Genre of Music Hip Hop What Is It

Hip hop can be interpreted in various ways; no one individual can explain the accurate definition of “what hip hop” is. Moreover, “we” as individuals who perceives “hip hop” as entertaining often vocalize our opinion based on the awareness we have promoted over time. Additionally, in one’s opinion, individuals have abused the term “hip hop” because their definition of “hip hop “may seem bias. Individuals with different ethnicities, cultural frameworks, genres, and cities are subject to their own clarity of what hip hop means to them.

In other words, how can one individual or a group determine the “authentic” definition of hip hop? The society we live in today are either jealous or too high class for “hip hop” music producers. There are many individuals who expressed the term “hip hop” in their own words such as: Dr. Orejuela, Nas, and Afrika Bambaataa.

Around the 1990’s the term “hip hop” was mistakenly used for rap music, which are two different genres of music.

In Dr. Orejuela’s book, Rap and Hip Hop Culture, he stated that “hip hop” is incorporated in our everyday speech, used in ways to describe the genre in a rapping format and connect to an urban subculture that emerged in the 1970’s. In other words, Dr. Orejuela defines “hip hop” as “the inner-city African American, Carribean, and Latino communities that were plagued by poverty, community decay, and the proliferation of drugs and gang violence in the 1960’s and early 1970s” (Orejuela 2). With Dr. Orejeula’s assertion, “hip hop” is a cultural or art movement that triggered from the drugs and gang violence that occurred in the inner-city communities.

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In addition to Dr. Orejuela’s definition of hip hop, the genre “hip hop” would not be created if the DJ, the MC, breaking (B-Boys/B-Girls), and graffiti did not have evolving roles (Orejuela 4-5).

In addition to Dr. Orejuela, Nas voiced his opinion on what “hip hop “is by stating. “’Hip-hop, everybody’s allowed to come in it, because it’s a street thing. I heard someone say, ‘Frank Ocean hip-hop artist.’ He is, hip-hop loves Frank Ocean, he’s our brother, but [he’s not a hip-hop artist]. Miguel is not a hip-hop artist. Trey Songz is not a hip-hop artist. They’re singers.” (Viera, Bené). It seems that Nas is basing his assumptions off what individuals portray from the artists and the music they put out. If there is not one definition to justify how the term “hip hop” is defined, then how can one make assumptions about it? Individuals make assume that Miguel, Frank Ocean, or Trey Songz are not “hip hop” artist because they produce a different style of music that makes a person feel loved. Also, one may think that the artists are not included in the “hip hop” genre because of Nas’s interpretation of “hip hop” being a street thing. Furthermore, many individuals may think that the artist that sing are not allowed to be a part of the “hip hop” culture. One may think, “what gives anyone the authority to depict the music culture an artist is involved with.” Taking that into consideration, just because we all have a freedom of speech and people voice their own opinion of others does not mean there is factual evidence of the exact definition of what is hip hop.

Conversely to Dr. Orejuela and Nas, Afrika Bambaataa presented the definition of what is “hip hop” in a different perspective. According to Afrika Bambaataa, “Hip Hop music is made from black, brown, yellow, red, white—whatever music that gives you the grunt, that fun, that groove or that beat. It’s all part of hip hop” (What is Hip Hop?). Bambatta argues that music can be portrayed in various ways, and “hip hop” music should include everyone despite their racial background and culture. Moreover, I agree with Bambaataa that “hip hop” music should not be entitled to a certain individual or group; however, “hip hop” is a genre of music that allows everyone to have different vibes in an atmosphere. In addition to Bambaataa’s belief, I believe people should have authority to produce or listen to music that allows them to groove, make fun, or grunt. Everyone is not the same; therefore, people have different styles of music and their preference.

As mentioned above, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Our society is so corrupt and cruel that individuals cannot express an opinion without being brutalized. Individuals produce “hip hop” through various ways, people are either positively or negatively impacted by the lyrics within the music. I am a young woman and I have listened to “hip hop” as time went by in my life, and I have not listened to an artist that I did not consider being hip hop. Besides, who am I to judge another individual based on the way they express their talent through the genre of hip hop. Nonetheless, I still believe there is no one definition that can describe what “hip hop” is because hip hop is a broad term for individuals to describe.

Considering the fact that hip hop is evolving today, it still includes DJing, MCing, breaking, and graffiti art. Even though Nas is one to have such an authoritative voice, he has been challenged by many other voices that are power also; therefore, it has been proven that there are many powerful individuals who have expressed their opinion on what the definition of “hip hop” includes, such as Dr. Orejuela and Afrika Bambaataa. Individuals overlook the fact that artist produce “hip hop” because it has such a powerful connotation behind it. Consequently, the term “hip hop” is an all-inclusive genre that is created every day because individuals brainstorm advanced styles and ideas daily. It is important of others to take into consideration of everyone’s ideas and meanings because there are different perspectives in life that people foreshadow.

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Genre of Music Hip Hop What Is It. (2022, Feb 08). Retrieved from

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