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The Origins of Hip-Hop

  • Date Submitted: 08/01/2010 09:20 AM
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Stephany Canela
Prof. Johnson
LEH 301
      The Origins of Hip-Hop

Hip-hop is a musical art form created by African-Americans in the mid seventies. Its origin came from a young generation of African-Americans in the South Bronx, who created a beautiful, prideful expression of music, art and dance from a backdrop of poverty.   To them at the time, hip-hop was their only voice, as they were invisible. Once hip-hop became global, African American’s pain and daily struggles became heard all over the world and it inspired people from all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
Today hip-hop is discussed as an art form and not just rap, and the reason for that is because hip-hop has become its own culture in the sense that it has its own style of dressing, language, dancing and etc. These elements that make it a culture are DJing, MCing, b-boying, and graffiti writing. I should mention that some of these were around before the word "hip-hop" was even uttered, but as hip-hop spread across the Bronx, these elements reestablished their identities within the culture of hip-hop (Notes).
So one might ask how these invisible talented young African American men rose up out of the dirt when all the odds were against them. One knows that during the 1960s and 1970s the South Bronx was in devastating conditions, basically decaying. This decay was due to various factors such as white flight, landlord abandonment, changes in economic demographics and the construction of the Cross-Bronx Expressway” (Notes).   The Cross-Bronx Expressway was part of Robert Moses’ urban renewal project for New York City. This expressway would cut right through the heart of the South Bronx but Robert Moses did not care about that. All he cared about was “renewing” the Bronx at the cost of displacing thousands of residents and local businesses. In his construction of the Cross-Bronx Expressway, “60,000 Bronx residents were caught in the way” (Chang 11).   Many of these people...


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