Hip-Hop Evolution

Hip-Hop Evolution

Kat Turner, Silver Stream Co-Editor

Have you ever wondered when hip-hop evolved? The music genre hip-hop, also know as rap, first became mainstream in 1979 when The Sugarhill Gang’s song Rapper’s Delight was released.

This genre was first created by the poorest parts of New York City; however, people all over the United States make this style of music to this day. The groups who made hip-hop what it is today are Run-D.M.C , The Sugarhill Gang, and Wu-Tang Clan.

Hip-hop as we know it today has not always been so focused on violence and women. In fact, rappers mainly explored the human experience and focused on funky sayings.  For example, “I said a hip hop/Hippie to the hippie/The hip, hip a hop, and you don’t stop, a rock it out/Bubba to the bang bang boogie, boobie to the boogie/To the rhythm of the boogie the beat” -Rapper’s delight by The Sugarhill Gang

The late 1990’s and early 2000’s is when “gangster rap” took over the hip hop culture while also bringing violence and derogatory lyrics to music. This new way of making hip-hop music forever changed the way this genre was marketed and seen.

“I think the biggest change to hip-hop has been the violent lyrics that have become so prevalent, ” shared Mr. D’Egidio, one of our math teachers.

Before this epic change, people thought of hip-hop as funky, story-telling, and lyrically inclined. However, rappers today have made hip-hop the total opposite because young adults and teenagers are attracted to the adrenaline rush they get when listening to this music.

Mrs. Hodges, an art teacher, expressed, “In my opinion, it has evolved from a storytelling genre that people connected with for more than one reason to gibberish laced with curse words.” 

Many teens today refer to rap from the 80’s and 90’s as “old-school rap.” Many old-school rappers aren’t really known for making “gangster rap.” However, this is the 21st century, and it’s what people want to hear; therefore, many rappers have changed their ways to fit what society wants to hear.

In the U.S, hip-hop surpassed rock and became the most popular music genre in 2017. It is said to be the most popular because the youth love it, and they consider it to be an act of defiance. All music genres are referred to as rebellious when they first become popular; however, hip-hop has held this title since 1979.

Before hip-hop was mainstream, rock was the genre many turned to for a rebellious feeling.

Some people, of course, prefer other genres of music.  Mr. Friedland, one of our custodial staff, shares, “As an older person I am not and have never been a fan of hip-hop…my musical king is still Elvis!”