CONTEXTUALISING from rapid breakbeats, playing at around 130-140

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CONTEXTUALISING from rapid breakbeats, playing at around 130-140

CONTEXTUALISING MUSIC

1970’s HIP HOP & 2000’s GRIME

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HIP HOP (1970’s)

is a music genre made in the United Stated in the 1970’s, that was very popular among its creators – African-Americans from Bronx. It consists of rhythmic and melodic music that is usually followed with four key elements; rapping, breakdancing, MCing and scratching, which over the years have developed to producing music and heavy slang usage.

GRIME (2000’s)

is a music genre of that was made from UK electronic music styles in London in the 2000s. The style is mostly typified from rapid breakbeats, playing at around 130-140 bpm and an aggressive electronic sound that are followed with rhythmic, fast and similarly to freestyle lyrical content.

 

CULTURAL & HISTORICAL INFLUENCES

Hip-hop music and its mostly important culture was formed in the 70’s in the New York by multicultural society. On the other side, grime arrived in the early 2000s from East End of London, which was developed out of early UK electronic music, and influenced from dancehall and hip-hop genre. Grime was and is not as popular as hip-hop as it was only spreading around the British cities, Birmingham playing its main role. Later, in 2010s, grime began to gain its popularity in Northern America, which was later described as the “most significant musical development within UK”

The hip hop scene has started with neighbourhood block parties organized by the Ghetto Brothers, and Puerto Rican, that has been back then depicted as being a gang and a music group. The parties were usually supported by the street lamp posts, which the artists used to connect the cheap speakers and mics. This was due to the poor households as parents could not offer to buy expensive instruments for their kids. These live music events have been used to break down racial and language barriers between African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, White and other ethnic groups. In this way, Grime is not very similar to hip-hop in this argument as it is more individual working environment. What I want to say by this is, that it is mostly performed at home with different electronic musical instruments and synthesizers and then passed on to rapper, rather than as a live performance like in hip hop. However, it was usually progressed on to pirate radios like Rinse FM in 2000s.

In its earliest stages hip hop music (rapping) has been described as picture and a voice to refer to the low pay, social exclusion and deprivation areas, as the culture of hip hop reflected and pointed to the social, economic and political reality of their lives. Opponents of the hip hop culture claim and argue that the rappers are aggressive characters and that they are promoting and extending the social rebellion around their households. However, artists of this genre are contradicting the fact that hip hop is creating any harm, on the contrary, it’s just the way that they want to point out and direct the point to the unfair social-political system, for example, unfair state orders, the conspiracy of government, the police brutality, violence, disrespect and racism, even from a neighbourhood, that was directed towards the black community. The most popular rappers that were involved in several situations with the law and gang activities were shot to death in March,1996. This sad event immediately created a revolt between the East and West side.

We can say that Grime is very similar in this argument due to the same lyrical contents and style of the rapping, only with more London accent due to that it’s been made in the London area. However, I could not find any relatable information or data that would explain the situation of the social & political influences in grime.

People who have helped to build a hip hop culture, including well-known “father” of the hip hop, DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash or Afrika Bambaataa were Latin American or Caribbean. The most famous technique that created hip hop was “scratching the turntable”, where DJ’s would scratch the turntable while looping break of a song. On the other side, grime has many more significant and prominent artists like Stormzy, Skepta, Ghetts or Dizzee Rascal that have popularized and started a grime scene that is lasting until today with great popularity and fanbase. Again, we are talking about African-American community that has taken and developed this style.

An important influence (musical & cultural) was the sub-genre of reggae called dub. It was found in the 60’s by Jamaican community that has brought this style to New York. It contains the instrumental versions of reggae songs. Other influences that we can mention include jazz, blues and disco. Grime can be linked to dubstep, eskibeat or hybrid trap, and very similar to hip-hop due its usage of similar but not the same style of lyrics – depictions of city life.

Other different elements of the hip hop culture and the art expressions that typifies this genre are; beatboxing and the vocal style that imitated the percussions, cultural and historical learning that was both intellectual and philosophical; the hip hop style (language, fashion and graffiti) which has later also developed with a touch of other different genres. However, Grime does not have any stylistic, cultural based style elements or art expressions that describe this style like hip hop does.

