Hip Hop & Beat Making
Course 12: What is Hip Hop?

Hip hop has become a powerful force in popular culture and made an indelible mark on the world. It originated as an urban African American cultural movement in the late 1960s in the South Bronx, New York where a marginalized community had little to call their own. They found a voice with hip-hop and have since gone on to influence fashion, music, film, art, and more.

Hip-hop is an integral part of American pop culture, making waves in fashion, television, movies, retail sales, and literature. As such, it is a multi-billion dollar industry. The music is a multi-genre, multicultural experience that draws artists of other genres into its vortex. But hip hop’s beginnings were downright humble and anything but omnipotent. We look at the history of this now-powerful, iconic genre, starting with hip hop’s progenitors, through to its meteoric rise to dominance.

You’ll learn about the four elements of hip hop and how the genre has grown throughout the decades. Battle rapping, hardcore and gangsta rap, boom bap, and more–and how all of those derivatives have their own look, lifestyle, and song topics. At the end of this course, you’ll be able to define what hip hop is, summarize the key words and symbols used in the genre, and identify differences in hip hop subgenres.

The Listening Library will have you listen to three artists discussed in the course and explain why you chose them, what you learned from them, and any ideas you may have gotten from them. You’ll also watch episode six of Hip Hop Evolution, centering on Tupac and his influence on the genre. You’ll also work on a marketing plan for yourself in Market Time.