The history of hip-hop dance encompasses the people and events since the late 1960s that have contributed to the development of the early hip-hop dance styles: uprock, breaking, locking, roboting, boogaloo, and popping. Black and Latino Americans created uprock and breaking in New York City. Black Americans in California created locking, roboting, boogaloo, and popping—collectively referred to as the funk styles. All of these dance styles are different stylistically. They share common ground in their street origins and in their improvisational nature.
More than 40 years old, hip-hop dance became widely known after the first professional street-based dance crews formed in the 1970s in the United States. The most influential groups were Rock Steady Crew, The Lockers, and The Electric Boogaloos who are responsible for the spread of breaking, locking, and popping respectively. The Brooklyn-based dance style uprock influenced breaking early in its development. Boogaloo gained more exposure because it is the namesake of the Electric Boogaloos crew. Uprock, roboting, and boogaloo are respected dance styles but none of them are as mainstream or popular as breaking, locking, and popping.
Parallel with the evolution of hip-hop music, hip-hop social dancing emerged from breaking and the funk styles into different forms. Dances from the 1990s such as the Running Man, the Worm, and the Cabbage Patch entered the mainstream and became fad dances. After the millennium, newer social dances such as the Cha Cha Slide and the Dougie also caught on and became very popular. Hip-hop dance is not a studio-derived style. Street dancers developed it in urban neighborhoods without a formal process. All of the early substyles and social dances were brought about through a combination of events including inspiration from James Brown, DJ Kool Herc's invention of the break beat, the formation of dance crews, and Don Cornelius' creation of the television show Soul Train.
A disc jockey (abbreviated D.J. or DJ) is a person who mixes recorded music for an audience. Originally, "disc" (sometimes spelled "disk", although this is now uncommon) referred to phonograph records, not the later compact discs. Today, the term includes all forms of music playback, no matter the medium.
There are several types of disc jockey. Radio DJs or radio personalities introduce and play music that is broadcast on AM, FM, shortwave, digital or internet radio stations. Club DJs select and play music in bars, nightclubs or discothèques, or at parties or raves, or even in stadiums. Mobile DJs travel with portable sound systems and play recorded music at a variety of events. Some mobile DJs also serve as the master of ceremonies or MC directing the attention of attendees, and maintaining a room-wide focus on what is included in the event's agenda. There are also many competitions that specialise in mixing, scratching or other kinds of techniques.
Other types of DJ use musical performance techniques that allow them to be categorized as performing musicians, depending on the situation. Hip hop DJs not only select and play music using multiple turntables to back up one or more MCs/rappers, but they also perform turntable scratching to create percussive sounds, and are also often songwriters and/or music producers who use turntablism and sampling to create backing instrumentals for new tracks. In reggae, the DJ (deejay) is a vocalist who raps, "toasts", or chats over pre-recorded rhythm tracks while the individual choosing and playing them is referred to as a selector. Many electronica artists and producers who also work as DJs often perform music by combining turntablism with keyboards or live electronics. Electronica, hip-hop or reggae DJs also often collaborate and play live music with bands and musicians from several musical genres (rock, heavy metal, jazz or even classical music), using turntables and electronics as musical instruments. According to a 2012 study, there are approximately 11⁄4 million professional disc jockeys in the world.
The word "emcee," sometimes also referred to as MC, comes from the traditional term "master of ceremonies." This is a person who controls the crowd at a certain event, leading them and keeping the ceremony organized. An emcee's role is to educate, inform and bring order to the event through verbal instructions. In modern terms, an emcee is also another term for the word "rapper" -- someone who performs by rhyming rhythmically to music. Emceeing or rapping is also considered an art. Its content is unlimited, ranging from intricate story-telling to simple and direct conversations.
Emceeing is usually associated with hip-hop. It is a cultural movement that started in the 1970s in the Bronx, New York. Drawing from the influences of African, African American, Caribbean and Latino communities in the United States, hip-hop began as an independent, cultural form of expression. There are four fundamental elements to hip-hop: emceeing or rapping, graffiti, DJ-ing and break-dancing.
Graffiti is writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface, often in a public place. elaborate wall paintings, and it has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire. In modern times, paint (particularly spray paint) and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials. In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner's consent is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime.
Graffiti may also express underlying social and political messages and a whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles. Within hip hop culture, graffiti has evolved alongside hip hop music, b-boying, and other elements. Unrelated to hip-hop graffiti, gangs use their own form of graffiti to mark territory or to serve as an indicator of gang-related activities.
Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials, law enforcement, and writers who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. There are many different types and styles of graffiti and it is a rapidly developing art form whose value is highly contested and reviled by many authorities while also subject to protection, sometimes within the same jurisdiction.