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How Hip-Hop Beats Have Evolved Over The Years

What began as a local movement intended to provide a haven for African-American and Puerto Rican youth in New York City has become a global phenomenon. Today, hip-hop continues to be a dominant force influencing genres and cultures. While some aspects of the evolution of hip-hop beats are obvious, it’s in the subtleties that the developments are revealed.

What Is Hip-Hop?

Hip-hop goes beyond music. It’s a cultural movement incorporating various foundational elements – MCing or rapping, DJing, graffiti painting, and break dancing or b-boying. Hip-hop beats and these forms of expression have developed into further subcultures with lasting legacies as a means of experiencing, understanding, celebrating, and commenting on the world.

The Rise of Hip-Hop

Having emerged from the Bronx in New York City during an economic collapse, early hip-hop music reflected the negative effects of the declining manufacturing industry, political discourse, and the construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway. From a whole lot of nothing and a whole lot of imagination, hip-hop took form. In the early 1970s, urban youth turned to the streets for recreation and self-expression. Abandoned parking lots and buildings set the stage for block parties, which laid the groundwork for everything associated with early hip-hop culture. 

Performances that took place during parties were based on turntables. The art of manipulating sounds to create music and the simultaneous looping of percussive ‘breaks’ for a hungry crowd to dance to was later combined with the rapping of MCs. This marked the beginning of hip-hop’s old school era between 1970 to 1985, with the decade that followed believed to be its golden age, where evolving hip-hop beats were witnessed.

Where Evolving Hip-Hop Beats Is Taking the Genre

Hip-hop’s diversification of genres began in the 1980s where it achieved cultural penetration overseas, something unthinkable just two decades before. Later during this golden age, hip-hop incorporated more innovation and creativity in its music-making. Gangsta hip-hop then emerged, which focused on violent lifestyles among the youths. In the 1990s, various styles like Southern rap were inserted into music, and hip-hop journeyed through the 2000s to further influence mainstream pop.

There is no longer a single theme for hip-hop artists today. Other than the evolution in rap lyrics, which now has a wider and more universal focus as opposed to one with politically and socially conscious messages, the digital age has influenced beats and sounds as well to reach a wider audience. With social media providing increased resources for inspiration, hip-hop artists are now incentivized to look for increasingly catchy dance beats to record on in order to achieve success on a mainstream scale. Because the songs that rise to the top of the charts now are usually a blending of genres, hip-hop artists are increasingly creating music that is more digestible for wider audiences, reshaping hip-hop’s beats and message to be accepted by a larger mass of people. Just like social media, hip-hop is here to stay, and so is its constant development throughout time.

Why Choose luke4pres For Your Music Career?

Every creative person in the music industry has a unique message they want to communicate to their listeners. At luke4pres, we help artists create fresh and exciting custom beats. Want us to help with your recording career? Don’t hesitate to contact us today.