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Hip Hop Nation: Hip Hop Nation


Welcome to the Hip Hop Nation LibGuide! The intentions of this guide is to provide comprehensive resources for adult users wanting to gain knowledge about the hip hop experience. Various resources are also presented to introduce the Five Percent Nation and its major influence on hip hop culture. Throughout the succeeding tabs, you will discover books, articles, music, videos, and other materials demonstrating the artistic, social, and political components of hip hop, as well as its history and evolution. 

What is Hip Hop?

A trailer of Hip Hop Is documentary presented by Creative Direction.

Contains explicit language and graphic scenes. Viewer discretion is advised.

The Five Elements of Hip Hop

While many may know hip hop as a powerhouse in popular music, the structure in what makes it a deep and diverse culture is not so mainstream. Here are the five significant elements of hip-hop:

  • DJ (aural) - The manipulation of sounds to create a distinct type of music. First discovered by Kool DJ Herc in the 1970s, the ingenious intervals and isolation of the beat is what brought forth the ultimate ascent of hip hop.
  • MC (oral) - Also known as "rapping," this form of poetry was generated as a response to the social conditions within the urban communities during that time. This quick-witted wordplay provided a narrative and a voice for those simply wanting to be heard.
  • Break dance (physical) - Referred to "poetry in motion," has a mixture of acrobatic and martial arts style. B-boying/B-girling became prominent once groups like the Shaka Zulu Kings and Rock Steady Crew put this form of dance on the map. 
  • Graffiti (visual) - What separates "tagging" from graffiti is the art that is presented. The creative expression and vibrant masterpieces can be found on city buildings and warehouses, and goes beyond simply leaving ones name spray painted on the wall.
  • Knowledge (mental) - "Knowledge of self" is the essential element that connects each component together. It is the spiritual and political consciousness built to strengthen and enlighten those who are oppressed. 

Suggested Reading


References - Hip Hop Nation

CALEBDAVISFILMS. (2005, March 1). Hip Hop Is...Documentary 2015. Retrieved from

Chang, J. (2005). Can't Stop Won't Stop. New York, NY: Picador.

Piskor, E. (2014). Hip Hop Family Tree. Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics Books.

Williams, J. A. (2015). The Cambridge Companion to Hip-Hop. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.