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What was 1970s hip-hop?

Hip-hop has become one of the most popular music genres in the world today. However, few people know about the origins of hip-hop or how it evolved to the multi-billion dollar industry we have today. The 1970s is the decade that marked the beginning of hip-hop culture. The early days of hip-hop, which are also known as the golden age of hip-hop, were marked by a unique sound and culture that continues to influence music and culture globally. In this article, we will explore what 1970s hip-hop was, and how it paved the way for contemporary and modern hip-hop.

The Emergence of Hip-Hop

The roots of hip-hop are traced back to the South Bronx during the 1970s. At this time, the South Bronx was undergoing severe economic decay and was filled with poverty, crime, and gang activity. It was at these parties that block parties emerged, and DJs began to mix and extend music tracks to entertain the crowd. This new style of music caught on, and soon MCs were added to the mix.

The early MCs were not solely focused on rapping. They were tasked with introducing the DJ, keeping the crowd pumped, and providing commentary on the music. MCs would often improvise and make rhymes while engaging the crowd. It was not until 1979, when Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” was released, that the world saw the first hip-hop song as we know it today.

The Four Elements of Hip-Hop

The four elements of hip-hop are MCing, DJing, graffiti art, and breakdancing. These four elements are interwoven and have profound cultural and social significance. As hip-hop evolved, these elements became central to the culture and contributed to its distinctiveness.

MCing, also known as rapping, is the most known element of hip-hop. It involves the spoken or chanted delivery of rhyming lyrics. The MCs were the storytellers, they would talk about issues that affected their neighborhoods and communities, which was their way of expressing themselves. DJing was also a crucial element of hip-hop. The DJing style during the early days of hip-hop involved experimenting with different sounds and techniques that had a significant impact on the development of music production.

Graffiti art was also a critical element of hip-hop during the 1970s. Graffiti was the visual expression of hip-hop. It was used to tag buildings and walls to leave your mark in the community. Breakdancing, also known as B-boying, was also part of hip-hop. It involved dancing and acrobatics that were done on the streets or in dance battles. Breakdancing became a way of showing off one’s skills and challenging other dancers to compete.

The Sound of 1970s Hip-Hop

The sound of 1970s hip-hop was heavily influenced by soul, funk, disco, and R&B music. Hip-hop DJs often mixed beats from these genres, and it became the foundation of hip-hop music. The beats were the most important aspect of the sound. The DJs would use two turntables and a mixer, which allowed them to extend the breaks in the music and create new sounds by layering and looping different tracks. This process was called sampling.

The lyrics that were spoken over these beats were often personal and had a message that touched on social and political issues. Lyrics, in the early days of hip-hop, were also witty and humorous, which served as entertainment for the audience.

The Impact of 1970s Hip-Hop

Hip-hop culture has had a significant impact on music, fashion, and art. The impact of 1970s hip-hop was immediate. The culture became a way for communities to unite and create a sense of belonging. Hip-hop allowed people to express themselves through creative mediums that were not prevalent in mainstream society. Hip-hop music, graffiti, and fashion were seen as rebellious and radical, which made them more appealing to young people.

Hip-hop culture provided a voice for people whose stories were often ignored. MCs talked about issues affecting their communities, such as poverty, discrimination, and police brutality, which helped raise awareness and brought these issues to the forefront of societal debates.

The sound of hip-hop has also influenced different genres of music. Sampling, which is the foundation of hip-hop music, has been used by electronic music producers, pop artists, and many other music genres.


Hip-hop culture began in the 1970s in the South Bronx as a way for communities to unite and overcome poverty and social injustices. The four elements of hip-hop and the sounds of soul, funk, disco, and R&B music all played a role in the creation of hip-hop. The culture had an immediate impact on young people and quickly spread globally, influencing various music genres, fashion, and even language. The importance of hip-hop culture cannot be underestimated, and its golden age still resonates and influences the world today.


Was hip hop popular in the 70s?

Hip hop originated in the South Bronx, New York City in the early 1970s. Initially, the Hip-Hop genre was mainly confined to the Bronx, and it was considered an underground movement. However, as the years progressed, the Hip-Hop movement began to gain more widespread popularity in the United States.

Hip Hop was an essential part of the African-American and Latino cultures, and it was a way for these communities to express themselves through music and dance. In the late 1970s, Hip-Hop music started to gain mainstream recognition, and the culture became nationally recognized. The Hip-Hop movement was significant in the 70s due to its ability to connect with the youth of the time.

One of the significant factors contributing to the popularity of Hip Hop was its ability to address social issues that were not often discussed in mainstream music. Hip Hop artists used their music to address issues such as poverty, inequality, and police brutality. The genre was also the perfect platform for urban youth to express themselves creatively and connect with others in their community.

The Hip-Hop culture also influenced fashion, art, and language during the 1970s. Graffiti, which was considered vandalism at the time, was an essential part of Hip Hop culture. Graffiti became widely accepted and appreciated for its artistic value. The 70s also saw the emergence of breakdancing, which became a popular artform in many urban communities.

The 1970s were an important time for the development and growth of Hip Hop. The movement bridged cultural gaps and allowed young people from different backgrounds to connect. The genre also laid the foundation for future Hip-Hop artists, and influenced other music genres such as R&B and pop music. Today, Hip Hop is one of the most popular music genres globally, and it all began in the 1970s.

Where did hip hop began in the 1970’s?

Hip-hop is a music genre and cultural movement that originated in the late 1970s among African American communities in the economically-deprived South Bronx section of New York City. The term “hip-hop” was first coined by Keith “Cowboy” Wiggins in 1978, a member of the Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five group, who used the term to describe the beat-driven style of music that was increasingly gaining popularity in the Bronx.

