Learn more about Hip hop
The term hip hop (also spelled "hip-hop" or "hiphop") refers both to a musical (see hip hop music) and cultural genre or movement (hip hop culture) that was developed by African Americans predominantly in urban communities over the last quarter-century. Since first emerging in New York City in the seventies, hip hop has grown to encompass not just rapping, but an entire lifestyle that consistently incorporates diverse elements of ethnicity, technology, art and urban life. There are four fundamental elements in hip hop: hip hop dance (notably breakdancing), urban inspired art (notably graffiti), DJing and MCing.
Herc's idea was soon widely copied, and by the late 70's a myriad of DJ's were releasing 12" cuts where they would rap to the beat. Popular tunes included Kurtis Blow's The Breaks, and The Sugar Hill Gang's Rapper's Delight.
Hip hop as a culture was further defined in 1983, when former Black Spades gang member Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force released a track called Planet Rock. Instead of simply rapping over disco beats, Bambaataa created an innovative electronic sound, taking advantage of the rapidly improving drum machine and synthesizer technology. Many credit the sensation caused by the track as the defining moment in hip hop music and culture. The mainstream media began to focus on one of the greatest impacts of hip hop; instead of fighting with guns and knives, former gangmembers had a new way of battling--though break dancing, rapping, turntable mixing, and tagging (graffiti). By 1985, youth worldwide were laying down scrap linoleum or cardboard, setting down portable stereo and spinning on their backs in tracksuits and sneakers to music by Run DMC, LL Cool J, the Fat Boys, Herbie Hancock, Soul Sonic Force, Jazzy Jay, Egyptian Lover, Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde and Stetsasonic, to name a few.
 Legacy of hip hop
Early hip hop has often been credited with helping to reduce inner-city gang violence by replacing physical violence with hip hop battles. Many believe that in later years (with the emergence of commercial and gangsta rap during the early 1990s) the emphasis on non-violence has come full circle, with many rappers boasting about weapons, crimes and violence. Within this time period, hip hop music has also begun to appeal to a broader demographic.
Within the culture of hip hop, some differentiate between heavily commercialized and "underground" or "alternative" hip hop. Many artists are now considered to be alternative/underground hip hop when they attempt to reflect what they believe to be the positive roots of the culture. Such artists such as Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Dilated Peoples, Dead Prez and Jurassic 5 claim to emphasize messages of unity, activism and verbal skill instead of messages of violence, wealth and misogyny.
 See also
- Hip hop dance
- Hip hop production, the creation of hip hop music
- Hip hop fashion
- Hip hop theatre
- Beat (hip hop)ca:Rap