Looking to know hip hop? It’s way more than just a music style or a genre – i know good hop is whole culture, absorbing music, DJ-ing, dance and also art. To provide you a good overview, we’ll look at the five facets of i know good hop, including:

Five aspects of hip Hop

B-BoyingMC-ingBeat BoxingDJ-ingGraffitiHip Hop Culture

New York City’s Afrika Bambaataa came to be known as ‘the Godfather’. A pioneering DJ and music producer, that organised block next in the Bronx throughout the late 1970s. Creating Universal Zulu nation as a method to store the city’s youth away from gang life, drugs and violence, it urged peace and unity v DJing, breakdancing, rapping and visual art – i beg your pardon Bambaataa categorised as the ‘four elements’ of i know well hop.

You are watching: The 5 elements of hip hop



In hip hop, B-boying – also known together breaking - is dancing. The term was coined by Kool Herc, that was a DJ because that Bronx block next – they offered spinning (power) moves, footwork and freeze to run to the break component of the music. The layout was designed in the early on 1970s by afri American and also Latino american in brand-new York’s southern Bronx – the five original ‘core’ moves were: top rock, footwork, ago rock, freezes and also power moves. 90s breaking was carried to the fore by Rock stable Crew – and as DJs invented brand-new ways come elongate your records’ rest beats, the dancers were given much more time come invent and experiment – introducing backspins and windmills.

In 1983, the movieFlashdancefeatured a B-boying and also popping sequence, which helped B-boying to cross over and also become a an international craze, and also gave increase to breaking movies together asBreakin’andBeat Street.

The ideal B-Boyers

WingMennoIsseiVicious VictorLil ZooJinjo Crew


A member of Jinjo Crew, soup likes to produce highly in-depth patterns that movement, and incorporate complex combinations and also flows – his surname was motivated by the easy of his moves. Breakdancing has actually moved right into the mainstream in Korea, perhaps due to the fact that their crews room so skilled at it, together Wing notes, ‘Even though rest dancing was designed by Western run crews, asian B-boys have created a call for elevating the level and complexity of the dance moves. Something about our body type allows us to make for the best B-boy dancers.’


Red Bull BC One all Star Menno valve Gorp has actually one of the most original formats on the scene, gift a grasp of smooth blow-ups and masses the explosive energy. Originally motivated by operation DMC’s video for ‘It’s prefer That’, he learned his very first moves native his cousins.


In his residence town in Kyushu (the many southwestern the Japan’s main islands), Issei was just six year old once he gained into breakdancing. He’s known for his seamless combinations that high-level approaches – and his originality.

Vicious Victor

You could say it’s in the blood: Victor’s father started breaking in his aboriginal Mexico in the 80s and also taught his son when he to be six; Victor acquired the to trust to yes, really go for it aged eleven, influenced by new York’s legend Rock steady Crew. He’s still motivated by initial old institution hip hop – and also wants to adopt the entirety culture, speak that, ‘nowadays, most world just carry out one thing. I feel choose going right into other stuff lie Djing and MCing really helps your breaking. You get inspired more.’

Lil Zoo

Born and also raised in Morocco, Lil Zoo relocated to Innsbruck, aiming to accomplish success top top the an international Bboy scene. He’s also component of run crew Lhiba Kingzoo, who have actually collaborated v artists such as Busta Rhymes and also Jennifer Lopez.

Jinjo Crew

Break dancing began to affect South oriental youth in the so late ’80s. Oriental B-boy pioneers Jinjo Crew were developed in 2001, and also became the very first Korean plot to become world champions. The crew have actually won the 5 largest competitions, including Red Bull BC One in 2008, the battle of the Year in 2010 and the UK B-Boy Championships in 2012.


MC-ing (which is brief for ‘Master of Ceremonies) goes under a few names, indigenous lyricism come rapping. Once hip hop started in the late 1970s, the MCs’ job was to present DJs at block next – and also hype up the crowd. They began to talk in time to the beat, and also then to carry in rhymes, offering birth to rap.

A Tribe called Quest explained the background to the term in the liner notes for your 1993 album,Midnight Marauders:

‘The usage of the hatchet MC once referring come a rhyming wordsmith originates native the run halls the Jamaica. At every event, there would certainly be a grasp of ceremonies, who would introduce the various musical acts and would speak a toast in the style of a rhyme… The ax MC ongoing to be supplied by the youngsters of females who moved to brand-new York City to work as maids in the 1970s. These MCs eventually produced a brand-new style of music dubbed hip hop, based on the rhyming they offered to do in Jamaica and also the breakbeats offered in records. MC has also recently been embraced to describe all that engineer music.’


