Hip hop is a cultural movement characterized by five key stylistic elements that include rapping, disc-jockeying, sampling, scratching and beat boxing. It originated from South of Bronx, New York, in the early 70’s and was pioneered by Keith Cowboy. The use of drum machines in modern hip hop gave birth to Hip Hop drum beats, which are today the core of producing Hip Hop.

Hip Hop Drum beats have been on the airwaves for a long time, since the 1970’s. Drum beating is deeply rooted in African-American and African music. It is also heavily connected to groups of people called Griots who are travelling singers and poets who have long been a part of this oral tradition. Hip Hop became increasingly popular in New York during block parties. These parties allowed DJs to incorporate popular genres of music, specifically funk and soul music. The DJs then isolate percussion breaks of selected popular songs in order to create this hip hop drum beat style. This technique known as percussion isolation is very common in Jamaican Dub mixes, and the main proponent of this technique is none other than DJ Kool Herc. Dub mixes have become popular with Jamaicans due to the influence of American Sailors and rhythm and blues.

Another technique called turn table includes drum beat mixing or matching, scratching and beat juggling eventually developed along with the breaks have created a base that can be rapped over. This technique popularized song remixes.

One hallmark of hip hop drum beats is looping another artists’ music or remixing one song into another. Looping basically means the repetition of a certain section of music or sound used throughout the entire length of the song or remix. Looping hip hop drum beats does not necessarily need any consent of the artist when it’s used in clubs or block parties.

To create hip hop drum beat music, you need certain instruments, or better yet, you need to use something of your own, something like your voice. Some of the instruments you could use to create beats are turntables, samplers and synthesizers, which are used in modern hip hop for disc jockeys and the likes, drum machines, guitars and pianos and most importantly a human to do the vocals, beat boxing and rapping.

Some famous artists like LL Cool J, Lil’ Kim, DMX, 50 Cent, Jay-Z and even P. Diddy became popular for their hip hop drum beat style. Ja Rule, Fat Joe, Swizz Beatz, Busta Rhymes and Memphis have their own drum beat style too that made them known within the music industry.

Hip hop drum beats are just one of the basic elements one should know about Hip Hop music production. And since now you know where hip hop drum beats came from, maybe you can get to your feet and dance to the beat – feel that heat!

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