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MAIN Arrow to Society Society Arrow to SubculturesHip Hop

Once an underground
movement, hip hop is
now big business thanks
to producers like Jay Z.

What began as a cool 70s underground movement in African American and Latino neighborhoods in The Bronx has since become a global phenomenon with hip hop fans found in poor urban as well as affluent white suburban neighborhoods around the world.

One of the most identifiable elements of hip hop, rap music originated with talented emcees at house parties who entertained guests by exhibiting their quick wit and rhyming skills.

Meanwhile, out in the streets, physical prowess was exhibited by teens attempting to outdo each other in gravity-defying moves at fiercely competitive break-dancing or b-boy competitions.

Hip hop also encompassed another expression of youthful creativity in colorful graffiti "tags" scrawled across ghetto walls and subway trains.

Along with these basic elements encompassing music, art and dance, the movement eventually grew to influence movies, television and hip hop fashion as the culture went mainstream in the U.S. and then globally.

When teens on an international scale embraced hip hop as an easily accessible mode of self expression, elements of hip hop eventually would be seen on city streets throughout Europe, Russia, and the Middle East.

Although today critics charge that rap and hip hop have been diluted by mainstream acceptance (resulting in rappers' fashion lines, multi-platinum records and million-dollar recording deals), hip hop continues to evolve and cross boundaries as the world's most popular youth culture.

also see -> BET Hip Hop Awards

More about hip hop culture around the Web:

Davey D's History of Hip Hop 101 Directory - A great source for information on the origins of hip hop and and the world of rap, dj's, emcees, break dancing and graffiti artists, with related interviews. - The latest news and rumors, album releases and reviews, feature stories, star interviews, photos, video, and a very busy forum, including discussions on music, fashion, movie reviews, visitor submitted photos. - Daily hip hop news, headlines & music charts, regular feature columns & blogs, community forums, music videos & celebrity interviews. - Hot R&B / Hip Hop Songs - What's No. 1 this week, along with the latest Top 50 list of hip hop hits, sample audio clips.



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