The early days of hip-hop consisted mainly of street parties and community gatherings where DJs would play funk and soul music, while MCs (masters of ceremonies) would hype crowds, reciting improvised rhymes over the music. DJ Kool Herc, an immigrant from Jamaica, is credited with pioneering many of the techniques that define hip-hop music, including the use of two turntables to create a continuous beat, as well as “breaks” – short instrumental portions of a song that were looped to create an extended groove.

As hip-hop began to spread beyond the Bronx, DJs and MCs began to incorporate other musical influences into their sound and style, such as disco and funk. By the early 1980s, hip-hop had become a major cultural force, with artists like Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run-DMC, and the Sugarhill Gang breaking into the mainstream with hits like “The Message,” “Rock Box,” and “Rapper’s Delight.”

Today, hip-hop is a global phenomenon, with artists from all corners of the world contributing to its evolution and growth. However, it all began in the early days of the 1970s in the South Bronx, as a creative and innovative way for marginalized communities to express themselves and find a voice in a society that often did not recognize their creativity or value.

What decade was hip-hop the best?

Hip-hop is a music genre that has been around for more than four decades now. It originated in the Bronx, New York City in the 1970s, and has since then become a global cultural phenomenon. While there is no denying that hip-hop has produced some incredible music throughout its entire history, there is one decade that many believe stands out as the best – the 1990s.

This decade saw the rise of hundreds of rappers and songs that are now considered classics. Hip-hop in the 1990s was a blend of aggressive beats, thought-provoking lyrics, and storytelling. There were also significant advances in technology that allowed producers to create new and exciting sounds. The 1990s also saw hip-hop become more mainstream, with artists like Tupac, Notorious B.I.G, and Jay-Z achieving worldwide fame.

One of the reasons why many people consider the 1990s as the best decade in hip-hop is the sheer number of influential and iconic albums that were released. Some of the most prominent albums of this period include Tupac’s “All Eyez on Me,” Notorious B.I.G’s “Life After Death,” Nas’ “Illmatic,” Jay-Z’s “Reasonable Doubt,” and Wu-Tang Clan’s “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).” These albums set the standard for years to come and are still regarded as some of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.

Hip-hop in the 1990s also saw the emergence of regional styles, with rap from different parts of the United States having unique characteristics. West Coast hip-hop, for example, was characterized by a laid-back flow, while East Coast hip-hop had a harder, more aggressive edge. Southern hip-hop also emerged as a dominant force, with artists like Outkast and Master P pushing the boundaries of what was possible.

While the 1980s were classed as the “birth” of hip-hop, the 1990s were when it really started to find its feet. The decade was a time of creativity and innovation, with hip-hop artists experimenting with new sounds and styles. The 1990s set the course for the future of hip-hop and helped to cement the genre as a permanent fixture in popular music culture.

Was rap a thing in the 70s?

Rap, as a genre, has its roots in the block parties of New York City in the early 1970s. It was during this time when DJs realized that they could extend the percussion breaks of funk, soul, and disco songs by using two turntables and a mixer. This technique was known as “looping” and allowed DJs to keep the beat going as long as they wanted. MCs (Masters of Ceremonies) other the hand, would come alongside the DJs, rapping (talking rhythmically) and rhyming over the beats. It wasn’t long before rap became the main attraction at the block parties.

As rap started gaining popularity, it led to the rise of pioneering rap groups such as The Sugarhill Gang and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. In 1979, The Sugarhill Gang, a hip-hop group, released “Rapper’s Delight,” which became the first rap song to reach the top 40 charts in the United States. The success of this song opened doors for other groups to start releasing their music, and hip-hop began to flourish, with more and more rap groups and DJs emerging, producing party and dance music that was loved by many.

Rap as a genre began in the early 1970s, and by the end of the decade, it had become a mainstream phenomenon in the United States. The 70s saw the birth of hip-hop music culture, and it was during this decade that rap emerged as a distinct art form that allowed amateur wordsmiths the platform to showcase their ability to rhyme to a beat. With the success and popularity of rap music in the 70s came an industry and culture that has continued to grow and evolve to become a significant part of mainstream music today.

What era was hip-hop most popular?

Hip hop is a music genre that emerged in the 1970s in New York City. The genre is characterized by its rhythmic and rhyming style, which is often accompanied by DJ scratches, breaks, and other effects. Hip hop has since spread globally, influencing and being influenced by culture and music from all over the world. But, what era was hip-hop most popular?

Hip hop reached its peak popularity in the mid-1990s and early 2000s. During this time, the genre became the top-selling music genre, with many hip hop artists achieving mainstream success. Some of the most iconic hip hop albums and songs were released during this era, including Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic,” Snoop Dogg’s “Doggystyle,” Nas’ “Illmatic,” and Wu-Tang Clan’s “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).” These artists and many others helped to establish hip hop as a formidable force in the music industry.

In addition to the music, hip hop also expanded into fashion and popular culture during this time. Hip hop fashion included baggy clothing, athletic wear, and accessories like chains, hats, and sneakers. Hip hop dance and graffiti art also became more mainstream during this era.

The popularity of hip hop continued through the early 2000s, with the “bling era” becoming a prominent subgenre. Hip hop artists began to incorporate luxury brands and materialism into their music and style, with artists like 50 Cent, Jay-Z, and Lil Wayne leading the way. However, criticism of the genre’s glorification of wealth and violence also grew during this time.

Hip hop has continued to evolve and influence music and popular culture over the years, with subgenres like trap, mumble rap, and Afrofuturism emerging in recent years. While the mid-1990s to early 2000s may be considered the era of hip hop’s peak popularity, the genre has remained relevant and influential to this day.