Ms. Marae Bailey
January 18, 2010
Old School versus New School Hip Hop
Many people believe that all hip hop music is the same. They think hip hop is about the beat of the music and the fame of the rapper. However, the true difference occurs when you look at how old school hip hop became mainstreamed. Original hip hop was about the disc jockey that played the music. The music of hip hop were humble and about pleasing the crowd; while new school has become more commercial due to the involvement of major record companies. The hip hop of today is not the hip of yesteryear. Hip hop began in the streets of New York City, in the Bronx area. The local Disc Jockeys would have free parties in the local parks or at local school playgrounds for the main purpose of promoting themselves and to advertise for future parties that they were having at a club or a local community center, in which they would charge a cover price to get in. A Disc Jockey usually has couple of his friends around to help carry equipment like records crates and to help with the setup. The Disc Jockey would usually pay the guys for helping him. The setup guys also helped out during party by getting on the microphone, and saying crowd participation rhymes, this would help keep the people on the dance floor. They would later be known as Masters of Ceremonies or MCs. MCs would take light-hearted jabs at other disc jockeys and lyricists. After awhile, the disc jockey with better MCs, would bring in larger crowds, in turn, giving the disc jockey a bigger pay day! As the disc jockey and his MCs got more popular and more money started flowing in the disc jockey’s pocket, the disc jockey would be able to pay those guys strictly to be MCs, and someone else to handle setup issues. Now, back in seventies, a good disc jockey could make around $1000.00 for playing music for five hours. Out of that money he would have to pay MCs, and he might have two to four people as MCs. The disc Jockey would have to pay the setup guys too. MCs would get paid from $100 to $200 per party. Local record companies like, “ENJOY” record saw the money making potential in this new Hip hop craze, so local record companies that were based in the New York City area, would find the hottest Disc Jockeys and MCs combination to sign on their record label. Then a person could go out and buy his or her favorite Disc Jockey or MC’s record at the local record store. Local radio stations started to play the song on air too. The Disc Jockeys that were able to get a record deal started to make more money and their MCs did too! Hip Hop music was still local to New York, until major record companies like, RCA, EMI, Polygram Records, and CBS started to buy out the all the local record companies. Now the major the record companies had worldwide distribution for the records that they sold. Hip hop was now going nationwide, and it was going to be as big as Rock and Roll. Hip hop going nationwide lead to birth to the new school hip hop. Major record companies wanted to sign up hip hop group to their label, but they didn’t want to sign the disc jockey of the group. The record companies felt that they should not have to pay someone that was not performing on the record. A lot times, a producer from the record company would strike a deal with the MCs, by telling them that they are doing all the work, and the fans are screaming their names, not the disc jockey. So MCs would get the contract and the Disc Jockey was cut loose, making this the end of Disc Jockies or MCs, and the birth of the rapper. New school rappers these were making from $100,000,000 to $200,000,000 an album. Now the rapper was headlining show and filling football stadium seats. The rapper that used to be the MCs for the disc jockey, began paying the disc jockey to spin or play music for him or her at a concert. Hip hop is now known all over the world, sung in many different languages. The lyrics of today’s hip hop rappers are not like the MCs of yesterday, Rappers now talk about how much money they are making and disrespecting women in their songs. Some rappers like tell how they made it from the drug game to the rap game, while rappers talk about the use of drugs and types drugs they prefer to use. A rapper’s lyrics often reflect the violent lifestyle of American inner cities afflicted with poverty. The “N” word is used a lot in today rapper’s lyrics In conclusion, we see that rappers remain a big part of the old and new school hip hop era and that sampling and mixing of music to create the hip hop sounds have not changed much as hip changed from old school to new. Getting the crowd hype and dancing on the floor hasn’t changed much from old to new. But, as we saw the disc jockey’s setup guy, whose original job was to set up and rap into the mike so that the crowd could focus on the music of the DJ, has grown to become to multimillion dollar money making rapper. What most people today don’t know is that it was the fall of the disc jockey, the original star of the show, which led to new school hip hop.