Hip Hop is a way of life or culture. Many view it as just a genre of modern music. However, for the true hip hop heads it is much more than that.
There is no dispute that hip hop as we know it was born from that back to school jam Kool Herc had at 1520 Sedgewick Av in the Bronx. There were many Jamaican influences on hip hop in the early years but not enough credit goes to the Last Poets, who had a huge influence on hip hop culture.
The Last Poets, who were from Uptown in NYC, were rapping over drum beats in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. This style of rapping over drums preceded Kool Herc’s party and everything that followed the jam at 1520 Sedgewick back in 1973. Many early MC’s were probably influence in some way by the Last Poets.
DJ’ing is the cornerstone of the hip hop culture and Kool Herc is the originator of modern DJ’ing. Grandwizard Theodore and Grandmaster Flash are the originators of the precise scratch and cut. They perfected extending breaks seamlessly with style and finesse so b-boys could work the floor.
Graffiti writers expressed their art anywhere they could find a good surface to spray or write on. The movie “Wild Style” gave graffiti writing and hip hop world wide exposure. NYC Subway graffiti was a very competitive form of expressing creativity, it was all about who had the best “bomb” running and having it go “all city”.