Hip-Hop's Four Elements: The Old Ones Suck. Here's Our Suggestions for New Ones
But c'mon. Even back then, it was pretty arbitrary. I mean, it's not like guys in the Bronx invented tagging. Cavemen were doing that thousands of years ago, in their...caves.
Nowadays, hip-hop is pretty much just one element: rapping. Anyone who still talks about four -- and there are plenty of those people -- is either an old-timer or an elitist.
Not to disparage tagging, breakdancing, or turntablism, but those have become fairly separate disciplines, mostly outside the hip-hop mainstream. In fact, most people use the terms "rap" and "hip-hop" interchangeably.
So hip-hop needs new elements, to more accurately reflect the culture these days. What should they be? Let's consider some contenders.
Beatboxing: Um...no. Beatboxing is even more anachronistic than b-boying. The only people who beatbox today are kids on ritalin and Jamie Lidell.
Hip-hop fashion: Nah. There's no common aesthetic in hip hop fashion ever since Jay-Z decided to change clothes and go.
Hip-hop slang: Since they buried "def" a while back we just don't feeling comfortable with this.
VJing: No idea what that is.
So, what else? After lots of thought, we think we've determined what hip-hop is really about these days.
New hip hop element #1: Grills
Everyone loves a nice gold grill, particularly when they're worn by hot white girls. It sucks that Lil Wayne had to have his removed when he went to prison -- and subsequently get eight root canals in one sitting -- but still, it's worth it to have diamonds on the soles of your teeth.