The first pillar of hip-hop is turntablism. Itis an art of creating and manipulating sounds and music phonograph turntables and a DJ Mixer.Turntablism was a term coined by DJ Babu to differentiate between a DJ who plays records and one who performs by touching and moving the records.
Traditionally a DJ will use 2 turntables at the same time. These are of course are connected to amplifiers, mixers, speakers and other pieces of electronic music equipment.
These DJs would also use techniques like mixing, matching, scratching and beat juggling. Some seek to have themselves recognised as legitimate musicians and focused on turntable technique. Others crafted intricate compositions and focused more on mixing.
The second pillar of hip-hop is rapping. It’s also known as MCing. It’s the rhythmic spoken delivery of rhymes, wordplay and poetry. It can be delivered with or without a beat.
While most mainstream rappers are male and black eg. Jay-Z, there are prominent white rappers too like Eminem and female ones such as Missy Elliot.
Rap is divided into 2 styles – freestyle and battle.
Freestyle is the improvisation of rapped lyrics. Some reuse old lines while others may cheat, preparing segments or verses in advance.
Battle which can be also freestyle is the competition of 2 or more rappers in front of can audience. Successful battle rapping usually is focused on the opponent’s weaknesses.
The strongest battle rappers usually perform their rap entirely freestyle.
The third pillar of hip-hop is graffiti. It’s the name for images and or lettering scrawled, marked or painted on property. Some regard it as art while others as vandalism or unwanted and unsightly damage.
Spray paint and markers are by far the most commonly used materials.
In the U.S.A during the 1960s, graffiti was used as a form of expression by political activist and a mark of territory from gangs.
Darryl McCray “Cornbread” is known to be one of the earliest writers of graffiti.
Now, you might be wondering about the connection between graffiti and hip-hop. Well, let’s explore that.
Early graffiti artists started to practice other aspects of hip-hop and did so in areas where some elements of hip-hop were evolving as art forms. By the mid 1980s, the form moved from the street to the art world.
But connections to hip-hop began to loosen although paeans to graffiti would still be heard in hip-hop music during the 1990s.
Break-dancing is the fourth pillar of hip-hop. It’s a dance style, a dynamic one, which developed as a part of hip-hop culture and began to take form in South Bronx, NYC.
In the 1980s, groups of people with radios performed in playgrounds, basketball courts and sidewalks or pavements for people.
It is today accepted worldwide and is a disciplinebetween those of dancers and athletes.
Break-dance usually ends with a freeze where the performers halt and strike a pose.
The fifth and final pillar of hip-hop is beat boxing. It’s a form of vocal percussion which primarily involves creating drum beats, rhythm and musical sounds using the mouth, tongue, voice and much more. It originated in the 1980s.
Singing can also be included and even the imitation of turntables and various musical instruments.
Beat boxing is derived from themimicry of the first generation of drum machines which were known as beat boxes.
In 2005, the world championship for beat boxing was organised in Leipzing, Germany.