Research Questions:

1. What makes hip-hop?
2. What is the difference between hip-hop and rap, if any?
3. What kind of beats does hip-hop usually have?
4. What/who were major influences on hip-hop?
5. What is the background of hip-hop?
6. Does the "hip-hop" culture promote bad behavior?
7. Did hip-hop derive from other genres of music?
8. Who is thought to be the creator of hip-hop, if anyone?
9. what are some common themes in hip-hop?
10. How does hip-hop relate to different cultures in America?


The beginning of the golden age era of hip-hop represented the beginning of hip-hop artists taking hip-hop into their own hands and adding diversity and individuality to the genre.

Research Plan:

We will separately research the three different eras of hip-hop: The old school era, the golden age era, and post-golden age (current) era.
Old school era: Allan Yang
Golden age era: Theodora Farah
Modern era: Alexander de Lia


Hip-hop is a genre of music, but some consider it a lifestyle. Hip-hop, both as a music and lifestyle, is generally associated with the lower class. While hip-hop music has become popular among those from all walks of life, the hip-hop lifestyle remains a symbol of a low socioeconomic status, and the term can be used almost interchangeably with "ghetto." Graffiti, violence, drugs, and unsafe or careless sexual activity is associated with the hip-hop lifestyle, and hip-hop music has been criticized for promoting such a lifestyle to young people (who make up most of hip-hop music's audience). Hip-hop music distinguishes itself from other genres of music with the use of rapping, or rhyming to a beat. Though rap and hip-hop are often considered the same thing, rap is in fact simply a common feature of hip-hop music. Hip-hop also incorporates techniques such as scratching, beatboxing, and imitating the sounds of modern machinery, as well as call-and-response patterns. Another major distinguishing feature of hip-hop is the common lack of a melody of any kind, often putting hip-hop right on the border of music and spoken word poetry.

The old school era (1970-1985):
Hip-hop began with Clive Campbell (AKA Kool Herc), a Jamaican DJ living in the Bronx, who subsequently influenced other prominent artists like Grandmaster Cash, Afrika Bambaataa, and Grandmaster Flash. The development of hip-hop is thought by many to be a response to the loss of soulfulness and originality in disco. Though "hip-hop" and "rap" are often used synonymously, "hip-hop" refers to an entire genre of music, while "rap" originates from a 1960's slang word for a conversation and refers to the art of rhyming to a beat.
Earlier hip-hop distinguishes itself from hip-hop today and of the golden age era with its relatively simple rapping techniques and content that focuses on partying and enjoying oneself rather than the serious subjects it covers today. "Battle rapping" was a large part of the culture surrounding hip-hop, with rap artists trying to out-rhyme each other in highly anticipated spectator events. Hip-hop dance crews, often consisting of many ex-gang members, also challenged each other.

The golden age era (1986-1999):
The "golden age" was the name given to a period in mainstream hip-hop. During the golden age era, hip-hop was characterized by diversity, quality, innovation and influence. The golden age era gets its name from its role as an era of hip-hop artists taking hip-hop into their own hands and making it their own. A number of new techniques, such as scratching and imitating the sounds of modern technology, were used to enhance hip-hop recordings. Call-and-response patterns are also a common feature in hip-hop of the golden age era, especially when performed live. Calls such as "Everybody say ho!" (which the audience answers with a cry of "Ho!") were common, as well as "Somebody scream!" (which would be answered with screams). Call-and-response patterns could even incorporate body movements, such as "throw your hands in the air," "raise the roof," or "give it up."
A prime example of golden age era hip-hop would be the hip-hop group Public Enemy. Public Enemy is considered to be among the best of golden age era hip-hop groups.

The current era (2000-today):
Modern day hip-hop is a new form of hip-hop. It is completely different from old school hip-hop. In the 1980’s when hip hop was first starting out it was the beginning of lyrical music. Now all hip-hop stars want to talk about is girls, drugs, alcohol , too much cursing. The technology has advanced and therefore affecting how people listen to hip hop.

Hip-hop, a Brief History

· 1970: The “grandfather” of hip-hop, Afrika Bambaataa, begins DJing
· 1973: Old school era of hip-hop begins in the Bronx with Jamaican DJ Clive Campbell (AKA Kool Herc)
· 1974: Grandmaster Cash, Bambaataa, and Grandmaster Flash are influenced by Campbell’s DJing
· 1975: “Emceeing” (rapping) evolves from rhyming party shouts like “Kool Herc is in the house and he’ll turn it up without a doubt!”
· 1976: DJ battles begin
· 1980: An all-female crew releases the single “Funk You Up”
· 1981: Funky 4 Plus One More performs their classic “That’s the Joint” on Saturday Night Live, the first hip-hop group to appear on national television
· 1983: Michael Jackson performs the moonwalk for the first time on a Motown 25 TV Special
· 1985: Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew release “The Show,” which changes the sound of hip-hop forever, introducing a new, laid-back style
· 1986: The Beastie Boys, an all-white band, release their debut rap album
· Freestyle dances like “The Wop,” “California Prep,” “FILA,” “Smurf,” “Troop,” “Hammer,” and “2-Hype” become a part of hip-hop culture
· 1988: The MTV show “Yo! MTV Raps” airs, bringing hip-hop to a wider audience and making it more mainstream
· 1990: The B-Boys return to the UK, leading a revival of British hip-hop culture
· 1992: The Disposable Heroes of Hip-Hoprisy record “Language of Violence,” the first rap recording to speak out against “gay-bashing”
· 1995: Queen Latifah’s hit “UNITY” wins her a Grammy award for best rap solo


Old School Hip Hop -

Modern Age Hip-Hop:

Golden Age Hip-Hop:


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