In the 1970s, hip hop was birthed on the streets of the Bronx. This new genre, consisting of stylized rhythmic music captured the heart of the inner city and grew to be an entire American subculture.
More than 40 years later, this genre still captivates the hearts of many, even those here at Penn State.
In honor of Black History Month and to close out the end of N Double Week, Penn State’s Chapter of the NAACP held an interactive Black History Month Assembly Friday, which not only taught the audience the origins of hip-hop culture, but let audience members jump in and learn from the presenters.
NAACP leaders went over the four elements of hip-hop during the event, collaborating with other Penn State student organizations to give the audience a true taste of each pillar.
R.A.M Squad, a hip hop dance student organization on campus explained the first pillar of hip hop, which is B-boying. B-boying, or breakdancing consists of four types of dance moves: toprock, downrock, power moves, and freezes. The team performed a brief dance then invited audience members to the front to participate in the dance.
The next pillar of hip hop, is Djing. “DJing” or “deejayin” is the act of playing recorded music for an audience, while also adding a unique flair to the music. Audience members once again were invited up to try the art of Djing with the assistance of a local DJ.
Graffiti, the third pillar was explained from a visual perspective. The audience was shown a variety of graffiti artists and their artwork throughout the United States. Seeing the different types of artwork truly showed the diversity within the hip hop culture itself.
MCing was the final pillar of the night and the crowd was treated to few artists performing their own freestyle raps.
Although there are hundreds of different artists and performers that fall under the hip hop category, they all bring their unique flavor to the genre that allows for people from diverse background to partake in hip hop culture.
NAACP’s presentation did a great job of not only exposing the audience to the history of hip hop, but the interaction made the event memorable for many in attendance.