"Rap is something you do, Hip-Hop is something you live."- KRS-One-Hip-Hop vs Rap
What is Hip-Hop Culture?
Hip-Hop is usually thought of as a genre of music but, it is more than this. It is a culture. This culture is broken into four parts which are MCing (rapping), DJing, breakdancing and graffiti art. The rap artist KRS-One adds knowledge as a fifth element and the artist Afrika Bambaata adds understanding, so some say there are six parts but most tend to agree that at least the first four are present (Alim 372). Although Hip-Hop is a culture we are going to focus on and discuss rap music itself so it is very important to distinguish between Hip-Hop and rap. Rap is the verbal part of the Hip-Hop culture; it is the stringing together of words into verbal rhymes over beats that are produced by the DJ’s.
"Hip-Hop vs Rap" D.I.G.I.T.A.L, audio recording, KRS-One, Cleopatra Records, November 25th, 2004, English
This song by rap legend KRS-One is about pride in not only rap but the culture that is Hip-Hop.
The Multi-Ethnic Rap Scene
"Harlem Streets" Revolutionary Vol. 2, sound recording, Immortal Technique, Viper Records, November 18th, 2003, English
This song by Peruvian Rapper Immortal Technique has great examples of the situations and ghettoness that are associated with the unified and multi-ehtnic rap scene. Even though there are some very paranoid ideas included he still talks about the drugs and crime that are flooding his neighborhood.
Hip-hop started as a culture that was primarily associated with African-Americaness and/or blackness it eventually transformed into an art form that was no longer ethnically exclusive. Rather than being associated with a specific color or race, rap became associated with a situation, rather than blackness being the pre-requisite for being involved in the rap scene the necessity turned into ghettoness. Throughout this website we are going to explore the involvement of Latino groups within the genre as well as ghettoness and their relationship with being a rapper and the authenticity that is related to all of this.
"It's not important that you believe what I say but, that you question everything you are told."-Immortal Technique