International Hip Hop
Rhyme Traveler part 1
The Voyage of Verse
Rhyming Reconnaissance: Searching for that perfect beat
Throughout the past decade plus, I have managed to become a fan of Hip Hop music from around the world, the result of constant traveling and interaction with others from around the world. If the global Hip Hop community had an official language it would be safe to say that it would simply be artistic expression. This is due to its various elements that mesh together to make this culture a powerful voice, which makes a universal system of communication that transcends language barriers.
For as long as I can remember, I have been involved with this way of life, before I even recognized what it was in its entirety. Writing my first rap at age 8, later in my teenage I would fully be immersed in the culture through graffiti, breakdance, and rhyme. This became my hobby, my dream and life’s pursuit for many years, and in light of that I came across an interesting the discovery. Shortly after its birth in the Bronx, NY in the seventies the culture began to spread across America and throughout the world.
The African American, Caribbean, and Latino communities in NYC helped to develop Hip Hop into something with commercial appeal. DJ Kool Herc, who is credited with being a pioneer in Turntablism hails from Jamaica. Therefore event before its origin on US Soil the culture already has international roots. After Hip Hop became popularized in the eighties, youth in Berlin, Germany and Paris, France began to adopt the culture as its own and develop into their own style.
Similarly people of various cultures throughout the world began to form their own breakdancing crews, graffiti artists, and rap groups. While most early rap groups imitated America Hip Hop music others would take the rhyme into their native language. This is what expanded the Hip Hop Music and Culture to a global status.
In countries like the UK and Canada where English was a common language it would be customary to hear its natives rhyme in that mother tongue. However as I have seen through my travels throughout the world mainly through Western Europe in countries like Germany, Amsterdam, and Belgium. There has always been a large amount of MC’s (Emcees) that would rap in English and prefer that as their rhyming tongue. In fact even Hip Hop culture does transcend barriers it is safe to say that English is the lingua franca for the culture.
Although even in the US there are a large number of MC’s that write and perform songs in other languages like Spanish for example. I can vividly remember when people would be surprised to see or hear that there was Spanish Hip Hop. Personally I find myself to be a big fan of Hip Hop worldwide no matter the language in fact what it does for me is give me such a fascination for learning various languages so that I can better understand what it is that they are saying these songs. So with this series of blogs what I hope to open the minds of people who haven’t seen Hip Hop other than what is represent in popular culture, by taking you through the world.