The Anthology of Rap

The Anthology of Rap

When we talk about rap music’s evolution and its influence on popular culture, we engage in endless debates over contrasting styles of rhyme, cadence, wordplay and symbolism.

The Northern Touch: The Rebirth of Canadian Rap

The Northern Touch: The Rebirth of Canadian Rap

Any hip-hop fan from Toronto can tell you where they were when the rap single “Northern Touch” dropped in ‘98.

MC = Middle Class? A Culture Expanding and Maturing

MC = Middle Class? A Culture Expanding and Maturing

Though a bit dramatized, a scene from HBO's turn-of-the-millennium mob hit "The Sopranos" exemplifies how hip-hop artists and the industry were viewed at the time the culture hit the mainstream.

The Elements of a Hip-Hop Classic

The Elements of a Hip-Hop Classic

Hip-hop has been defined by classic albums since its inception. Magazines such as The Source started rating classic albums with their signature “five mic” designation, but they were few and far in-between.

Looking Back: Cassette Tapes and Hip-Hop

Looking Back: Cassette Tapes and Hip-Hop

Over the last decade music listening technology has evolved so rapidly, it is easy to forget about the original medium that propelled hip-hop from a strictly local art form to a global phenomenon: the cassette.


Graffiti

The first of the four original elements of hip-hop, graff-writing (aka graffiti), is said to have originated in Washington Heights in the late 60’s/70’s. The significance of graffiti to hip-hop culture is tremendous; as it was the cornerstone of inner-city self-expression

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Djing

The second of the four original elements of hip-hop, Disk Jockeying (aka DJing or Turntable-ism), is said to have originated in the South Bronx in the mid 70’s. The DJ was responsible for bringing sound, rhythm, and reason to hip-hop culture; without which there would have..

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B-boying

The Third of the four original elements of hip-hop, Breakdance-aka B-Boying, is said to have originated in the South Bronx in the mid to late 70’s. Breakdancing was derived from special dancers that would specifically dance to the “breaks” in the records/beats that the DJs played.

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Emceeing

The last of the four original elements of hip-hop, Rap-aka Emceeing, is said to have originated in the South Bronx in the late 70’s. The term “MC”, is a misnomer. It has come to be known as another word for rapping, but it actually stands for “Master of ceremony”, a sort of “host”..

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The Anthology of Rap

The Anthology of Rap

When we talk about rap music’s evolution and its influence on popular culture, we engage in endless debates over contrasting styles of rhyme, cadence, wordplay and symbolism. Often overshadowed by the beat and all the hype surrounding the music, are the lyrics at the heart of hip-hop’s pulse. Drop the beat and the baseline and

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The Northern Touch: The Rebirth of Canadian Rap

The Northern Touch: The Rebirth of Canadian Rap

Any hip-hop fan from Toronto can tell you where they were when the rap single “Northern Touch” dropped in ‘98.
I was in the eighth grade when the single, featuring Vancouver artists Rascalz and Thrust and Toronto emcees Kardinall Offishall, Choclair, and Checkmate, started getting major play on MuchMusic (think Canada’s version of MTV). Rocking the

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MC = Middle Class? A Culture Expanding and Maturing

MC = Middle Class? A Culture Expanding and Maturing

Though a bit dramatized, a scene from HBO’s turn-of-the-millennium mob hit “The Sopranos” exemplifies how hip-hop artists and the industry were viewed at the time the culture hit the mainstream.
In the final season, Tony Soprano is recovering from a nearly fatal bullet wound at the hospital when he overhears a conversation between a music agent

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The Elements of a Hip-Hop Classic

The Elements of a Hip-Hop Classic

Hip-hop has been defined by classic albums since its inception. Magazines such as The Source started rating classic albums with their signature “five mic” designation, but they were few and far in-between. Since then, hip-hop fans have put it upon themselves to discuss and dissect what constitutes a classic hip-hop album.
Early on, the makeup of

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Looking Back: Cassette Tapes and Hip-Hop

Looking Back: Cassette Tapes and Hip-Hop

Over the last decade music listening technology has evolved so rapidly, it is easy to forget about the original medium that propelled hip-hop from a strictly local art form to a global phenomenon: the cassette. Back in October, Sony officially discontinued production of the Walkman Cassette Player, signifying the end of an era. Although the

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