The Roots Of Hip Hop

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THE ROOT OF HIP-HOP By Jonathan Partee The roots of hip-hop can be traced as far back and beyond as the early 1970’s. Far from what you see on today’s TV screens, the original culture involves 4 elements of importance. These elements are the D.J, the M.C., the graffiti art, and the b-boying or the dance. The first and most important element is the D.J. The South Bronx is where most say it all began. D.J.’s such as Kool Herc and Africa Bambataa began throwing block parties. These block parties or Jams as they were called back in the day, would involve D.J’s bringing out large sound systems to spin records for the urban neighborhoods. The jams would go on into the early morning hours while D.J’s would keep the crowd hyped by chanting motivational slang over the music. Chants like “yes, yes ya’ll”, party people, get busy, and bang 2 the boogie,” would keep folks dancing until they were exhausted. These D.J’s then began to battle each other for levels of respect. Becoming the D.J with the loudest set, or the best at blending, mixing records was the goal. The competition spread throughout the Bronx and all the boroughs of NYC. During this time D.J’s had begun spinning records focusing on the “break” part of the song. The “break” is the part of the record when the drums or percussion take over the music. D’J’s would take 2 copies of the same record and switch back and forth. This was called spinning break beats. D.J’s were most influential in these early years of hip-hop due to the music they would play. These sounds would help to lay the foundation for parties to “rock” and early M.C’s to recite rhymes over. The sounds would also help too fuel the b-boying style of dance that hip-hoppers would display. The second element of hip-hop is known as MC-ing. The term comes from the fact that rappers would grab microphones, while D.J’s were spinning records and

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