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Runnin On Empty 


My idols are from the Ol skool era and way too many to mention but I also love New Skool & like to mix them up, so I wanted to share that love with you in the story of Rap & Hip-Hop that I grew up with.


There is nuthin really set in stone as to how Rap began or when, It's thought that it has its roots firmly planted in African soil where they would chant or tell stories with nuthin but the beat of a drum, it was spoken word, poetry. Rap is about talking rhythmically usually to a beat.


However it didn't burst onto the main scene until the late 70's when a band called the Sugarhill Gang released their awesome hit "Rappers Delight" which is also thought to  be the first recorded track that coined the term Hip-hop. I love the spirit and energy of them doing their thing here around 95.

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Ol skool lyrics were said to be lighter on the whole, whereas New Skool was considered more serious with issues of sex, drugs & violence.

What some people don’t realise is Rap and Hip-Hop are two separate genres, sure they're often worked in together, but Hip-Hop is a whole seperate culture of its own & made up of 4 distinctive elements, it's a total body experience, Rap (oral, spoken word)  Djing (aural- of the ears)  Breakdance-(physical) & Graffiti (visual).


For some there is no divide, for others the separation of the two genres is very important,So just because someone loves Hip-Hop, don't assume they love Rap.

The term Hip-Hop wasn't used until the late 70's but the origin stemmed from block parties in the South Bronx (New York) held by the Ghetto brothers, a Latino gang & music group who used to plug the amps for their instruments into lamposts on 163rd Street and Prospect Avenue to showcase their talent.  

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Others were soon having their own block parties. A Dj by the name of  Kool Herc at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue  would mix samples from exsisting records & give his own shout outs to the crowd over the top.  and it was the "Back To School Jam" party on 11th August 1973  that has become the birthday of Hip Hop. Dj Kool Herc is credited as the Father of Hip-Hop, while DJ Afrika Bambaataa  is credited for forming the structure of Hip-Hop with terms such as MCing, DJing, B-boying and Graffiti.


Keith "Cowboy" Wiggins, a member of Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five is credited with coining the phrase "Hip-Hop" The story goes that he was teasing a friend who'd just joined the USA army by scatting hip/hop....hip/hop...hip/hop, as if to mimic a soldier marching, he later began using it in his own stage performances.

The group often performed with disco artists who would refer to this new type of music by calling them "hip hoppers". The name was initially meant as a sign of  disrespect, but  soon came to identify a new music genre & culture. It was then used by the Sugarhill gang on the track Rappers Delight. The track starts "I said a hip, hop the hippie the hippie to the hip hip hop, a you don't stop" etc.

Then a Bronx Dj called  Lovebug Starski released a track called "Positive Life" using the word Hip-Hop & Dj Hollywood began using the word to describe this new disco Rap music. By the late 1970s the culture had gained media attention with Billboard magazine printing an article. Debbie Harry of Blondie  took Nile Rodgers of Chic to an event, because the main backing track used was the break from Chics "Good Times". The new style influenced Debbie Harry and although described as a New Wave Band, Blondie released a single in 1981 called "Rapture" which sees Debbie rapping. It became the first major single containing Hip-Hop elements by a white group or artist to hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, & took the genre & culture to a whole new audience.



The 80's were to see a huge emergence of Hip-Hop In the mainstream & artists taking it to  another level. In 1982 Africa Bambaataa & the SoulSonic Force released electro-funk track "Planet Rock" & they just kept coming, Run Dmc, Chuck D & Public Enemy & way too many to mention.  But it was Grandmaster Flash & the Furious fives "The Message"  that was the first track widely considered to be the pioneering force for conscious rap.

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When it comes to the history of anything it’s a bit like religion, everyone’s gonna have their take on how it was, how it should be & who did what. There are those I believe when they say they played a part in Hip-Hops birth but have been left out, and others that say someone has taken credit for what they did. There are also many different styles of Rap & Hip-Hop where the arguments and debates will rage on for sure.  Some believe that Hip-Hop started in Brooklyn others Jamaica, some say it originated as way back as the 1920's not 70's.

Personally I prefer to make music without labels, what really  matters is your own truth  while still respecting others. Over the decades I believe those in the industry have got lazy & the genre has lost its way, becoming very stereotypical & with a bad image,. It's something i've spoken about in Interviews and written artiicles about and will continue to do so because it's important for the future of the genre and younger generations taking forward what's being passed down to them.



                                                                      Stay Blessed XXX

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Careless Words Said To A Child, That Damage The Adult Soul Forever.