Lately hip-hop has become one and the same with rap, in fact, it was formed as a separate phenomenon back in the 1970s, and in addition to being a musical movement, it also included philosophy, fashion, and a popular movement.
So how was it formed?
As a social phenomenon, it was born in the Bronx, a city that had been in a critical demographic since the 1970s. It happened because most of the kids had left the city for the countryside and African-Americans and Latinos were having problems because they didn’t have enough money. That’s how the movement was born and it consisted of four different branches. And on August 11, 1973. Kool Herc, a young Jamaican working stiff at the time, decided to introduce to the public at his party a new movement called hip-hop, which he brought to the United States of America and through it developed his own strategy. He had noticed that the audience at the party was very interested in the percussion of the track or the break, so he decided to extend the percussion section and make it with more beats.
In Jamaica, there was a culture called “Sound System Culture” and Kool Herc was a prominent representative of it.
The movement quickly spread throughout the Bronx and the already-motivated coded verse of West African artists became popular. This movement also consisted of DJing, incorporating rap and graffiti culture. And the Bronx street bands perceived this trend as some kind of competition and domination from the innovation. So in the early eighties two Africa Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force with the use of electronic sounds and synthesizers recorded track “Planet Rock” in electro-funk style. This kind of melodic, under-the-radar musicianship quickly spread across America, and when the music started being recorded electronically, the phenomenon spread across Europe.
The differences between rap and hip-hop culture
Hip-hop artist Ice-T who was one of the originators of the genre explained the difference between hip-hop and rap with the following words: if hip-hop is culture then rap is just a way to present vocals. Bornin the South Bronx, this culture included as many as five elements: DJing graffiti dance MS Breakdance, but most importantly — an understanding of how it’s all connected.
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If you take apart the musical characteristics, or features of hip-hop and rap, you can come to the conclusion that they are completely different. If rap is poetry, rhymes in a musical tone and, as far as content is concerned, the subject matter of the lyrics ranges from local events to friendly love affairs, then hip-hop can include R&B, beatboxing. In the 1970s and 80s, a lot of rappers put issues in their lyrics that maybe were ignored by society or didn’t get the media attention that was needed. But it’s only recently that rap has been associated and focused more on the consumer and human relationship issues.
Going back to hip-hop we understand the term that it includes R&B and beatbox rap is a combination of soul pop music. That is, musicians combine in their tracks dynamic music in the background for complex dance numbers and of course lyrics. This kind of music has developed into pop music after a while and added heartfelt lyrics, soulful singing and focus on general relationship issues. Hip-hop also includes hardcore, breakbeat, abstract hip-hop, funk-electro music, break.
Rap music primarily focuses on the quality of the lyrics, on poetry and its strong point is improvisational poetry. Really real rapper, he’s MC, first of all knows how to create lyrics, use complicated rhymes, and different literary devices. In his poems he discusses not only relationships, but also politics, society and the media.
This is where Grime, a derivative of rap, comes in, so rap is sometimes used as an auxiliary to various genres: jazz, disco-funk and even Korean music.
Rap is currently very much influenced by the beatboxing of yesteryear. On the one hand it is committed to popular culture, on the other hand it encourages people to get up and dance to the music. And artists like The Sugarhill Gang and Kurtis Blow were just doing the latter. Popular celebrities Eminem or even Nas regularly rap about political issues, about crime, expressing their stance and setting the direction of society in one way or another. And it’s clearly visible that society is really interested in these topics, and they don’t have to buy Instagram followers to maintain their popularity. So they just post a preview on their page and most of their subscribers are waiting for a new song to be released.
Grime can be a supporting department of rap. Rap is used in a wide variety of genres, including jazz, disco, funk and Japanese music. The beatboxing fashion of the past has had a strong influence on hip-hop culture. Artists Sugarhill Pack and Kurtis Blow sang with an upbeat, confident tone that energized people, encouraging them to get up and move to their music. Rap, on the other hand, more closely mirrors what is happening in mainstream culture. Popular rap stars Eminem and Nas regularly bring up crime, political issues and express their stance on a particular social issue in rap.
The bottom line is this.
Of course, the two words are almost inseparable, as the hip-hop genre is where rap lyrics, lighthearted beats and the “DJ fiddling with records” sound grew up. Still, if you’re going to have a discussion about genres or about rap, you’re no longer going to make the mistake of calling things by their proper names.