- Don't bite, be original.
- Resolve conflicts nonviolently through artistic expression.
- Remain Honest, Possess integrity, be loyal.
- Don't be exclusionary over race, gender, religion or class.
The culture of Hip Hop has commonly been mistaken by the mainstream media as a genre of music rather than a way of life. This post serves to curb that problem by defining the elements of Hip Hop culture: Dee Jays, B-Boys, Writers (Grafitti), and Emcees. All four of these elements share a symbiotic relationship with one another, no one element can stand alone, although some are more prominent than others.
Hip Hop started as a culture that served to diminish the presence of gangs and gang violence amongst the youth in NYC during the early 70's. The ability to display artistic skill in dance, Dee Jaying, visual art and rhyme over fighting skills was paramount.
Hip Hoppers developed their own dress, language/slang, music, art, technology, trade/ways of making commerce and rules/belief system. For example, some common norms shared amongst members of the Hip Hop culture are:
Influenced heavily by Kung Fu & Blaxploitation movies, signifying/'the dozens' & Jamaican Dance Hall/Dub culture, Hip Hop definitely has its elements of braggadocio and boasting. This is mainly displayed as spontaneous wit during battles, be it dance, burners (colorful and elaborate spray paint pieces that use wild style), Dee Jaying or Emceeing.
This belief in braggadocio by no means makes the culture superficial. It helps to proliferate the culture as one Emcee attempts to further their style and out do the next Emcee-in turn styles evolve and continue to elevate; as on Dee Jay tries to out do the next and come up with different and better styles/music; as one B-Boy tries to out dance the next and invent or formulate their own style; or one writer out doing the next with style, color and characters. Needless to say, Hip Hop will continue to grow globally as a culture.