Hip Hop Evolution Notes

ARTICLES ABOUT THE SHOW

Hip Hop Evolution: Ep 1: The Origins

  • “Hip Hop doesn’t influence the mainstream, it is the mainstream”
  • Shadrach “Shad” Kabango – host
  • early 1970s – disco
  • birth of Hip Hop
    • DJ Kool Kerk – first hip hop party
      • aug 11, 1973
      • “the merry-go-round” = continuous playing of a record
      • break-dancers
        • A1 B-Boy – best dancer in the neighborhood
  • Afrikaa Bambaataa
    • original hip-hopper
    • local hero, Bronx
    • Black Spades – biggest gang in the Bronx – dominated the street culture
      • change the identity – bring the community together positively (get away from gang vs gang) – organize the community
    • stopped a lot of gang violence
    • Getting into MC, djing or graffiti – was a way to express yourself (Culture movement became “Hip Hop”)
    • “no matter what color you are, you know who your ancestors are – and that’s the message you brought to hip hop
  • GRANDMASTER FLASH
    • tinkering with mastering what Herk and Bam started
      • ideas of mixing records seemlessly – key to perfecting technique
    • “not just play the record, play the technology” – Nelson George
  • Herk, Afrikaa and Grandmaster – The Holy Trinity
  • Birth of Rap
    • gospel choirs – song ryhming
    • call and response in the 1930s
    • Malcom X – rhyme – rhythmic talking
    • spoken word over the mic – radio djs: frankie crocker (first to do this)
    • dj hollywood – king of rap (1st)
      • rhythmic rap
      • Pigmeat Markham – “here comes the judge”
        • flow of words “hands in the air, wave em like you just don’t care”
    • “hip hop lives because of the ability to connect with the spoken word”
  • Defining Hip Hop
    • Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
      • wanted to be seen, more like a concert (heard and noticed) instead of just a dj behind a rope
      • left the Bronx and traveled the world preforming
    • hip hop is everything: disco, funk, nursery rhymes, etc
  • Zulu Nation

Hip Hop Evolution: Ep 2 – The Underground to the Mainstream

  • innovation builds hip hop
  • Blackouts = new gear for DJs
  • everyone became an MC
  • groups from Harlem and the Bronx
    • had to stay 2 or 3 steps ahead always to stay successful
  • Cold Crush Brothers – became the new Fantastic Five (but had 4 members – romantics with the ladies)
    • rap battles – winner takes all
    • only won because of their performance, but musically lost to Grandmaster
    • tapes were battling against top records
  • Grandmaster Flash – tapes selling across all boroughs
  • No hip hop records made until 1979
  • Sylvia Robinson
    • founded All Platinum Records
    • finds rapping DJ Starsky but he wont record, so she finds Sugarhill Gang
  • Sugarhill Gang
    • hip hop the hibby hop – Rapper’s Delight
    • on every radio station  – everywhere
    • August 1979
    • first world-wide hit
    • first rap stars
    • hip hop community hated it – pissed that they had been doing it for years and this is what became popular
      • stealing words from Grandmaster Caz and that it was recorded was the problem
    • industry thought rap was a novelty – not a game changer
    • became cliche – was saved it was when Afrika Bambaattaa took it out of the Bronx
      • being played in clubs regularly
  • Grandmaster Flash – took music to clubs that were primarily white people – good response, “couldn’t get enough” – constantly booked
    • Blondie was introduced to Grandmaster Flash – opened to a ton of doors
    • Alternative and punk rock brought hip hop into mainstream
    • same response as hen first heard Kool Herk
  • use of 808s – Zulu Nation – Planet Rock
  • Grandmaster Flash – The Message – not a party song – concept from Stevie Wonder – Livin’ in the City
    • socially relevant
    • song was the entry into Urban America – more powerful than politics, etc. was an actual message that showed what life is actually like

Hip Hop Evolution: Ep 3 – The New Guard

  • 1970s – overcoming violence, neglect
  • 1980s – success
    • hip hop became a business, rappers became stars
  • Russell Simmons
    • founder of Def Jam records
    • wanted to make records that he heard from the street
    • Christmas rap was first he made
      • Curtis Blow
      • Laviticus club – Christmas rap – Frankie Crocker played it on the radio after that
    • The Beatles of Hip – Hop: RUN DMC
      • Russell Simmons found and made their records
  • Run-DMC
    • rap about being light-skin and going to college
    • new sound – records had no mix sound, just drums
    • wore clothes that showed the neighborhood – more street – relevant to listeners
    • culture was explosive
    • other rappers thought they changed the game because they had been wanting to be superstars – run dmc was just normal
    • Addias shoes – selling shoes from style – then made a song about the shoes and performed it to a rep from the company – 20k kids held up their addias shoes and screamed “my addias”
      • in response gave DMC a deal – first non-athletic deal
      • branding created
    • Suck-MCs changed the genre
  • Rick Ruban
    • white rapper
    • brings record from LL Cool J to Def Jam
    • played music in a car – if he liked the sound he would move forward with the record
  • Def Jam Records
    • Starting
      • Beastie Boys
      • LL Cool J
      • Slick Rick
    • alternative kids – white kids gave a space for hip hop
    • Rick – punk kid – Beastie Boys
      • influential in creating them to who they were
    • purpose of hip-hop: new generation, new purpose – kind of like a fuck you to the old stuff, this was for us
    • Aerosmith stole lyrics for Walk this Way so Def Jam brought them in an redid it with DMC
      • brought them into mainstream – cross over
      • first hip hop group in Rolling Stone
  • Big Daddy Kane
    • calm – say what you are going to say and then be done
    • good punch lines
    • new generation of rapper – changed the game lyrically
  • Rakim
    • changed the game with lyrics on conscious to black america
  • Public Enemy
    • MC DJ Flavor Flav and Chuck
    • Rick Rubin goes crazy over them
      • took over 2 years to get them on Def Jam
    • Dynamic for power and peace and that showed in music
    • wanted to sound like The Clash mixed with Run DMC
    • Fight the Power – hero doesn’t look like me so fuck em about Elvis and John Wayne
    • vehicle for any voice – sometimes angry that speaks out about politics

Hip Hop Evolution: Ep 4 – The Birth of Gangsta Rap

  • West Coast
    • about party and women not poverty like east coast
    • more in common with Michael Jackson than Run DMC
    • pop lockin’ and breakdancing but in perms and sweat suits
  • Worldclass Wreckin’ Crew
    • Dr. Dre
    • trying to sell sex through music
  • ICE-T
    • gang affiliate – wear colors but not a hardcore member
    • “6 in the Morning” – drug dealers song  about selling dope
      • created the term “gangsta rap”
  • Schoolly D
    • PSK – Philadelphia song
  • Cocaine changed the hip hop game
    • music wasn’t happy anymore – lyrics became darker
    • neighborhoods changed
  • N.W.A
    • record about life in central LA
      • brought on different MCs
    • Boyz-n-the Hood
      • response to 6 in the Morning
    • Straight outta Compton
      • see the reality of gangs – poverty, police brutality – everyone could now experience it
      • protests against gangsta rap
      • warning label for lyrics in music – as a response
    • Fuck da Police
      • response to police brutality
      • showed white kids what the truth was about racism
      • police in LA were more of a gang than the gangs were just more organized
      • police shut down a show in Detroit when the song started playing
      • Rodney King Trail – protests
    • use of voice against oppression
  • Kronic album- Snoop dog
    • hip hop became mainstream
    • album was made for the projects but all the suburban kids wanted it
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