Encyclopedia of Dance: Hip Hop


Hip-hop is not just a music or dance direction. It is a way of life and a way of self-expression of the younger generation.

Hip-hop is a dance and musical direction of youth culture. At the beginning of the 20th century, hip-hop had a pronounced social orientation in creativity: it protested against injustice, the domination of money, and corruption. Then, gradually, it became fashionable, and therefore commercial. However, in the hip-hop environment and now there are many performers who adhere to the original, oppositional line in creativity to the authorities.

History of occurrence dance

The word «hip» came from an African American dialect and was used to refer to the moving parts of the human body. In addition, the word «hip» was used in the meaning of «acquisition of knowledge, improvement.» The word «hop» means «jump, leap». Thus, united, two words express the idea of ​​the whole direction of hip-hop — forward movement, development, understanding of modern life, sharp criticism of negative aspects.

The five basic elements of hip-hop were formulated by DJ Afrika Bambaataa in 1974. In 1978, rapper Keith «Cowboy» Wiggins, along with Grandmaster Flash, helped to further develop the new movement. And it all started with a joke. Young people, seeing off their friend to the army, sang the words hip-hop, hip-hop in a jazz manner, imitating the stamped step of marching soldiers. And so the rhythm of a new musical direction was born. Colleagues of young experimenters, disco artists, mockingly called them «hip-hoppers», not suspecting that it was thanks to them that a new youth culture was born that would find fans all over the world.

What is hip hop?

Hip-hop culture is based on five pillars: DJing, MCing, Breaking, Graffiti and Knowledge. African-American DJs sought to diversify the monotony of disco compositions and began to experiment with records, reshaping the compositions in their own way. The musical field of hip-hop is vast, but its essence is the same for all currents: the recitation of rap — rhythmic recitative — on a melodic and rhythmic basis. Grandmaster Flash created the technical basis of hip hop that is now used by many DJs. It consists of a double set of turntables connected in such a way that the sound of one record can be superimposed on the sound of another.

In the 80s, the DJ technique was enriched with new techniques: «scratch» — «scratching» became widely used. This technique involves the ability of the DJ to move the record back and forth in such a way that the rhythmic pattern is not disturbed. It was this music that became the basis for the development of hip-hop dance.



As noted above, hip-hop is not just music or dance, but a youth subculture in general, allowing its adherents to express their individuality. Therefore, both dance and musical compositions in the style of hip-hop can differ significantly from each other. In the culture of hip-hop, the following areas can be distinguished:

1. Music — rap

2. Dance — break dance

3. Visual arts — graffiti, drawing on the walls

4. Sports — basketball and streetball

In the 80s and 90s, such a hip-hop phenomenon as gangster rap arose. The texts of this style were permeated with aggression, cruelty and promoted the values ​​of the criminal environment.

Features of hip hop

Hip-hop originated as a means of self-expression for the African-American population of America. This trend for the first time touched upon acute social, political and racial problems. Hip-hop culture also implies a special style of clothing. Attributes of clothing in the style of hip-hop are wide pants, sneakers, baseball caps, sweatshirts with hoods. Various accessories complement the image — massive chains, plaques, wristlets, wide laces, etc.

Now hip-hop is one of the most commercially successful areas of modern culture, and, accordingly, dances.

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