Study courtesy of Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA

In the late l970s, Hip Hop as a youth subculture emerged from the Bronx in New York City. Its roots are widely credited to the African American community; however, contributions also are credited to Jamaican American and Latino American communities. The Hip Hop lifestyle gained widespread and global popularity in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, the lifestyle, music, lingo, and more have been so incorporated into the mainstream that hard-core adherents suggest the need to differentiate HipHop from Hip Pop. Defining Hip Hop and Identifying Subgroup Members The term Hip Hop is used both for a musical style and a subcultural movement. Scholars such as Carl and Virgil Taylor (2005) emphasize that “Hip-Hop is not only a genre of music, but also acomplex system of ideas, values and concepts that reflect newly emerging and ever-changing creative correlative expressive mechanisms including but not limited to song, poetry, film andfashion.” Tagging, rapping, and break dancing are viewed as “artistic variations” of street gang competition and one-upsmanship.Origin of the term is credited to various rappers, but DJ Afrika Bambaataa is credited as the first to describe Hip Hop as a subculture. As described in Wikipedia, DJ Afrika Bambaataa “outlined thefive pillars of hip-hop culture: MCing, DJing, breaking, graffiti writing, and knowledge. Other elements include beatboxing, hip hop fashion, and slang.” The Wikipedia entry goes on to state:

“When hip hop music began to emerge, it was based around disc jockeys who createdrhythmic beats by looping breaks (small portions of songs emphasizing a percussive pattern) on two turntables, which is now more commonly referred to as sampling. This was later accompanied by "rapping" (a rhythmic style of chanting or poetry moreformally in 16 bar measures or time frames) and beatboxing, a vocal technique mainlyused to imitate percussive elements of the music and various technical effects of hip hop DJs. An original form of dancing and particular styles of dress arose among followers ofthis new music. These elements experienced considerable refinement and developmentover the course of the history of the culture. The relationship between graffiti and hip hopculture arises from the appearance of new and increasingly elaborate and pervasive forms of the practice in areas where other elements of hip hop were evolving as art forms, witha heavy overlap between those who wrote graffiti and those who practiced other elements of the culture” ( ).

The term may be used to designate any subgroup who become devotees to rap music, but it usuallyis applied to inner city youth who adopt the subcultural lifestyle. And for many young people those who identify themselves as part of the subgroup, it amounts to a “proclamation that they are independent and intolerant of much of what they consider to be adult society, which they frequentlyview as hypocritical” (Taylor & Taylor, 2005).