Frequently Asked Questions

Where did hip hop music originate?

Hip hop came from the United States in the 1970s as a means for minorities to express their discontent with the ghettos and discrimination in society.

When did hip hop come to Germany?

Since West Germany had American forces stationed there during the entire Cold War, American soldiers brought hip hop music over with them during the 1980s, starting the German underground hip hop scene.

Why didn’t Germany get hip hop when America did?

You have to remember that before the Information Age, everything had to get around the old fashioned way. Music was not streaming online. There was no international television. Music had to make it over in hardcopy.

What is the largest minority that performs hip hop in Germany?

The biggest minority in Germany that is into the hip hop scene is the descendants of Turkish immigrants. During the economical boom that hit West Germany during the 1970s, there was a labor shortage that the Turks were able to fill, resulting in a high quantity of Turkish immigrants in Germany. Because of discrimination, the Turkish-Germans have a lot of discontent, which they express through hip hop music.

Do Germans listen to American hip hop?

Of course they do. Hip hop just did not become a mainstream music genre until there were songs that were sung in German. Otherwise it just sounded like some crazy American with foul language discussing problems that are not the same in Germany. It is tough to relate to from the outside.

How did breakdancing start?

Breakdancing, also known simply as “breaking” began in the South Bronx of New York City during the 1970s. It moved to Los Angeles not long after. Breakdancing was a way for gangs to battle and fight over territory without getting violent, and getting the police involved. Since then it has evolved into its own dance type and art form.

What is beatboxing?

Beatboxing is the imitation of percussion sounds, including the drum machine, by the mouth as well as the voice. Good beatboxers are indistinguishable from the instruments that they are mimicking. It is pretty amazing.

Where did graffiti and street art come from?

The stencil graffiti subculture took hold in the 1970s, around the same time that breakdancing and rap music was all getting its start. Because they were all borne of the same movement, they are all lumped together in the hip hop scene. It was a visual expression of social turmoil that was happening in the United States at the time. It later moved on to be used for gang tagging and regular criminal mischief, but it is still used for its original purpose.

Hasn’t graffiti been around a lot longer than hip hop?

Yes people have been graffitiing things since the dawn of man, but it was not applied to the social expressions of the hip hop scene prior to the 1970s. Though graffiti has always been used for political statements, it has moved to more organized and stenciled expression.