A Rhythmic History of Hip-Hop Essay

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A Rhythmic History of Hip-Hop

Hip-hop, which originally began more than 20 years ago, has undergone many changes during its lifetime. The music has always remained centered in urban landscapes, with most performers of the music rising up from the inner-city neighborhoods. Throughout its history, hip-hop has centered on the rhythm of the beat rather than the melody, which shows the connection between modern hip-hop and traditional African tribal music, often featuring complex polyrhythms and little to no melody. Hip-hop has also featured heavy bass sounds through out its history, with the rhythms hitting the second and fourth beat of each measure hard with either a heavy bass drum or a bass guitar. Hip-hop beats have evolved in many …show more content…

The beat is both rhythmically and melodically repetitive, as it stays the same during the verse and only changes up when it hits the chorus. The brass hits are always the same rhythmically, and only occasionally during the song do they change pitch. For my beat, I decided to utilize the sound of handclaps instead of a snare drum, which, although not featured in the song "South Bronx," was something that was utilized often in "old-school" hip-hop songs. I also used brass hits to accent different beats, yet mine were more randomly spaced than those found in . South Bronx.. The old school beats were simple, sparse, and repetitive, yet they served as an ample background for the MC to rhyme over.

In 1992, Dr. Dre released an album called The Chronic, which was a gangster-rap album coming from Compton, California that set the standard for all hard-core gangster-rap beats to follow. The beats were more full than any other before, with heavy, driving beats and loud bass. Many beats made by Dr. Dre also featured high-pitched synthesizers serving as the counter-melody to the MC's rapping. For my beat, I tried to create a driving, heavy beat that one would find in a sample Dr. Dre song. I also tried to use the high-pitched synthesizers, yet I feel that my synthesizers were too busy and

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