What is hip hop? Hip hop is the coming together of sounds originating from all over. It’s salsa, it’s rap, it’s rock, and it’s EDM. It’s a voice coming out of the streets talking about the problems of the urban jungle and the soul of the people who struggle there. Hip hop is the freedom of speech so often denied by the mainstream, placed back into the hands of the people who need to be heard. So much to say, hip hop is a lot of things and we’re going to spit the truth about it today, right here in our new blog. Check it out.
Hip hop in Baltimore is rich.
Charm City is known much more for its club music than its break out hip hop stars. However, we’ve had our share of major success stories. Sisqo, for one, was a major star made famous for his “Thong Song” back in the day. Baltimore also raised Tupac Shakur who attended the Baltimore School for the Arts before he got caught up in the game; a rose that grew straight out of the concrete. Though he lived and love L.A., he was a Baltimore man at the start. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of other amazing verses that have come out of our town. Baltimore has always been a very active artistic hub for poets and musicians who have been speaking out about the injustices and realities of living in the city. En La Calle is out here doing the same thing. We’re out here talking about how it is, how we have overcome our struggles, and how we are thriving. If you haven’t watched Lor Choc’s new video, then you can check it out right here. It was worth the wait.
Collaboration is the heart of Hip Hop.
You can’t have a good track without a beat and someone to provide verses, and though you can do it alone, the collaborative efforts are always much more successful. After all, most hip hop groups are made up of several different types of voices that come together to make a sick track. Our very own Peso de Mafia is a blend of PDM Purp and Shordie Shordie. Not only do they collaborate together to make one piece of amazing sound, they have also worked with other artists from all over the nation. But hip hop is not just about collaborating on the track; it’s about collaborating with cultures. African American, Caribbean, and many other cultures have all made their mark on the rap scene and are still producing new and innovative sounds all the time.
The origins of Hip Hop and Rap were rooted in the community.
The original rappers were from Africa, telling stories to a drum beat under the night sky. It changed and grew with a changing environment, combining with spirituals of the south, and later the blues. The lyricism and poetry of jazz was also a major precursor to rap. Coke La Rock and Rudy Ray Moore, two highly influential figures in early forms of rap, often credited the jazz poets of the past as their inspiration. Later on, hip hop saw its first rappers in the form of people making announcements at parties. As time went on, these announcements became more lyrical and musical, creating the first raps. DJ Kool Herc is often credited with the origin of hip hop for his amazing DJ skills. He nodded to James Brown for inspiring his love for music. However, it wouldn’t be until the 1970’s that the true golden age of hip hop would begin. Artists like Melle Mel were famous for their socio-political statements, their fun songs, and their innovative sound. Though the golden age ended around the mid 1990’s, the world of hip hop and rap has evolved and grown into a highly varied industry of poetry, storytelling, and real talk.
Wordplay and lyricism are the backbone of rap.
Using rhymes, rhythms, and other literary devices are what make rap a true art form. The way that artists twist a phrase around their fingers, then shoot them out through the mic is what gives you those chills you get when you listen to Wu-Tang. Slang and the invention of colloquial terms is another aspect of rap that has been around from its beginning. Phrases like “word is bond” have changed and shortened to “word.” Regions like Atlanta, Kentucky, and other major rap regions have shared their slang with the nation in their verses and much of the African American vernacular comes from those roots.
The real heart of hip hop is in the stories shared.
Hip hop and the lyrics within have touched on everything from gin and juice to police brutality. Tupac, often noted for his striking descriptions of growing up in poverty, rapped about racism, teen pregnancy, and the dangers of being black in America. These types of songs are incredibly relevant in today’s tense racial and political climate. They often call out the hypocrisy of society, the injustice present in the police force, and the reality that is normally hidden from the public eye. Other rappers talk about “the game.” Dealing drugs, running from bullets, and getting money are major topics of rap music that have contributed to the term “gangster rap.” Furthermore, a lot of artists like to brag about the women, money, and designer swag they have picked up over the years. Labels like Hennessey, Gucci, Versace, Cristal, and Mercedes Benz have all been featured in rap songs as symbols of wealth and being elite. It’s an interesting dichotomy between the soul of the street rap and the braggadocio of other songs, but it’s all part of the giant genre of hip hop.
Freestyling and battling are major parts of hip hop culture.
Freestyling is when an artist makes up their rhymes on the spot. This highly exciting art form is highly popular not only in small communities, but all over the world. World Star Hip Hop is a major hub of freestyle with tons of artists spitting their game. Nick Cannon’s Wild n’ Out is a very popular show on MTV where groups and individuals come together to dish out disses and verses for an audience of millions. Tons of celebrities like Kevin Hart, Waka Flocka, and Snoop Dogg have all made recent appearances on the show. Freestyle is one of the true tests of a rapper’s skills, separating the artists from the rest.
Signing with En La Calle will take you to the next level.
Are you ready to drop your next mixtape? Do you think you have what it takes to join En La Calle? Submit your tracks to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll give them a listen and see if you’re ready to join the ranks of a label that is dedicated to the community and bringing the world lit beats. Give us a listen right here and you’ll see why we’re on the come up. You can also check us out on itunes using #EnLaCalleRecords.
Follow our amazing talent on social media and find out what they’re up to. You should also make sure to check back to our blog often so that you can stay up on the latest events, tracks, and news.