The Original Voice of the Ghetto
Flash broke through with some triumph, Afrika Bambaataa dabbled as he laid down various cross-genre recordings with pop artists through the eighties, even Kool Herc attempted the new platform of hip-hop, but to little success. The three kings of hip-hop would remain the forefathers of a movement, remaining on the grind as professional DJs and forever Gods and the real essence of hip-hop's entity. Other groups, solo artists repping other boroughs of New York, such as Queens jumped head-first into the game, as the Juice Crew, LL Cool J and recording giants, Run DMC would show the strength of their own belonging in hip-hop. Of course the Planet Rock Bronx super force saw fit to throw-down and show them who the originals were, but through adversary and the Roxanne Wars, they showed that hip-hop was not exclusive to the Boogie-Down seven-mile radius. Queens super-producer Marley Marl's, Mr Magic's Rap Attack Friday and Saturday night shows on WBLS radio station would promote this new line of music through the early eighties, giving strength to the birth of rap music in popular culture for today's mainstream entertainment and the recording industry.
The recording industry have furthered hip-hop greater and faster than any other vehicle in it's short history. Acts like Whodini, Juice Crew, Run DMC and The Beastie Boys took rapping to yet another level and with great minds like Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons with their Def Jam imprint of commercialism allowing standards of the industry to seem limitless and economically paint the American dream. The emcee grasped the reigns of hip-hop firmly and opened doors to the global colossus. The cultivation from a neighbourhood park jam into today's most influential artistic achievement in popular culture took over like a juggernaut. Some argue that traditional hip-hop of social and politically-conscious topics have been pushed aside by mainstream media outlets in favour of it's bastard-child, gangsta rap. Today this industry is a cross-marketing giant worth billions of dollars from music sales to clothing brands, multimedia ventures, even vitamin water. An environment where one's recording name is stamped on any saleable commodity based on the overwhelming trend of hip-hop as a household name. Today, this is hip-hop. But it will always be more than that.
It's the way you walk, the way you talk. It's about being real. it is a way out, a state of mind and above all an art form of self-expression. Hip-hop thrives as a culture, a music industry and lifestyle for the global community who support it. Although most will agree, the four elements are no longer necessarily prevalent in today's description of hip-hop, it allowed the culture to blossom into a worldwide celebrated phenomenon. Some thirty years later, a young teenager grows up with the freedom of self-expression pushed to endless boundaries thanks to the visionaries who fought and endured the hardships of exploring hip-hop to where it stands today, and forever.
We live and die for hip-hop!