How Hip Hop Influenced The World Through B-Boying

This is the second part of the three-part feature on how hip hop has influenced the world.

Hip hop comes in all flavors. On one spectrum you have your conscious rap that makes you think and on the other there’s the mainstream hip hop that sometimes has no real substance but a catchy beat. No doubt about it, all the rappers from Kendrick Lamar to Fetty Wap understand that music is the universal language and the quickest way to get someone to listen to you is to give them a sound that will make them bob their heads, snap their fingers and dance.

Hip hop and the genres it was derived from have always had at its core a hypnotizing rhythm, leading the listeners to create elaborate dances. Some of the most famous dances have been influenced by the hip hop culture.

One of the most famous style of dancing is b-boying- also known as breakdancing. Starting in the streets of New York in the 70s with DJ Herc at the helm, DJs’ would take the break of a popular song and loop it. B-boys and b-girls would then improvise intricate dance moves that included toprocks, footwork, freezes and power moves, sometimes battling against each other. Thus, b-boying was born. Breakdancing has remained alive over all of these decades and has spread into many other genres outside of hip hop and many cities outside of New York, from Paris, Brazil, and Asia.

On the west coast during the 70s & 80s, another famous dance movement known as popping was being created. Also having roots in the streets, popping consists of jerking or “popping” a part of the body at the timing of the music. Popping has transcended the hip hop & funk genres and has become popular in dubstep, pop and electronic music.

The last 3 decades have been the most important for hip hop dance. With the invention of the internet, hip hop becoming more commercial and a more welcoming approach to people of diversity, hip hop dances have spread wide and far. From the silly to the more intricate dances, it is clear to see that hip hop has had a profound effect on modern dance and it is here to stay.



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