Everything to Know About HipHop Music

  • Royal Stag Fan

  • 5 March 2024

Whether it's the thumping bass rattling your car windows or the slick rhymes marching through your headphones, hip-hop has become the soundtrack of the streets. Its infectious beats and pointed lyrics are unavoidable nowadays. Hip-hop has remarkably evolved from its underground origins in the Bronx in the 1970s to become one of the most dominant music genres globally. Let's break down everything to know about hip-hop music.

What is Hip Hop?

Hip-hop grew organically as a vibrant subculture of creative expression in the overlooked inner cities of 1970s New York. It emerged especially amongst young African Americans and Latinos in the Bronx as a way for youth to channel their lived experiences into raw artistic forms like rapping, DJing, dancing, and graffiti art. Together these elements formed the pulse of an emerging cultural movement.

MCing (Rapping)

The MC, or "Master of Ceremonies," uses spoken lyrics and commanding cadences layered over musical backdrops to motivate crowds.


Harnessing recorded songs, hip hop DJs creatively isolate the drum and percussion breaks on funk, soul and disco records to craft distinctive rhythmic canvases.


As neighborhood block parties bumped to the breaks DJs spun, dancers responded with athletic floor moves, head spins, and stylistic footwork inspired by martial arts films.

Graffiti Art

In an era when inner city walls screamed with municipal neglect and services gaps, graffiti writers responded by bombing trains, buildings and infrastructure with colorful words, characters and imagery using spray paint.

What is Hip Hop Music?

The heart of the growing hip hop culture was its music - rhymed verses and intense cadences passionately performed by MCs over pumping DJ-fueled soundscapes. As block parties rocked parks and clubs, this vibrant combination grabbed people's attention as a form of rebel music. Out of inhospitable conditions, marginalized youths invented the soundtrack that still pulses through the veins of culture today.

Hip-hop originated from DJs isolating the percussion breaks on funk, soul, and disco songs to create breakbeats. Pioneering DJs like Kool Herc played these breakbeats on two turntables back-to-back, extending the percussion fills indefinitely for dancers at parties in the Bronx.

But over time, as DJing techniques evolved and sampled grooves and electronic instrumentation were incorporated into the beats, a distinct genre of music called hip-hop took shape. The term became widely adopted by the 1990s, signifying a richer musical identity.

Hip Hop Music Meaning

Hip-hop music is a genre built from hip-hop culture's musical and production elements. This includes:

  • Rapped lyrics and wordplay
  • Beats produced from sampled breaks, grooves, and sounds
  • Turntable techniques like scratching and beatmatching
  • Instrumentals and synthesized drum machine rhythms

The word "hip" means "current" or "in the know", while "hop" refers to movement to the beats. So "hip hop" essentially implied something fresh, stylish, and with a groove for the streetwise.

History of Hip-Hop Music

Hip-hop music has complex roots in African-American-led cultural movements like the blues, jazz, soul, funk, and disco. Here's a brief history:

In the mid-1970s, hip-hop culture gestates in the Bronx, where DJs began isolating percussion breaks at parties to create early beats.

Pioneering DJs like DJ Kool Herc extend these beats using turntable tricks that become known as the "breakbeat style".

MCs start rapping live and hosting over these breakbeat DJ sets during citywide block parties in parks and clubs.

In 1979, "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang brought hip-hop music into the national consciousness, though considered somewhat of a novelty act.

Through the early 80s, hip-hop DJing techniques expanded, with more rappers and crews making amateur recordings.

Grandmaster Flash"s 1982 song "The Message" makes hip-hop music shift its focus to social commentary.

Run DMC helped bring hip hop to the mainstream in the mid-80s with rock/rap crossover hits and a harder-edged sound.

Public Enemy's politically charged 1988 album "It Takes a Nation of Millions" cements hip hop as protest music.

In the '90s and 2000s, subgenres like gangsta rap, bounce, and trap emerge as hip-hop fragments more stylistically.

Midwest groups like Bone Thugs popularised melodically sung rapping styles in the mid-90s.

Jay Z, Eminem, Kanye West, and others brought hip-hop firmly into the mainstream in the late 90s and 2000s as both a genre and cultural force.

Hip-hop music has come incredibly far from grassroots youth expression in the Bronx to a billion-dollar music industry. It continues to evolve and branch out stylistically to this day.

The Rise of Hip-Hop Music in India

Hip-hop music has slowly been making its mark across India's cultural landscape. Though rap and hip hop have existed in India since the 1980s, the genre exploded in popularity nationally in the 2010s through YouTube and social media.

India's early hip-hop acts like Bohemia and Baba Sehgal pioneered the country's exotic blend of hip-hop beats mixed with elements of traditional music. Modern rappers rap in English, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, and other regional languages - showcasing hip hop's versatility.

The Indian scene goes beyond just rappers and singers. Crews like Dharavi Rocks use hip-hop for social activism - spreading awareness of inequality. Popular dance shows like "Dance India Dance" also showcase local hip-hop flavours through breakdancing. Graffiti art has also popped up across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.

With youthful demographics and an appetite for adopting global culture on their terms, India is primed to drive hip hop's future growth in Asia.

Role of Royal Stag Boombox in the Hip-Hop World

Royal Stag Boombox, a music and cultural festival, emphasises the blend of Bollywood melodies with hip-hop beats, creating a unique experience that resonates with the youth of India. It is part of Royal Stag's broader efforts to engage with young audiences through music, aligning with the brand's philosophy of "Living it Large."

The festival has garnered positive responses from both audiences and artists, offering a platform for various performers, including well-known artists like Badshah, Armaan Malik, and Neeti Mohan, who have expressed excitement about participating in past editions. These events underscore Royal Stag's commitment to creating spaces where new forms of music can thrive, particularly the fusion of Bollywood and hip-hop, which has struck a chord with the generation.

A special one-day Royal Stag Boombox event will hit Indore, Jaipur ,Pune and Bhubaneswar on 2nd, 16th, 23rd and 30th March 2024.

Chart-topping Bollywood rapper Badshah of "Paagal" and "DJ Waley Babu" fame headlines. Punjabi rap sensation Ikka, beloved for hits like "Hassa," and his rapid-fire flow, joins too. Rounding off the lineup is pop singer Niti Mohan, the lyrical genius Dino James,ever-charming Armaan Malik, mesmerizing melody of Nikhita Gandhi and spin-master, Ali Merchant.

The show promises the spectacular staging and hype atmosphere that makes Royal Stag BoomBox a can't-miss hip-hop event.

Future of Hip-Hop Music in India

Thanks to cultural megaliths like Royal Stag BoomBox willing to invest in hip hop, the future shines bright for Indian hip hop.

More aspiring artists just need a studio-capable laptop to instantly share music with millions online - no label required. Video directors team up with rappers gaining viral fame from their bedroom.

This democratisation of distribution means hip-hop will continue spreading to India's small towns and villages. Regional hip-hop movements in languages beyond just Hindi and English will blossom, blending folk music traditions into something exhilaratingly new.


Hip hop has spread incredibly far, from its origins in the streets of 1970s New York to becoming a vibrant musical force in India today. With technology allowing more young artists to create and share their music, India's hip-hop scene will continue thriving. At its best, hip-hop gives marginalised youth a creative outlet and brings communities together through its infectious culture. With standout concerts like Royal Stag Boombox providing platforms, the future is bright for Indian hip-hop.