Also known as “underground rap,”
a subgenre of rap that encompasses art forms
such as sampling, breakdancing, spoken word,
freestyling, beatboxing, turntablism and more.
Alternative hip-hop often includes artists on
independent record labels and features socially
conscious and politically oriented lyrics.
A dance style stemming from the early 1970s
hip-hop scene, evolving from such diverse sources
as jazz, martial arts, capoeira and tap dancing.
Break boys and girls, who later became known
as b-boys and b-girls, first started dancing
during DJ breaks at Bronx hip-hop parties. B-boying
soon became a skilled and competitive art form.
The term “breakdancing” was later
created by mainstream media in the 1980s.
A competition, often between DJs or rappers,
judged often on originality and skill
The basis of hip-hop—the instrumental
Creating sounds using one’s mouth that
replicate rhythmic patterns and percussion.
Noted beatboxers include Doug E. Fresh, Darren
Robinson (a.k.a. The Human Beatbox) of the Fat
Boys and Rhazel of the Roots.
A style of Southern hip-hop featuring heavy
bass and aggressively chanted lyrics
In hip-hop, DJing originally encompassed the
art of mixing and scratching music to create
A term used to describe the Deep South region
of the United States, including the states Alabama,
Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina
and Texas. Rappers from the Dirty South began
to dominate hip-hop in the early 2000s.
Hip-hop’s roots emerged from dub, a form
of ska and reggae music out of 1960s Jamaica
characterized by an MC singing or rapping over
a mostly instrumental “dub” version
of an existing song.
A lyricist’s rhythm or cadence, his or
her ability to combine words with the music
The art of vocal improvising
Originally popularized by West Coast rappers
in the 1980s, often containing “hardcore”
rap lyrics related to gangs, gang members and
A hip-hop performer or rhymer. Also stands for
“mic controller” or “master
Early hip-hop style, usually spanning the 1970s
to the mid-to-late 1980s
The process of using sound segments from one
musical piece to form sounds in another musical
Moving a record manually under a needle to create
new musical sounds
Playing the record turntable as if it were an
instrument. Techniques might include scratching
or mixing in order to create rhythms and manipulate