Rags to Riches

This is a blog all about how a music genre got flipped from being downplayed and forbidden to now being top of the world. Hip Hop is a culture, and art movement that was created by African Americans, Latino Americans, and Caribbean Americans in Bronx, New York City. It gained its popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Although Hip Hop started off with the “dances, rhymes, and visual art” from kids in the city, “Hip Hop wasn’t Hip Hop yet”.

A big movement came out of this when Steven Hager, one of the first white reporters, “crossed the Harlem River to see how a bunch of forgotten black and brown” young people were keeping themselves occupied. Since these kids were making these beats, artistic styles, and rhymes — gang violence went down to a minimum. Hager wrote “ In another five years, Hip Hop could be considered the most significant artistic achievement of the decade.” In different cultures the words Hip and Hop, in addition to other words that sounded alike, came from all over; but John Leland wrote in “Hip: A history — hip is a term of enlightenment, cultivated by slaves from the West African nations of Senegal and Gambia.”

Hip Hop in old school origin goes back to when rapping “was really about MCing, the lost art of moving the crowd. Back before the group SugarHill Gang came out with the song “Rapper’s Delight,” you know the song “Hip Hop, Hippe to the hippie, The hip, hip a hop, you don’t stop a rock it to the bang bang boogie, say, up jump the boogie, to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat.” The job of a MC was just to get the crowd engaged by unique rhymes to remember that person by. In 2012 “Afrika Bambaataa was asked how, of all the words he could have chosen to describe the youth movement,” what made him settle on Hip Hop.” He said, “This is hip and when you feel that music you gotta hop to it, so that’s when we called it ‘Hip Hop.”

Several Years have gone by since Hip Hop was looked at as a fad. In 2017 the music genre finally developed some R.E.S.P.E.C.T. “According to Nielsen Music’s mid- year report, hip-hop is the most popular genre in the music industry for the first time in the U.S. history. When I think of Hip Hop and how far it has come from when it first started by just being a thing young people did to kill the time and to stop so much violence that was going on. To be so creative and to have your mind just create so many rhythmic beats is so intriguing to me. Hip Hop has come a long way for it to be a genre that almost did not have a name. Yes, it has changed from where it first started — from past to present day it still stood its ground, to keep the genre alive. Hip Hop started off with groups using beats, and rhythmic words to create empowering messages; to the community, to stop killing — and being violent to one another. Although Hip Hop is more vulgar now, the creativity is still there. Rod Wave says “We went from rags to riches, Project fences, to livin’ luxury, Now we live luxury — Straight out that bottom nobody gave nothin’ to me.” Although he was not talking about Hip Hop, this verse from the song sums up Hip Hop in a nutshell. I say this because Hip Hop started off as just being something to kill time, to now being number one; which means people in that industry are “livin’ luxury” because it came from the bottom, and rose to the top. I guess you can also go by the old saying “ Don’t knock it till you try it, or Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” However when you do it always comes back, and slaps you in the face. So whoever thought Hip Hop was not going to make it…it’s number one now baby!

My next blog will be covering the top male R&B singers in the last decade. Let’s see if you can guess who these gentlemen are. Come join me next week for more of yesterday’s hits and today’s favorites.




I look at music as being my secret getaway, in a sense. I like to escape through the lyrics; while enjoying the rhythm and flow of the beats.

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Just Like Music

Just Like Music

I look at music as being my secret getaway, in a sense. I like to escape through the lyrics; while enjoying the rhythm and flow of the beats.

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