Hip-Hop Day is celebrated every August 11 in the United States. Hip-hop has progressed from a street corner to one of the most important musical genres and cultural impacts in the world. Hip-hop, like any other style of music, has its roots in other forms, and its evolution was shaped by many different artists — but there’s a case to be made that it came to life precisely on August 11, 1973, on a birthday celebration in the recreation room of an apartment building in New York City’s west Bronx by D.J. Kool Herc, hip-hop’s founding father.
History of Hip Hop Day
The origin of Hip-Hop Day can be traced to Jamaican D.J., Kool Herc, who is credited with founding Hip-Hop Day. D.J. Kool Herc began playing records at parties and between sets — his father’s band played while he was a teenager in the Bronx in the early 1970s. Herc frequently imitated Jamaican ‘selectors’ (D.J.) by ‘toasting’ (i.e., talking) over the songs he spun, but his historical relevance has nothing to do with rapping. Kool Herc’s impact on hip-hop has been more profound.
D.J. Kool Herc also popularized the ‘breakbeat’ D.J. technique, which he learned from Jamaican dub music. Kool Herc, on the other hand, would play funk, soul, and other genres with percussive portions. He would use a pair of turntables to play two versions of the same song and then flip between them to stretch the percussive period known as the break. This breakbeat juggling DJ-ing method was dubbed “The Merry-Go-Round” by Kool Herc. This breakbeat turntablism had a rapid impact on the emergence of hip-hop music, rapping, and breakdancing. The break section was also the most anticipated part of the song, with the most people dancing. Kool Herc dubbed the people that danced to his music B-Boys and B-Girls, an abbreviation for Break-Boys and Break-Girls.
D.J. Kool Herc had been developing and polishing his break-beat technique for the better part of a year by the summer of 1973. His sister’s celebration on August 11, on the other hand, put him in front of his largest crowd yet with the most powerful sound system he’d ever worked with. The success of the party would spark a grassroots musical revolution six years before the phrase ‘hip-hop’ entered the common lexicon.
Hip Hop Day timeline
Brother-sister duo D.J. Kool Herc and Cindy Campbell host D.J. parties in the Bronx and are attributed to the genre’s emergence.
Kurtis Blow’s self-titled debut album is published in 1980, and the single ‘The Breaks’ becomes the first certified gold rap hit.
Gangsta rap is instrumental in hip-hop, becoming a mass commodity.
Kendrick Lamar's “DAMN” isn't just the first hip-hop album to win the Pulitzer — it is the first recording in any genre that isn't classical or jazz to earn the prestigious award in its 75-year history.
Hip Hop Day FAQs
What does hip-hop stand for?
According to one different explanation, the term pairs the ‘hip’ which means “trendy” or “fashionable” with the leaping movement hop.
What are hip-hop’s four pillars?
There are four aspects of hip-hop widely considered to constitute its pillars: deejaying, also known as “turntabling,” rapping, also known as “MCing” (emceeing) or “rhyming,” graffiti painting, also known as “graf” or “writing,” and break dancing, also known as “B-boying.”
Are hip-hop and rap the same?
Hip-hop is a culture with four elements — deejaying, MCing, graffiti, and dance — and rap is a form of popular music that grew out of Hip-hop culture.
Hip Hop Day Activities
Support a hip-hop music group
Attend shows hip-hop groups' shows and bring your friends to be their new supporters! Consider giving a significant financial contribution and help them share their works on social media.
Take part in hip-hop dance classes
If you enjoy dancing, one way to commemorate the event is to consider becoming a hip-hop dancer by taking classes. Inquire about becoming a member of a dance group through a representative.
Break into musical performances
Are you curious about the origins of hip-hop dance or the turntable as a musical instrument? Come out to hip-hop performances that will give you first-hand experience and more insight into hip-hop.
5 Interesting Facts About Hip-Hop
Newer form of dance
Hip-hop didn’t gain widespread appeal until the late 1970s and 1980s.
A genre that combines several elements
The form of hip-hop we know today is a combination of movements such as popping and locking with elements of jazz, tap, African dance, and even swing to create a truly unique studio style.
Not the same as breakdance
Breakdance is based on freestyle — whereas hip-hop is heavily choreographed.
If an artist desired to be a part of a certain group, he or she would fight to acquire approval or recognition through dance.
Named after the sound of marching boots
The phrase was named to describe the sound of boot camp marching (hip/hop/hip/hop), which is then incorporated into songs that gave the culture and genre its name.
Why We Love Hip Hop Day
It’s energizing and youthful
It’s a means to express yourself. Dancing to it is very liberating, and if you get good at it, and do it in a particularly attractive manner, you’ll gain some acceptance and know that many who see you admire the way you do it.
A culture, as well as a vision and a voice
Hip-hop without a doubt incorporates aesthetic qualities. But it has also combined and transcended them to become a way of perceiving, celebrating, experiencing, and reflecting on life and the world.
Fashion’s biggest influence
Hip-hop has gone from a counterculture with its distinct world of fashion to a culture that is arguably the most influential on mainstream fashion trends. Many hip-hop artists are fashion trendsetters.
Hip Hop Day dates