Hip hop music, also referred to as rap or rap music, is a style of popular music which came into existence in the United States during the mid-1970s, and became a large part of modern pop culture during the 1980s. It consists of two main components: rapping (MCing) and DJing (audio mixing and scratching). Along with hip hop dance (notably breakdancing) and urban inspired art, or notably graffiti, these compose the four elements of hip hop, a cultural movement that was initiated by inner-city youth, mostly African Americans in New York City, in the early 1970s. In 2006, rap music was the most popular form of music in the United States.
Typically, hip hop music consists of one or more rappers who tell semi-autobiographic tales, often relating to a fictionalized counterpart, in an intensely rhythmic lyrical form making abundant use of techniques like assonance, alliteration, and rhyme. The rapper is accompanied by an instrumental track, usually referred to as a "beat", performed by a DJ, created by a producer, or one or more instrumentalists. This beat is often created using a sample of the percussion break of another song, usually a funk or soul recording. In addition to the beat other sounds are often sampled, synthesized, or performed. Sometimes a track can be instrumental, as a showcase of the skills of the DJ or producer.
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