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Raised by Hip Hop vs Raised by Hip Hop

By Chucky Oldskool

 

 ‘It’s working It’s working…” If you rhythmically say that to someone 45 years old or older, they will likely know that is “Double K” from the 1984 movie Beat Street. If you say that to someone who is younger than that, they will not likely know who “Double K” is let alone have heard of Beat Street. Many people do not understand the difference between growing up “raised by Hip Hop” versus growing up “raised by Rap” It is understandable. Rap music is now the biggest music genre there is. Its stars are some of the most popular people in the world. What can easily be lost is the fact that “Rap” is an off shoot of one of the four pillars of “Hip Hop” The pillars of “Hip Hop” are “DJing”, “MCing”, Breaking and Graffiti. In its inception “MCing” was merely a helper to the all-important DJ. In the beginning anyone who loved Hip Hop loved all four pillars. There were movies showcasing the organic symmetry of them together. Prior to the movie Beat Street there was a 1983 movie called Wild Style. It starred and showcased many pioneers of all the pillars. They included (below)

 

DJing:

Grandmaster Flash

Grand Wizard Theodore

Charlie Chase

 

MCing:

The Furious Five

Cold Crush Brothers

The Fantastic Five aka The Fantastic Romantics

Busy Bee

Lil Roney Cee

KK Rockwell

 

Graffiti:

Lee Quinones

Dondi

Lady Pink

 

Breaking:

The Rock Steady Crew

 

 Every pillar was represented. Those of us older than 45 for the most part grew up knowing the pillars and understanding each’s place in Hip Hop. As in many things the corporate world is usually the last to come on board with a burgeoning market. Once they do become aware of a new market, they do all they can to exploit it. At some point it was decided that the other pillars were not commercially as viable as MCing. An effort was then made to “thin the herd”. Suddenly the MCs were the most important. It was easy to discard graffiti and breaking.

 It was a little harder to lessen the importance of the DJ However, it was done methodically and with purpose. Those of us who grew up with the four pillars noticed it immediately. MCing became “Rap” and away it went. Those in the younger generations who didn’t grow up with the pillars never understand while those of us who did became some disheartened with what ‘Rap” has become. They grew up in a time when the MC comes out on stage with a backing track and says their rhymes and leaves the stage. Many older Hip Hop fans dismiss this new generation of rap fans as uniformed. I realized not too long ago; this is flawed thinking. The younger generation has no frame of reference of the pillars and feel no real connection to them. That is no fault of their own. They became victims of concerted successful effort to only focus on “Rap” We must try to teach and learn at the same time. That will be the only way someone who grew up “raised by Hip Hop” and someone “raised by Rap” can build a better dialogue. I hope to use this column to educate and talk about I have learned about this current state of “Rap”

 

 

 

 

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