What Are The 5 Basic Elements Of Hip Hop?

Hip hop is a dance fusion that involves moves from different dance forms as popping,
locking, breaking, tap dancing, jazz, and ballet. The dance is widely performed on hip hop, funk,
pop, R&B, and electronic music.

Hip hop is not just a dance style. It is a culture. It is lived by thousands of thousands of people,
especially dance enthusiasts, worldwide.

So, what is it that makes hip hop hip hop? The answer lies in its basic elements or pillars.
In hip hop music and dance, you will feel a rich and essential involvement of these elements –

Lyricism –

In the hip hop world, the word lyricism would be a too literary term. It is rather called MCing
and emceeing by hip hoppers.

MCing is the short form of Masters of Ceremonics. The term has its roots in Jamaica, where
rappers or hip hop artists are also called MC.

What MCs do is called MCing. They are responsible for entertaining the crowd during the event.
At hip hop events, you will see MCs with their mic and loud, motivating rhymes and words
guiding artists and audience through the event. In general, MCs are wordsmiths, storytellers, and
poets, with a zeal for rhyming.

Their rhymes have to appeal to the audience, and at the same time, provide a canvas or
background to the dancers.

Breaking –

Hip hop dance is all about breaking or B-boying, which is a kind of street dance popular among
black youths in the US. Breaking is more commonly known as break dancing, which is now a
vastly practiced and performed dance form in the world.

The movements in this dance form are mainly performed on floor, namely dance floor. The body
postures in break dancing involve the movements of hands, hips, legs, and shoulders on music
beats. There are several elements of this style of dance too, which we will not get into in this

Graffiti –

Graffiti is an art. And this art – in the hip hop culture – is unique artistic or visual expressions
embossed on the stage or background, the costume of the performers, and the instruments they

The art in hip hop is not just limited to the representation of instruments and famous artists.
Some hip hop events are planned to spread awareness about hot and raging topics in the country
– such as BLM movement.

Disk Jockeying –

DJing is the art of creating or adding new music to an already written and recorded song. DJs
have changed the classical and other forms of music to a greater extent.

The music DJs compose gives b-boys and b-girls some beats to break on and MCs a chance to
show their rapping skills and rhymes.

Beat Boxing –

Beat boxing is also an art, in which the performer uses his/her mouth, nose, and throat. This is a
difficult to master art, but an essential element of modern hip hop music.

Many of the beats in modern rap songs are not computer generated; rappers or beat boxers create
those repeating beats with their mouth.

So, these were the five basic yet essential elements of hip hop dance and music.

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