Hip-Hop has come a long way, yet at the same time, it has taken a steep drop. How could that be? Sounds like an oxymoron huh? The sound started in the South Bronx on August 11, 1973 in the project building at 1520 Sedgwick & Cedar Avenues. The DJ, Kool Herc trotted his "sound system" (2 turntables and a mic), by way of Jamaica (his birthplace), to the most famous and influential back-to-school party in history.
As other DJ's and crews emerged throughout the Bronx and other New York boroughs, so did it's popularity. As the merging art form grew, so did the DJ/crews. It went from just having a DJ, to several DJs, to having MC's to hype the crowd. That led to DJ/crew battles at the parties. By the mid to late 70's DJ crews and those within the crowd began taping the epic battles. From there, the new sound and style of DJing at parties began to spread beyond New York City, filtering up and down the east coast and eventually out west.
1979 was a pivotal year because the first hip-hop records were recorded. March 25, 1979 the Fatback Band's King Tim III was released and credited as the first hip-hop record.. Within the year, there were several other records from artists such as Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Spoonie G, Kurtis Blow, Eddie Cheba, Lady B, Jazzy 4 Mc's, Funky Four Plus One,T.J. Swan, The Sequence and more. However, there was one record that caught the ear of radio and became the song that propelled a new genre of music into the masses. On September 16, 1979 Sylvia Robinson's Sugar Hill Records (New Jersey) released the single Rapper's Delight. It became the first commercially successful rap song.... and hip-hop has never looked back since.
Even with the commercial success of 1979's Rapper's Delight, hip-hop has come a long way. In the mid to late 80's Hip-Hop was deemed a fad. Most records from '79 through '85, aside from Melle Mel's The Message, artists and groups followed the party/yes yes y'all/sing songy formula. The formula was a great transformation from the Disco era, but it quickly became stale and stagnant.
In 1983 through the production of Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, a new sound was bubbling. A more stripped down sound, compared to the R&B looped, along with the electro-dance sound that was popular at the time. Run-DMC's Sucka MC's ushered in the drum machine, leaving out the R&B melodies and gave hip-hop a more hardcore sound. In 1985 Run-DMC's emergence into the mainstream through MTV and the popularity of the music video platform helped propel the popularity of Hip-Hop nationwide. Couple that with Russell Simmons' major film release of the film Krush Groove, loosely based off of his rise in the music industry, and Hip-Hop went from an "inner-city thing" to hitting the 'burbs and entering the homes of white America.