Well this is pretty much the big question that everybody wants to know. The answer is ‘no’. In the early ’70s all rappers were either MCs or rappers. But it wasn’t quite obvious to everybody, since all MCs were black. And all rappers were known for being white, and they all had a huge impact on popular culture in general. So the hip hop label originated in 1970, and the first MC’s used the word ‘Hip’ as an abbreviation for ‘Hip Hop’ because they didn’t want their music to feel like they took place in any black cultural context, which is what most people feel like they are doing.
In the 1980s we saw some things take place that were not only changing the music industry, but also changed it for everybody. We saw the beginning of the music industry in the ’90s take place in the ’00s. People really wanted to ‘change the world’ and it was like, when you have kids in school and you’re going to have kids, you’re going to have a lot of different cultures from different countries coming together and you’re going to have different kinds of music being mixed together, and then it is a lot easier to say ‘let’s try to bring everybody together and make some music and make a real difference’. So Hip Hop became really big because it fit this new environment that was about bringing together different cultures and making it very accessible.
Is there any particular reason why Hip Hop came about in the UK and the USA?
The UK people know that there is a culture called ‘Hip Hop’, and for some reason that word really gets attached to the UK as opposed to the US. So the UK people don’t really expect to see any hip hop in the UK, they want to watch it in the US and the USA, so that when they have kids, they know they’ve got to have a culture that is similar to that in the UK.
Why is the music genre so big in the UK?
It is mainly about having a sound that people accept. What everyone in the UK expects is ‘It is the Beatles and it’s in the 80s’. A lot of things were different at that time because things weren’t really getting much better than those two things. So having that kind of ‘sound culture’ was a real strength for the UK, and that made a lot of sense then. That’s also something that is true of all the countries in Europe now. People
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