What is Hip Hop? A lifestyle? a form of music, dance, art? It’s very hard to pin down exactly what Hip Hop is, but as many have said before
You know it when you see it.
D’Jing, Beep Boxing, Popping and Locking, B-boying, Graffiti Art and Rapping are all parts of the diverse hip hop scene. Originating in the streets of the Bronx in the 70’s surrounded by poverty and violence, Hip Hop became a way of expressing how lost one felt in these heartless urban environments. It was an alternative to the violence, a way of looking at ones experiences and expressing them creatively. In short Hip Hop was an outlet.
So what can a middle class white girl have to offer on such a subject?
I’ve never struggled on the streets, i didn’t grow up in a violent neighbourhood, and really can’t rap. Really.
And this is where our global dynamic comes in, Hip Hop spread like wildfire across the globe in the last 40 years. As an urban form of expression, it’s popularity is unrivalled and now it is a cornerstone of popular culture. M&M paved the way for skinny white guys to get involved and now a rags to riches story isn’t even a necessity.
Many would argue that authentic Hip Hop is still only practiced on the streets, and the streets is where it gets interesting. As Hip Hop has moved from one country to another, it has become localised. The same urban roots but with distinct flavours. The popularisation of Hip Hop means that anyone can get involved.
You know something is no longer just a street art when a rapper like Ludicrous agrees feature in Justin Biebers song Baby, and achieves his most success to date.
If Justin Bieber can claim Hip Hop roots, so can you.
In an example of just how far the Hip Hop bug has spread. I’d like to introduce the world’s oldest dance crew, the Hip Op-eration crew. Originating from Waiheke in New Zealand. A local Flavour?