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Hip Hop music, also called hip-hop, rap music, or hip-hop music, is a music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling (or synthesis), and beatboxing. While often used to refer to rapping, "hip hop" more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, and scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks. 

Evolution of Hip Hop


Sugarhill Gang - "Rapper's Delight" - Official Music Video - 1979 - HD

Hip hop as music and culture formed during the 1970s when block parties became increasingly popular in New York City, particularly among the African American and Latino youth residing in the Bronx. At block parties, DJs played percussive breaks of popular songs using two turntables to extend the breaks. Hip hop's early evolution occurred as sampling technology and drum-machines became widely available and affordable. Turntablist techniques developed along with the breaks and the Jamaican toasting vocal style was used. Rapping developed as a vocal style in which the artist speaks along with an instrumental or synthesized beat. Notable artists at this time include Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Fab Five Freddy, Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Moe Dee, Kurtis Blow, and Spoonie Gee. The Sugarhill Gang's 1979 song "Rapper's Delight" is widely regarded to be the first hip hop record to gain widespread popularity in the mainstream. The 1980s marked the diversification of hip hop as the genre developed more complex styles. Prior to the 1980s, hip hop music was largely confined within the United States. However, during the 1980s, it began to spread and became a part of the music scene in dozens of countries.

Links To Peel 


Grandmaster Flash The Message HQ

The first hip hop track in the Festive Fifty

Peel started playing hip hop music in the early 80's, often to the unbridled disgust of certain listeners:

"I had a letter this week also, a letter of a type that I've not had for quite some time, from somebody saying, "How could you possibly like all of those great records of the early 1980s and then like hip hop and stuff like that?" It seems to me to be an entirely logical thing to do, really, but some people seem to assume that if you like one, it automatically excludes the other, which is a pity because it means that they're going to miss out on a lot of interesting things. Like the old records by all means, but don't be obsessed with them to the point of excluding new stuff." [1]

He later recalled in his autobiography how he had been approached by a BBC producer and told "that I shouldn't play it [Hip-Hop] on the radio because it was, and I quote, 'the music of black criminals'. This I felt told more about the individuals concerned than it did about hip-hop".

Later his widow, Sheila, would recall the occasion on which a listener was so incesed by his advocacy of black music that they dispatched a "box of turds" by post. Like many of the broadly left persuasion, Peel was alienated by gangsta rap lyrics and their fixation with money and disdain for women and gays. However, he did favour many rap artists from the UK who were not into gangsta rap, sexism or homophobia. Additionally, at the turn of the century he embraced the UK grime scene, despite this hip hop subgenre later on becoming associated with gangsta culture.

Peel's Hip Hop Sessions


JUNIOR GEE & THE CAPITAL BOYS John Peel 26th September 1984

Peel's first hip hop session was recorded in September 1984 by UK artist Junior Gee And The Capital Boys, broadcast on 03 October 1984. In later years, many of Peel's hip hop sessions were recorded by UK and other non-American artists, who did not get much exposure compared to US based entertainers. Peel was also disillusioned with most American hip hop artists. In an interview with Interzone magazine in 1994, he stated: [2]

"It seems that by and large rap in America has been taken over by big record companies and become commercialised. Also it's very sexist while UK rap like Credit To The Nation and Gunshot are quite the opposite."

Festive Fifty

The first hip hop artist to enter the Festive Fifty was Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5, whose track 'The Message' entered at number 3 in the 1982 Festive Fifty. This was the year of seminal rap and the birth of a new genre in Hip Hop: electro-funk, initiated by Afrika Bambaataa's & The Soul Sonic Force's "Planet Rock", the most sampled Hip Hop record of all time (James Brown's "Funky Drummer" is the most sampled record in Hip Hop). Electro-funk in Hip Hop got Peel interested in the genre, which he played often on his shows including Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five's "The Message", which started political/social rap. Many hip hop artists started to gain entries in the Festive Fifty, with some such as the Cookie Crew mixing their rap vocals with house music and others combining it with indie rock from acts like Credit To The Nation with Chumbawamba and Senser on their own.


The Beatmasters Ft. The Cookie Crew, Rok Da House - 1987


Chumbawamba ft credit to the nation


Senser Eject




Roxanne Shante - Queen of Rox

Four Hip Hop tracks were chosen for the Peelenium, including Grandmaster Flash And the Furious Five, 'The Message', for the Peelenium 1982, Salt 'N' Pepa, 'Tramp' for the Peelenium 1986, Eric B. & Rakim, 'I Know You Got Soul' for the Peelenium 1987 and Roxanne Shante's 'Queen Of Rox' for the Peelenium 1985. After playing Roxanne Shante's track for the Peelenium 1985 on 15 December 1999, Peel commented:

"I've not heard that for a decade. What a fantastic record it was! and it didn't sound as though it had dated a minute over the past fourteen years or so. It's strange: sometimes you do wonder, hearing that again, how we've got from a record as startling, as original and exciting as that to a lot of the kind of big money hip-hop that you see in the charts and occasionally hear on the radio, and you think, how did we get there from here? Very odd."

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