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Urban culture: the terms of hip hop

Hip hop is much more than just a musical genre: it's a lifestyle. We invite you to know some expressions of this urban culture that already has its space gained in Argentina.

How we talk
Hip Hop

Like any cultural expression, each musical genre brings with it components that go beyond artistic expression. These are social manifestations, which have a background that gives them meaning and validates them. The   hip hop   is much more than a genre, musical, it is a   lifestyle   , a way of   denunciation and claim.  

Hip hop was born in the city of   New York City   , the United States, in the 1970s, as a form of expression for those who needed to be heard. Over the years it expanded to other latitudes. Our country arrived in the 80's and had its anchorage mainly in the   conurban Buenos Aires   . In the 90s it began to become more popular, but it always retained its essence:   denunciation, struggle, protest and awareness.   Today, the   trap   as a new aspect of this genre, which is increasingly having followers in our country.


  He speaks hipopera  

The   language   is one of the manifestations that allow us to meet a certain culture, in a certain time and place. In this regard,   hip hop has its own terminology,   inherited from its beginnings in the United States, so the words are mostly in English.

The Ministry of Culture of the Nation brings us this     glossary   hipoppero   , so that we can become familiar with the specific terms of this movement.

  •   Battle or Battle   : grief. Clash between b-boys or b-girls. It is given in turns, individually, in pairs or in group (crew), as established. The dance routine is performed in the center. It is also called challenge, face to face combat between MC, where two improvisers compete to see who raps best and who conceives the best rhymes.
  •   b-boy/b-girl   : Hip hop adherent. “B” is the initial break, although some have modified it to bad or big. In the early epochs of hip hop a b-boy was a person who danced breaks, the term was invented, in 1973, DJ Kool Herc, the “father” of rap. Then it went on to mean “the one who danced rap music” and later: “any member belonging to the hip-hop movement”, which includes graffiti artists, rappers, DJs.
  •   Bboying   : is the dance popularly known as breakdance. The person who plays this dance is called b-boy or b-girl. There is a big difference between a b-boy and a breaker, the first dances for purely cultural issues and to provide new elements, innovating and bringing the level of difficulty to new dimensions. The breaker or breakdancer is the person who dances only for profit or fashion.
  •   Beatbox (rhythm box)   : is the technique of emulating percussion sounds, or instruments typical of rap music, with the mouth. It is inspired by an art originally from the Maya that consisted of imitating sounds of nature and that resurfaced in New York. Those who do it are known as human beatbox or beatboxers. This practice arose in the 1980s because rappers did not have enough money to buy audio equipment, so they began to mimic the sounds.
  •   Beatjugglin   : is to create rhythms with two equal vinyls. Play with times, breaks, scratching and other sounds, switching from one to another turntable by means of the mixer.
  •   Black book (or piecebook or writers bible):   notebook where the graffiti artist makes his sketches of future projects. They are usually taught to show their style to other graffiti artists. It is also like a kind of graffiti diary in which you can see chronologically how his style is evolving.
  •   Bombing   : bombardment. Activity carried out by a graffiti artist who dedicates his skills and materials to massively painting his signature (tag) or pseudonym in a given area.
  •   Break   : A style of music characterized by the union of instrumental fragments (breaks) from different discs. It also defines a way of dancing breakdance, formerly called breaking.
  •   Breakdance   : urban dance. It is part of the hip hop culture.
  •   Buff   - A word that designates anyone who is engaged in erasing graffiti.
  •   Conquer's   : mat where b-boys dance.
  •   Crew (Crew):   is a group of people or friends that gather to do graffiti, attend concerts, rhyme, dance breakdance or listen to rap. It can also be an organized group of graffiti artists.
  •   Emcee (MC):   term that comes from Master of Ceremony (master of ceremony). Initially, people who encouraged the public in discjockey sessions were thus known. The rap vocalists are currently known as MC. Everyone who raps are called MCs.
  •   Flow (flow, fluidity):   is the ability of the MC to rhyme on an instrumental basis, to bring in words and pronounce them in style. It is said that an MC has flow when it has style when rapping and can improvise on a melody without clutching, without excessive pauses or crackles, but in a fluid way.
  •   Freestyle:   is the fluid improvisation of rhymes or letters of an MC. Rapping without music or accompanied by a beat-box.
  •   Gangsta   : It comes from gangster. Hard rap style, characterized by violent or aggressive texts and rhythms that describe life in the poorest areas of big cities, alluding to the presence of weapons, drugs and sex.
  •   Ghetto   : a marginal area where the disadvantaged people in cities are concentrated. It's usually the poorest and most conflictive part.
  •   Going over   : when a graffiti artist covers another's name with his graffiti.
  •   Hardcore   - It is a base built with a hype and a box.
  •   Highlights  : White strokes that follow the outline and give a light effect to graffiti, often completed by stars.
  •   Jam   : a macro-concert of several rap groups. It is usual that there are open microphones for attendees who wish to go on stage and with bases make rhymes. Graffiti is also usually done and breakdance is danced.
  •   Rap (rhythm and poetry - rhythm and poetry):   When we talk about rap, we talk about the musical expression of hip hop. It is basically the MC singing and the DJ making music, based on very marked percussions (beats).
  •   Sampler   : A device that allows you to digitally record, retrieve and store sound sequences or cuts to be played later as recorded or to transform them by means of effects. You have problems with legal use, as sampling, on many occasions, is equivalent to hacking disks from others. It is also taking the fragment of a song, modifying it and incorporating it into your musical creation.
  •   Scratch   - is a basic element of turntablism, a way of playing music with two plates. Also called scratch when a DJ takes a record and scratches it or moves the vinyl with his fingers back and forth, achieving various effects.
  •   Turntablism   - consists in using the turntable as a musical instrument. It is one of the four basic pillars of hip hop culture.

Hip Hop

Publication Date: 27/03/2021

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We suggest you continue reading the following notes:

trap-argentino What is Argentine trap about?
hip-hop Hip hop in the red land



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