There are many artists and pioneers, both known and unknown, who have moulded the music of Hip Hop over the years. Long before Afrika Bambaataa even used the term Hip Hop as a catch all for our culture, it was the DJs who were the ghetto celebrity superstars switching between two copies of the same record to extend the break – drum and percussion breakdown, part of the songs the crowd favoured. Although not necessarily the first, Kool DJ Herc is credited with being the one who really brought his style out into the open along with his MC, credited as being the first, Coke La Rock. Many DJs followed in the footsteps of Herc and, as the 1970’s progressed, the MCs moved on from just saying popular phrases to performing rhymes more similar to what we might expect to hear today.
A lesser known aspect of our musical heritage is Beatboxing, which is basically making the music with your mouth. Beatboxing was popularised in the early eighties by artists such as The Fat Boys and Doug E Fresh and has moved on incredibly, as an art in it’s own right, over the years.
The 1980’s brought the mergence of drum machines, shortly followed by samplers, and the music of Hip Hop was somewhat taken out of the hands of the DJs. The producer/ rapper combination became the focus throughout this decade with the DJ resigned to scratching on the chorus parts of the songs. This is how it continued for many years until now where we have a rap scene which, in part, has lost it’s connection with Hip Hop Culture. Rest assured real Hip Hop music and culture is alive and well but it is doubtful you’ll find it in the top 40.