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Hip hop is a broad conglomerate of artistic forms that originated as a specific street subculture within South Bronx communities during the 1970s in New York City, It is characterized by four distinct elements, all of which represent the different manifestations of the culture: rap music (aural), turntablism or "DJing" (aural), breaking (physical) and graffiti art (visual). Despite their contrasting methods of execution, they find unity in their common association to the poverty and violence underlying the historical context that birthed the culture. It was as a means of providing a reactionary outlet from such urban hardship that "Hip Hop" initially functioned, a form of self-expression that could reflect upon, proclaim an alternative to, try and challenge or merely evoke the mood of the circumstances of such an environment. Even while it continues in contemporary history to develop globally in a flourishing myriad of diverse styles, these foundational elements provide stability and coherence to the culture. The term is frequently used mistakenly to refer in a confining fashion to the mere practice of rap music.The origin of the culture stems from the block parties of The Ghetto Brothers when they would plug the amps for their instruments and speakers into the lampposts on 163rd Street and Prospect Avenue and DJ Kool Herc at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, where Herc would mix samples of existing records with his own shouts to the crowd and dancers. Kool Herc is credited as the "father" of Hip hop. DJ Afrika Bambaataa of the hip hop collective Zulu Nation outlined the pillars of hip hop culture, to which he coined the terms: MCing, DJing, B-boying and graffiti writing. Since its evolution throughout the South Bronx, hip hop culture has spread to both urban and suburban communities throughout the world. Hip hop music first emerged with Kool Herc and contemporary disc jockeys and imitators creating rhythmic beats by looping breaks (small portions of songs emphasizing a percussive pattern) on two turntables, more commonly referred to as juggling. This was later accompanied by "rap", a rhythmic style of chanting or poetry often presented in 16-bar measures or time frames, and beatboxing, a vocal technique mainly used to provide percussive elements of music and various technical effects of hip hop DJs. An original form of dancing and particular styles of dress arose among fans of this new music. These elements experienced considerable adaptation and development over the course of the history of the culture.

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