 

AUDIENCE EXPECTATIONS

Hip hop and Grime are popular among all the races, but it’s mostly popular among its creators who are African of its origins. Hip Hop is very familiar with dancing technique called breakdance, that was mostly undertaken by black people, due to their natural talent and tend to click with the style more than with other ethnic groups. Hip hop is also well-known of its fashion style – baggy t shirts, jewellery, hats and tattoos that are symbolizing something that is important in the rapper’s life. Grime’s fashion was borrowed by hip hop, however sometimes you can see the artists who are dressed in a typical British style – tracksuit and hoodie. Usually hip hop relates to sex, aggression, promotion of drugs and explicit language, which can have a very bad impact on young generation, due to taking it as an example from it. The colours that are significant for this genre would be mainly dark colours, for example, black, grey or brown which are typifying of shortcomings or bad times with which they got through or might also link to any dark events that are happening in the world. However, some artists may have bright colours to present the success and show the audience how they got to the successful point. In this case, grime is very popular by its any colour usage, so the colours in this sense do not impose any particular emotional expressions.

It is a very personal choice for an artist or a fan, regarding to fashion, but it is usually a very vintage style of dressing or the use of a camouflaged coverage. Compared to hip hop, grime’s fashion is more opened towards the fashion range.

If we had to compare the number of males and females listening to hip hop music, it would certainly be men, due to that hip hop might use the sense of sexism (not always) and some abusive comments that are leading to the weakness of females, even though rappers are strongly remaining a safe distance away from these experiences in their real life.

However, we could not say the same about Grime as nowadays, there are also women who are involved in listening but also making of grime. So, in this case, we can again point out that grime is more open to all sexes and is not committed to certain audiences (this may not be always true of some cases, as females might still be offended).

 

TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT

Grime is combined with 4/4 breakbeats, typically double-rhythm from hip hop style which usually prompts to 140 bpm that is followed with the most part of the low, dirty and dull electronic synths or string instruments playing under the rappers “freestyle” rapping. According to the writer – Sasha Frere Jones, grime production is represented with the “dirty and ragged” sound that can manifest itself in a style that is created for boxer’s centre. Also, this “special” style of sound is an extraordinary one that differentiates itself from hip hop. Grime has begun to emerge from fast UK garage but also with light touches of other genres such as drum and bass or hybrid trap.

Grime music is additionally using a sampling technique from computer games, for instance, Street Fighter 2. Sampling technique is also commonly used in hip-hop. Several technological developments have been a symbol of hip hop. Turntable, drum-machine, sampler and synthesizer. These new instruments became the most popular shaping tools, not only for hip hop music production, but also for grime and many others.

In the 80’s, new special devices were also innovated. Synthesizers that changed the world of music. Filters, amplifiers and oscillators are controlled, for example, by the first digital synthesizer DX-7, which was introduced by Yamaha in 1983. The world of this music has begun to change from the analogue predecessor to higher quality audio – digital. In the same year, drum machine called Roland TR-808 (today’s Maschine) was created. Immediately, this technology became the ideal drum machine for hip hop to create new bass processing capabilities by adding low frequency hum. Also, with this, famous sampling took place, which made an artist to explore an old piece of music, retrieve the repetitive sounds from them and then use them in this music.

The innovations continued, but not only the music side has come to its attention. New components for computer were involved called RAM. This allowed electronic instruments to work with the computer much faster.

Grime originated much later and was born in more modern technology than hip hop. In the 2000s, the technology was most focused on the modern digital studios, a lot of new effect units and everything was, more or less, created in DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) with the new VST (Virtual Studio Technology) that meant to imitate, but also replace the keyboards and synthesizers, and instead place them into DAW. However, few producers of grime were still stuck with the 80s – 90s technology, for example, DX-7 or TR-808, because they were after the “old-school sound”

 

MEDIA REPRESENTATION

Hip hop has begun to become a style of fashion, talking and expressing, right after its creation. Hip hop has got a large representation in media as “thug life”, “harm” or “violence”. While Hip Hop, according to all the rappers, was predominant about positivism, media, radios, newspapers, and the internet have decided to shrink the negative effects of hip hop culture and effects that it has got on young people.

People have begun to perceive this style of music as a violent musical genre, only because of medias nonsense. Their goal was to make Hip Hop completely disappear from the music scene, as well as with the culture, and make very big money of it, by choosing what to publish on internet or into newspapers. It was usually negative side, due to people were interested more. This continues to this day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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