Origins of hip-hop

A breakdancer spins upside down on his head

Hip-hop originated in the Bronx area of New York in the 1970s.

Its vocal origins lie in the Jamaican 'toasting' tradition. Toasting is a cross between talking and rhythmic chanting which was originally practised by Jamaican MCs.

African-American DJs such as Grandmaster Flash and the Jamaican-born 'father of hip-hop' Kool Herc extended the instrumental sections (or 'breaks') from records by mixing between two identical copies of the same record.

Some of the DJs (or MCs) rapped over the top of the breaks.

Dancers would get up during the breaks and perform a highly gymnastic style of dance using head and back-spinning. They became known as breakdancers.

A selection of hip hop tracks from 1981, including Grandmaster Flash