Hip hop music is a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans in the 1970s. The music consisted of a stylized rhythmic music that was accompanied by rapping. Other elements of the genre included sampling beats or bass lines and rhythmic beat boxing.
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Hip hop as both a musical genre and a culture was formed during the 1970s when block parties became increasingly popular in New York City, particularly among African-Americans residing in the borough of the Bronx. Hip hop’s early evolution as a genre occurred as drum machines and sampling technology became widely available and affordable. The rapping with the beats developed as a vocal style in which the artist speaks or chants along rhythmically with an instrumental or synthesized beat. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, rapping is not a required component of hip hop music though. The genre could just incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, such as DJing (turntablism, scratching) beat boxing, and instrumental trucks.
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 to music scenes in dozens of countries, many of which mixed hip hop with local styles to create new sub genres. One sub genre that took off was Gangsta Rap. Gangsta rap is a subgenre of hip hop that reflects the violent lifestyles of inner-city American black youths.Gangsta is a variation of the word gangster. The genre was pioneered in the mid-1980s by rappers such as Ice-T, and was popularized in the later part of the 1980s by groups like N.W.A. After the national attention and controversy that Ice-T and N.W.A created in the late 1980s and early 1990s, gangsta rap became the most commercially lucrative subgenre of hip hop. N.W.A is the group most frequently associated with the founding of gangsta rap. Their lyrics were more violent, openly confrontational, and shocking than those of established rap acts, featuring incessant profanity and, controversially, use of the word “nigga. These lyrics were placed over rough, rock guitar-driven beats, contributing to the music’s hard-edged feel. The first blockbuster gangsta rap album was N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton released in 1988. Straight Outta Compton sparked the first major controversy regarding hip hop lyrics when their song “Fuck Tha Police” earned a letter from FBI Assistant Director, Milt Ahlerich, strongly expressing law enforcement’s resentment of the song.
Controversy surrounded Ice-T’s album Body Count, in particular over its song “Cop Killer”. The song was intended to speak from the viewpoint of a criminal getting revenge on racist,
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