The finest Hip Hop MCs

Capturing the flow of a rhyme and also matching it come the beat is a actual art – celebrated by MTV’s ‘Hottest MCs in the Game’ optimal 10, which has actually been compiled because 2007. Kanye West currently holds the document for most appearances ~ above the list – he’s the only rapper come have appeared every year on the list since its inception. The perform is judged on whatever from creative execution – such together lyrical capacity and flow – commercial success, cultural impact, digital metrics (such as Twitter followers) – and the artist need to have proactively released music that year.

The finest MCs follow to the MTV list include Nicki Minaj, the an initial and just female rapper top top the list, along with Eminem, Lil Wayne and also Kendrick Lamar – that were all called ‘Hottest MC’ the very first time they appeared on the list. Billboard.com’s list of premier MCs consists of The Fugees’ Lauryn Hill and Outkast’s Andre 3000, along with Nas and Rakim.

The 10 finest Hip Hop MCs:

Kendrick LamarJ. ColeJuice WrldTravis ScottDaBabyDrakePusha TLogicJoyner LucasTory Lanez


MC Pusha Tvia

Beat Boxing

Beat boxing may have taken a little of a earlier seat to rapping, but it was a vital part the the early on hip hop scene – in the early on 80s, beatboxers would earlier up rappers once drum devices were unaffordable. It’s a kind of vocal percussion, where you create sounds v your mouth, tongue, lips, nose and also throat: you’re basically a musical instrument.

Who to be the initial beatbox pioneer? The artist most frequently cited is Doug E. Fresh, whose mid-80s solitary ‘The Show/La Di Da Di’ describe his skills and introduced a mass of showmanship, particularly for his phase shows. For beatboxing, the main percussion sound you need to have the ability to finesse are a kick-drum ( a ‘p’ sound), high-that (a ‘th’ sound) and also the small snare drum (a ‘kuh’ sound). ‘New college beatboxing’ includes an ext musicality – bringing in aspects such as dubstep, and with a emphasis on flow and speed.

The finest Beatboxers

Doug E FreshBiz MarkieRahzelKenny MuhammadKid Lucky

Doug E. Fresh

The man referred to as ‘the Original human Beatbox’ has had a career spanning over 30 years, appearing as a mentor ~ above American Idol, setting up a restaurant in brand-new York City and making his note as a lifelong activist. His prompt classics, ‘The Show’ and also ‘La Di Da Di’, recorded with Slick Rick and also the acquire Fresh Crew, resulted in the latter becoming the 5th most sampled song in music’s history.

Plus, he to be the an initial rapper to execute at the unified Nations and joined pressures with Michelle Obama on she ‘Let’s Move’ campaign, aiming to promote much better health for children, through his i know good Hop Public health nonprofit. No to cite the fact that he’s averaged 200 live performances a year because that the past two decades. New by name, fresh by nature.

Want a deep dive on ‘La Di Da Di’? Watch mark Ronson’s TED speak on exactly how sampling revolutionized music and also the ways in which Doug E. Fresh’s track has actually been reimagined for every generation due to the fact that its release.

Biz Markie

beatboxer, rapper, DJ, actor, comedian, TV personality and spokesperson, Biz Markie has actually done it all. He released his debut album, Goin’ Off, in 1988 and his most successful single, ‘Just a Friend’, ~ above which that raps and also sings, came from his second album in 1989. And also his talent for beatboxing, he also performed funny raps, bring about his nickname ‘the clown prince of hip hop’.


Known as the ‘Godfather the Noise’, Rahzel declared, ‘you’ve gotta feel the soul of the music, it’s no just around the beat and also the bass.’ The brand-new Yorker, a onetime member the The Roots, has operated with a variety of artists consisting of Erykah Badu, Ben Harper, Common, Rakim and Sean Paul.

Kenny Muhammad

AKA The human being Orchestra, has inspiration as varied as beatboxing’s own roots. That revealed that, ‘My mommy played a many James Brown, earth Wind and also Fire. I tried to discover a means to duplicate sound; ns heard the Fat Boys as soon as they come out, and that go out me away. Every these artists that did something percussive, harmonic with their vocals, they motivated me to take it it to an additional level.’

Kid Lucky

Kid lucky was ‘instrumental in bringing with each other the country’s east coast and West coastline beatboxers.’ he coined his own term, Beatrhyming, which to be a mix of singing, rapping and also beatboxing and also holds yearly occasions in NYC consisting of the ‘American human being Beatbox Festival’.


