Hip Hop Dance Essay

1468 words - 6 pages

Hip hop dance was important to African American culture because it allowed them to create their own culture, their own music their own style. When watching Flex is Kings, there are many young men in a video demonstrating what hip hop dance culture has evolved to in the 21st century. They are a contemporary urban dance movement. One can see the emotion and the “seriousness” in their movements. Hip hop dance is these people’s lives’(“Flex Is Kings”). Flex is a type of street dance, sometimes is called “bone breaking” due to their moves looking like a person either has no bones or that they are literally breaking them to create the skin cringing dances they create(“Flexing”). Dancers such as Storyboard P have mastered the art of flexing. He mentions in one of his interviews that when dancing one is revealing who they are (“Storyboard P”). African American people lean on this particular art form to elaborate how, as a race we have been able to display our culture to mainstream America. Mainstream is basically a majority of people (Mainstream).
Hip hop, however, has transformed into mainstream culture, therefore losing itself. "Black culture, which has a long tradition of struggling against (and at the same time, working in close collaboration with) the dominant white culture, has rounded the corner of the 21st century with what looks in one sense like an unequivocal victory. Young America now embraces hip-hop as the signal pop-music genre of its time. So why does that victory feel strange: not exactly hollow, but a little haunted?" (“When the People Cheer”). As hip hop itself has begun to change so has the form of dance. Hip hop dance now has a mixture of what the Flex kings do in their videos and dances such as the popular dance “Nae Nae”. Hip hop dance in general today, however, is more of what someone sees in music videos.
How could we talk about hip hop dance without discussing hip hop? Hip hop has a very long history and the way that rappers and dj’s changed throughout history has greatly impacted hip hop dance. Hip hop began in South Bronx, New York. Hip hop splits into four different categories: rap music, turntablism, breaking, and graffiti. Rap music, turntablism and breaking impact dance more so than graffiti. The turntablist as well as breaking brought about the different dance moves created in the 1970s. DJ Kool Herc began hip hop right in his apartment on 1520 Sedgewick Avenue. Rap music was created at street parties, and Herc constructed an outline for hip hop music and culture by adding onto the Jamaican tradition of improvised ‘toasting’, reggae musicians who sings and “toasts” to the instrumental rhythm, boastful ballad and speech above music (“Hip Hop”).
Herc also added onto “break-beat deejaying” in which he made it so that beats were isolated and repeated for long periods of time throughout the night. With the new kind of rap music and beat changes dance groups such as the break-boys and the break-girls (“Hip Hop”). They...

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