Hip hop is a cultural movement built largely around the music genre of hip hop music, which developed in New York City during the 1970s primarily among African Americans and Latino Americans.[1][2] Hip hop's four main elements are rapping (or MCing, from Master of Ceremonies), DJing, graffiti writing, and b-boying. Other elements include beatboxing, hip hop fashion, hip hop slang, and recently VJing. Since first emerging in the Bronx and Harlem, the lifestyle of hip hop culture has spread around the world.[3]

When hip hop music began to emerge, it was based around DJs who created rhythmic beats by looping breaks (smalls portions of songs emphasizing a percussive pattern) on two turntables. This was later accompanied by "rapping" (a rhythmic style of chanting). An original form of dancing, and particular styles of dress, arose among followers of this new music. These elements experienced considerable refinement and development over the course of the history of the culture.

The relationship between graffiti and hip hop culture arises from the appearance of new and increasingly elaborate and pervasive forms of the practice in areas where other elements of hip hop were evolving as art forms, with a heavy overlap between those who wrote and those who practiced other elements of the culture. Beatboxing is a mainly percussive vocal form in which various technical effects of hip hop DJs are imitated.


  1. Chang, Jeff; DJ Kool Herc (2005). Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. Macmillan. ISBN 031230143X. 
  2. Castillo-Garstow, Melissa (2008-03-01). "Latinos in hip hop to reggaeton". Latin Beat Magazine. Retrieved on 2008-07-28.
  3. "A Rolling Shout-Out to Hip-Hop History", New York Times, 2 December, 2006.

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