Hip Hop is more powerful than politics and religion. Its the only thing that brought black people, white people, German people, Asian people and African people together (qtd in DMC Cites Positive Aspects of Hip Hop). The birth date of Hip Hop is officially November 12 1974. In the very beginning of the Hip Hop era many gang members in New York made the transfer from gangs in to crews. This made a positive change for them as well as for their communities. Crews were groups that practiced some of the five elements of Hip Hop: Rapping, DJing, Aerosol writing, B Boying and the study of knowledge. Hip Hop was refined as an alternative to violence which was exactly what New York needed after the explosion of gangs during the 1950’s and 1960’s. According to the International Recording Industry hip hop is the fastest rising music market. It can be a form of expression, emotion, skill, communication, alternative lifestyle or even protest.
One of the most familiar forms of Hip Hop is rapping. Rapping is a written expression in the form of rhyme. It started off when DJs at party’s began toasting. For example: the DJ would make a toast to their friends in the crowd over the microphone, or they would get the party exited by saying a little rhyme. Eventually emcees would come help host the party and rap whole songs while the DJ spins the beats. Rap music has the ability to break all boundaries including age and sex. Although the stereotypical view is that MC s are males the first female MC named Sha Rock was highly respected by all audiences in the 1970’s. Sha Rock was liked so much that she got the most recognition above anyone else in the Hip Hop scene at the time. U.S. Senator Barack Obama is currently campaigning for presidency in America and one of his plans is to use Hip Hop as a positive message. He believes that rappers have a lot of potential to deliver a powerful message of extraordinary magnitude to the public. Rapping is a great outlet for youth because of its high energy and dynamic momentum. Young rappers in British Columbia have the opportunity to participate in skill building camps such as the Hip Hop Hope Project operating out of White Rock. Hip Hop Hope is a five day camp that allows kids to work in a professional studio and record there own album. Even if kids cannot attend such a camp they can get together and either write songs together or freestyle battle, which is tons of fun. A freestyle battle is when two or more MC s try to out-rap each other with lyrics that are made up on the spot, so nothing written. Freestyle battling is a great test of wits and is perfect when your bored with your friends. It’s also a great way for youth to stay out of trouble.
The very first form of Hip Hop was the DJing, or disc jockeying. DJ s are the center of most Hip Hop oriented parties, simply because they are in control of the music. Disc Jockeys creatively innovate sounds and beats on two turntables. DJ s adjust pitch, tone, and speed of the record as well as the current position of the song that they are playing. The DJ has the responsibility of keeping the party alive and jumping. DJing is also great for youth because there is so many possibilities made by mixing, combining two songs, and scratching, manipulating the record by pulling it back and fourth on the turntable. Being a DJ is not an easy task because there is so much to learn. Fortunately there are many teachers that work at music schools such as The Rhythm Institute in Vancouver. With decks you can constantly be innovating and coming up with new techniques and tricks that fit your style. Once a DJ has learned to mix and scratch they have the opportunity to incorporate different songs and different genres of music together. Just like MC’s DJ’s also have the opportunity to record their music and once a youth is making their own music there s no telling how far his music could take him. For example: becoming a DJ at a nightclub, hosting a party or event, being a DJ for a rap group, and even mixing and sampling tracks to sell to up and coming artists.
An example of the amazing use of creativity in Hip Hop is aerosol art or commonly known as graffiti. Aerosol art is also known as tagging, and comes from the first aerosol artist’s group named the Tuff Artists Group or T.A.G. Graffiti is a positive outlet for kids because it gets them outside to see the world, often traveling to new neighborhoods to paint a piece or mural. Graffiti artists bring life to dull objects such as trains and concrete barriers. Most graffiti pieces consists of words with many colors and dimensions often in 3d. Artists try to develop there own style that makes them unique, which is good for a youth’s self esteem. Graffiti is very controversial and in most cases an illegal art form. Although it’s unlawful it has become so common throughout the world that the legality should be reconsidered. Due to most graffiti being prohibited legal walls and competitions have been funded by supporters of the art form. Young artists can come and compete against each other or just come down and watch. Graffiti art has limitless possibilities, there are hundreds of thousands of fascinating photo s on the website www.artcrimes.com. This website is a collection of pictures of graffiti from all corners of the world. Youth can log on to this website and dream of becoming one of the worlds best.
One of the more physical forms of hip hop is B-Boying, otherwise known as break dancing or breaking. Breaking is an excellent cardiovascular activity, good for getting the heart rate up and oxygen in your lungs. This style of dancing has limitless possibilities unlike square dancing which is taught in elementary or high schools. B-Boying or B-Girling is a dance style with complex moves that involve high levels of endurance and skill. Breaking originates from the streets of New York during the birth of hip hop and was a definite alternative to violence during the hard times in the Bronx. It is a very creative outlet for youths because combines all dance forms with a new style of hip hop. Similair to an MC freestyle battle, dancers can get together and do freestyle dance battles. DJ’s often host these get togethers and mix up music for the individual dancer. At the higher level of hip hop dancing youth can compete in provincial and national competitions to prove they’re worth in the Hip Hop scene. B-Boy battles are a positive environment for youth because they are constantly learning new moves, and in doing so staying out of trouble.
The last but most commonly overlooked aspect of Hip Hop is knowledge. Youth will learn ways to channel energy, emotion and most importantly knowledge through they re rapping, disc jockeying, aerosol writing, and breaking. Through Hip Hop youth learn ways to express and control all ranges of emotion. Knowledge is often overlooked as a part of Hip Hop because having knowledge of hip hop is an obvious necessity to excel as a progressive artist. As a person develops they’re Hip Hop skills not only will they learn knowledge of they form, but they will also learn knowledge of self. Knowledge of self also goes with knowledge of your horizons, as you grow older you realize that there is great potential in self expression and music. There is so much information on the famous artists in Hip Hop, from biographies to interviews and world news. The birth of the scene is documented in the form of an oral history lesson written by all or most of the original Hip Hop founders. The knowledge of Hip Hop is limitless.
There is so much evidence of why Hip Hop is a positive outlet for youth, from the many choices of artist expression to the study of hip hop knowledge. Due to the fact that Hip Hop is a new movement, many parents are unsure of why Hip Hop is right for they’re children, but with an informative essay such as this one these views can be easily swayed for the better of today’s youth. A smooth rap flow can be soothing to ears, a DJ’s innovations can be astonishing to a crowd, a graffiti artists piece can be a perfection of abstract thought, a B-Boys dance could be near the point of impossible theatrics and the knowledge of the Hip Hop community could move nations. Hip Hop is a healthy alternative to violence and positive for todays children. This style of music has deep roots and is said it represents a will to survive through strength and self expression.