33¢ Hip-Hop Culture
Celebrate the Century – 1980s
Issue Date: January 12, 2000
City: Kennedy Space Center, FL
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Hip-hop culture, with its own dynamic music, dance, and clothing styles, became a cultural influence in the 1980s. Black youths who lived in south Bronx spread hip-hop to other urban areas. Disc jockeys like Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash played an important role in hip-hop culture and the start of its music style, called “rap.”
The Sugar Hill Gang had the first hit rap song in 1979 with “Rapper’s Delight.” Rap music began to appeal to a more diverse audience in the 1980s. Most early songs were intended to be heard over booming mobile sound systems as high-energy party music. Disc jockeys would “scratch” a record with the needle of the record player to create orchestrated solos during songs.
Break dancing was a hip-hop rage in the ‘80s. The acrobatics, improvisation, and complicated rhythms displayed by the dancers created a distinctive style of social dance. Groups of young people would gather to show off their moves and compete against one another. They wore hooded sweatshirts, baggy pants, brand-name sneakers, and backward baseball caps.
Members of the hip-hop culture made graffiti into an art form. Well-intentioned graffiti artists turned gray concrete walls into colorful images that often suggested a message of unity or nationalism.