The original kind of Djing to be done come loop north breaks utilizing turntables to do the ‘break’ last longer. This readjusted music drastically as it gave B-boys the to win to rest to, and for MCs come rap to. Rappers may have actually taken the much more front and centre place in hip hop, but the innovators of scratching, cutting, backspins and needle drops listed the structures for lock to construct on.

Pioneers had Grandmaster Flash and also mixtape king DJ Clue, but it to be DJ Kool Herc who acquired there first, hosting a back to school Jam through his sister in 1973. In ~ the party, Herc unveiled a method called ‘The Merry walk Round’, playing breaks ago to back.

The ideal hip hop DJs

Grandmaster FlashDJ PremierLil JohnJam master Jay

Grandmaster Flash

The first DJ to end up being a superstar – and also was inducted right into the rock & role Hall the Fame as a result.

DJ Premier

DJ Premiere created The notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and also Gang Starr, yet is also an above turntablist.

Lil John

Lil john was at the forefront of the Atlanta scene of the 90s. Native playing residence parties and also clubs, he was recruited as So therefore Def’s executive, management Vice president of A&R, but kept his ear come the ground together a DJ on local station V-103.

Jam master Jay

Jam understand Jay helped to placed rap on the radar throughout the 80s as the DJ because that Run-DMC. And, having actually launched his own record label, Jam master Jay Records, in the 90s, the discovered and also mentored 50 Cent.

Hip Hop Graffiti

As hip hop was all about making a new kind of music express messages around everyday life, graffiti was the extension of that v art. Hip hop graffiti began with tag – do your existence felt in the city and also stamping her individuality top top it, and first emerged in the late 60s in brand-new York and Philadelphia.

One that its early huge names, Cameron ‘Grandmaster’ Flowers, that was also making music, defined the faster incarnations the graffiti as, ‘just, “Here’s my name. Look in ~ how many times I’ve composed it. Look at how plenty of places you could see me from one finish of town to the other”’. Graffiti artists would spray your name, and perhaps a street number – fast, to avoid the police.

The 70s saw an ext media fist and more competition, with ever-increasing and more complicated tags – and in the 80s, graffiti stepped right into the well art job-related with the landmark MoMA show, ‘New York/New Wave’ placing works by Warhol and also Mapplethorpe alongside up-and-coming Jean-Michel Basquiat.

But at heart, it stayed an underground art form, together British photographer Janette Beckman, who portraits of i know good hop stars have actually graced album covers and magazines, remembers: ‘We would certainly be having parties at my studio and also the artists would tell stories around how they would certainly go in a hardware store wearing a large coat to steal paint throughout the day. Then, at night, they would sneak out of the window so your parents wouldn’t hear them and also go come a yard to paint a train.’

‘There to be guard dogs and also rival gangs, and you can be mugged, robbed, shot, or arrested. Yet they would certainly sneakback right into their bedrooms and still go to school. There is something about the struggle and also the enthusiasm it take away to make art favor that.’

The most influential graffiti artists:

Lee QuinoñesLady PinkZephyrJohn 'Crash' MatosKeith Haring

Lee Quinoñes

An American-Puerto Rican artist known for his new York subway graffiti during the 70s and 80s, i m sorry addressed politics and cultural issues. He later on collaborated on graphics for brands such together Adidas and Supreme.

Lady Pink

Born in Ecuador and also raised in new York City, Pink started her graffiti career in 1979, painting subway trains until 1985. Her occupational now features in the Whitney Museum, new York’s MET, and also the Groningen Museum in Holland.


Zephyr also began paint his moniker top top subway cars, and also became part of the very first wave the graffiti artists to do the shift to galleries. In 1983, he was hired by director Charlie Ahearn come design and art direct the location sequence because that the first hip hop film, Wild Style.

John ‘Crash’ Matos

Matos choose up his first can of spray paint once he was simply thirteen. His energetic, colourful designs suggest to celebrity and also comic book culture, much like Andy Warhol and also Roy Lichtenstein. He concerned the critics’ attention once he maintain ‘Graffiti arts Success because that America’ in ~ the Fashion Moda in 1980 and also his work shows up in collections at the Brooklyn Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, among others.

See more: How Much Is A Ton Of Money Worth? How Much Is A Ton Of Money

Keith Haring

Haring ended up being possibly the best known graffiti artist of all, painting murals all over brand-new York together a method to give earlier to his community, and to advanced awareness for health-related issues, an especially AIDS. You have the right to still check out his work-related for complimentary at Brooklyn’s Woodhull clinical Center and also his last artwork, a actors bronze triptych at the Cathedral Church that St. Man the Divine.