by Jack Sinclair
People are always asking me why I like
hip-hop. It's because it's more than music - it's
a musical force than has become a lifestyle. To begin to understand
hip-hop, you need to understand the four basics of hip-hop
– the elements that've been keeping it real since
the beginning: MCing, DJing, break dancing and graffiti. It
all goes back to that.
Hip-hop was born out of boredom and rebellion,
like most music. In the early days, disco was 'it'
– and it got old real quick so people started making
their own music. The early dudes started by mixing it up with
their DJ's... guys who could keep the beat going
if you spun one record into another. Then, the MC's
started getting the crowd pumping by giving them a little
lead in – something to repeat, and really get the party
grooving. The DJ's kept spinning and the MC's
kept rapping and hip-hop was born.
The B-boys (breakdancers) have been around
since the first rappers. To be a B-boy, you need to have a
strong sense of rhythm to really get into the beat. Each dancer
brings a special flavour to the moves, which defines their
style. And, man, break dancing is tough. I've tried
it. You have to have to be incredibly fit and have a lot of
Graffiti and hip-hop fit together like
two pieces of a puzzle. Just like hip-hop, graffiti was born
of creative minds coming together to make something out of
nothing. Graffiti artists use their surroundings as their
canvas and use the cheapest tools they can find – spray
paint, markers, whatever will hold colour. The coolest part
about graffiti is the way it's recognized around the
world – you can find graffiti in all sorts of neighbourhoods,
whether it's on the walls of buildings, or zooming by
on a train – people are leaving their mark.
There are lots of different opinions
about who started what and when and how, but there is no question
about the influence that hip-hop has had over people. I may
not know all there is to know about hip-hop, but I know that
I love it – it gets into my soul. It's all about
saying what needs to be said on your own terms, in your own
way. Look around, I bet you have a lot more hip-hop culture
surrounding you than you thought.
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