Hip hop music, also known as rap music, is a genre of popular music developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans and Latino Americans in the Bronx borough of New York City in the 1970s. It consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records (or synthesized beats and sounds), and rhythmic beatboxing. While often used to refer solely to rapping, 'hip hop' more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music, the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks. Hip hop as both a musical genre and a culture was formed during the 1970s when block parties became increasingly popular in New York City, particularly among African American youth residing in the Bronx. At block parties DJs played percussive breaks of popular songs using two turntables and a DJ mixer to be able to play breaks from two copies of the same record, alternating from one to the other and extending the 'break'. Hip hop's early evolution occurred as sampling technology and drum machines became widely available and affordable. Turntablist techniques such as scratching and beatmatching developed along with the breaks and Jamaican toasting, a chanting vocal style, was used over the beats. Rapping developed as a vocal style in which the artist speaks or chants along rhythmically with an instrumental or synthesized beat.
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