Hip-Hop for Dummies

I would not consider myself a hip-hop fan and until Mondays lecture I didn’t know the first thing about it. So this blog will be more of a self reflection of what I have come to understand about hip-hop; sort of a hip-hop for dummies tutorial.

  1. Firstly I learnt that hip-hop has 5 elements: MCing, DJing, breaking, graffiti and beat boxing. These five elements are interchangeable and have adapted by including additional fads that surface in these rudiments over time. (Such as popping and locking etc.)
  2. Hip-hop has many sub genres, these include commercial hip-hop, gangsta hip-hop and conscious hip-hop etc.
  3. People that live their lives according to hip-hop embody it as a lifestyle or vehicle of self expression and identification. In fact this quote was used during the lecture to describe the hip-hop lifestyle: “People talk about the four hip-hop elements … I think that there are far more than those: the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you look, the way you communicate” (DJ Kool Herc xi).
  4. There are many types of hip-hop depending on the place you live! It is usually a representation of a place and can include hip-hop of groups such as neighbourhoods, ethnic groups, towns and languages.
  5. Hip-hop is a diverse popular culture.

Overall, hip-hop is a form of expression and way of life for many people. It is an influential popular culture not only to artists and subscribers but to almost anybody that is exposed to the art form. Hip-hop is a phrase that carries many stereotypes and is often misunderstood. By dedicating more than 3 hours of my week to the study of hip-hop I can see that it is a beautiful form of self discovery and personal messages transformed into a form of art. While hip-hop is not my cup of tea I can honestly say that I have taken a much greater understanding of the concept and will apply it wherever possible. In conclusion, hip-hop is not limited to any race, skin colour or nationality but is a diverse and interchangeable form of culture.


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