Another Hip Hop Story

They use to dress up like super stars and they lived flamboyant lifestyles. They listened to a lot of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, James Brown, Sly Stone and Bob Marley just to name a few. They use to mix Rock, Reggae, RnB, and Soul music together. They liked it all. They also followed the teachings of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Elijah Mahammad and the list goes on and on until the break of dawn.

In their schools were large talent shows called, The Battle of the Bands. Those were talent shows where school students showed off their musical talent. They were judged by the cheers of the audience. The audience were other school students that cheered the loudest the music artist or band that sound the best. At that time they were seriously following music. It was very inspiring even though some had never performed on stage. A lot of students in their school were taking music serious.

For some reason during the Board of Education’s budget cycle the funds for music in their school were cut. Cuts in their school came down hard on music and art for African American students. This was because music and the arts are often at the top of the “cut list curriculum.”  But the cuts kept on coming year after year and students felt powerless to stop them. Nevertheless, the cuts were wrong and in many cases were not in the best interest of the systems and the students they serve. As a matter of fact students got more creative and they didn’t let budget cuts stop their creativity.

They unconsciously retaliated and formed a new music style and culture as a result. During those years in the early 1970s block parties became increasingly popular particularly among African American youths residing in the Bronx of New York City.

Block parties incorporated DJs, who played popular genres of music, especially funk, RnB and soul music. It consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that was chanted with the music and sound. It developed to be part of a culture what is now known as Hip Hop and Rap that is sometimes mixed with Soul, Rhythm and Blues. A great deal of the original Hip Hop originators did not become famous, but they all know what the young people like. Make the funky beats and add the rhythmic words and they will memorize the whole song.

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