moonwalk of the author of “Thriller”.

From the street to the stage

At the beginning of the nineties, this art coming from the street reached the stage, in particular through the development of festivals. They offer choreographic pieces from hip hop dance companies a new visibility, and the general public can discover an aspect that is still little known, unlike rap, hip hop culture. In 1993, the Jean Vilar theater in Suresnes welcomed the American choreographer Doug Elkins, who presents a creation combining contemporary dance and dance hip hop. Olivier Meyer, director of the place, then created the festival “Suresnes Cités Dance “which developed from 1995 an original concept of creation which consists of ordering from three contemporary choreographers of a 30-minute piece featuring hip dancers.

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