Hip Hop: A Culture of Vision and Voice

Hip Hop is global, lapping on every shore and landing at every airport. But what does Hip Hop mean? Is it the music with a chest-thumping beat? The rapid-fire lyrics rapped into a handheld mic? Gravity-defying dance steps? Writers turning walls into canvases with larger-than-life letters and illustrations? The answer is all of the above—and more. Hip Hop embraces these artistic elements, most definitely. But it also has blended and transcended them to become a means for seeing, celebrating, experiencing, understanding, confronting, and commenting on life and the world. Hip Hop, in other words, is a way of living—a culture.

The elements of Hip Hop came together in the Bronx borough of New York City. It was the early 1970s and times were tougher than usual for the poorer parts of urban America. From a whole lot of nothing—and a whole lot of imagination—Hip Hop took form.

Did  You Know: There are three recognize additions to the original 6 pillars of hiphop. They include:  Street Knowledge, Language, and Entrepreneuralism.

  • The 6 Original Pillars of Hip Hop


  • DJing was created in 1946 but wasn’t popular until the 70’s and 80’s
  • DJ’s were first called Disk Jockeys. Hence the name DJ.
  • Also, around this time, MC’s were used to enhance the DJing experience.
  • MC means “Master of Ceremonies”
  • Rap artists such as RUN DMC made a strong breakthrough for DJing.


  • MCing means “master of ceremonies”
  • It’s also known as the art of rapping
  • Mcing used methods such as “breaking” to pump up the crowd with chants such as “wave your hands in the air and wave em like you just don’t care!”
  • Breaking is using voice-over mixed with a beat.
  • Popular MC’s include Dj Kool, RUN DMC, and Dr. Dre


  • Graffiti is the street art of hip hop
  • The first graffiti was done by prehistoric man on the walls of the caves they lived in, often in symbolic pictures to tell the story of a hunt or a long voyage.Thousands of years later graffiti was used to spread anti-political messages.


  • The term “breakdancing” refers to the breaks in music, and the movements that can be associated with these breaks.
  • It emerged relatively from the Bronx in the 1970s
  • It became popular with its introduction onto the New York Street scene.
  • Many dancers called BBoys made this style of dance popular

Beat Boxing

  • Beat Boxing is a form of oral percussion.
  • People used beat boxing for freestyle rap
  • or when there wasn’t a music track to perfom along with
  • A famous beat boxer is Doug E. Fresh


  • Hip hop has influenced fashion with the help of dance, artists, and the lyrics of the songs.

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