It's the music for this Millennium. It's Poetry. It's Song. It's Life. It tells what it is and how it is.
Hip Hop is a culture and subculture. It began in the 1970s among African Americans. To many people, Hip Hop is Rapping, talking and singing in a chanting sort of way over a beat or heavily beat-driven music.
Talking is part of an African oral tradition which goes way back so it’s not totally surprising that it finally emerged into popular music culture just like many other types of African-influenced music such as Blues, Jazz and Gospel.
Hip Hop continues to evolve as new artists with new ideas add their take on the genre to the mix.
Dressed to Thrill
As with most cultures, Hip Hop has developed its own dress codes. Most came from African-American youths in cities across America, each adding something to the mix which became generally known as Hip Hop dress.
Many top clothing manufacturers produce clothing specifically for the Hip Hop scene. Distinctive items include brightly-colored track suits, hoodies, bomber jackets, sneakers and over-sized laces in shoes.
Jewelry figures highly in Hip Hop fashion, particularly among the men. Multiple heavy gold rings and chains are popular, along with necklaces, nameplates and names on belts. Such displays are suggestive of wealth and prestige and are connected to Africanism.
However, some rappers have shunned the trend towards materialism and don’t wear expensive jewelry so followers don’t have to spend all their hard-earned just to feel good.
Of course, fashion changes and over the years so has Hip Hop fashion. Gangsta fashion, based on gangsters in the 1930s and 40s, became popular in the late 1990s and is still popular today. Some worry about promoting gangsters and gangs as role models and fashion items such as T-Shirts often incorporate guns into the design. However, some Hip Hop followers shunned gang-inspired fashions in favour of high-class gangster wear such as double-breasted suits and bowler hats.